On the Other Hand, John Miller is Imminently Vulnerable

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    For Senator John Miller, the RPV message filling the vacuum immediately following the DPVA summit is likely to achieve its desired end. Unlike Senator Northam, Miller does not have an electoral cushion to protect him from the voter suppression scheme. This opponent is also less polarizing than his last.

    The support earned while in office may not be sufficient to overcome the RPV strategy. As you can see, even against a lackluster opponent and riding a Democratic wave, Miller squeaked by in 2007. The spot which went on air the full week following the DPVA summit is posted at the boilerplate website, (you might want to see if there is one up for moveonyourDemocraticStateSenator.com) but the essence is:

    Next time you fill up look at how much that gas costs you, then remember one thing, Senator John Miller wants you to pay even more for every drop…John Miller doesn’t stop there. In a few years he wants to tax you for the number of miles you drive. Hope you work from home and don’t go out much. Do you want to buy a car? More new taxes…Miller even wants more tolls; $100 million a year worth. Senator John Miller, higher gas and sales taxes, new tolls and mileage taxes and you pay the bill. Are you okay with that? – RPV radio spot

    The amusing thing about this negative attack website is that it criticizes Miller for wanting to put an end to negative attacks. They label his reasonable position (fully lifted from the website below the fold) as having big government stepping in. Button, button, gonna use those hot button issues to stir the tea pot and spoil the electoral broth, so they believe. There is a certain synergy with the Northam ads since they air in a single market that covers both Senate Districts. Thus the attacks against Northam may complement the anti-Miller effort. In the absence of a constructive DPVA message, they may pull this off.  

    “It’s time to put an end to negative ads that insult the voters’ intelligence and lead to lower turnout, cynicism and disillusionment among voters — especially young ones…”

    “Congress should ban all of these so-called ‘527’ ads. If a group, or a political party, wants to support a candidate, they should do it financially and not with negative advertising. Special-interest groups could still be allowed to advocate for a position, just not a politician….”

    “Under my plan, 75 percent of what a candidate spends must come from the people who live or work in the district he or she wants to represent …. At the end of each reporting period, if a candidate had too much money from outside the district, that money would be donated to charity, where it would have a real impact for good.” — Daily Press (Newport News, Virginia), November 11, 2006

    And having said this, Miller has staked out a position that, like Northam’s, is counter to the DPVA trend of running negative campaigns rather than running on Democratic (forget progressive) solutions to Virginia’s problems. Having taken this strategy, there is no statewide synergy from a constructive Democratic message; there is no overlap campaign to campaign. And unless that changes, Miller’s seat is ripe for a Republican pick up.

    • drobertson

      But that was in a far different district than the one he’ll be running in now. His district got significantly more Democratic in redistricting. Plus he’s now the incumbent, with a solid record to run on. It might be a competitive race, but I doubt he’ll lose.

    • linda b

      he is now my “incumbent” in precincts that are good for Dems…

    • Harry_Gilbert

      Your essay gets a pass (or “P”) by today’s teaching standards but probably a “C” on the A-to-F scale.  Your youth and inexperience allowed you to make some critical mistakes in your analysis of this race but I think for a sixth grade level, you over-exceeded.

      Here are some important factors for your next analysis. You will learn about this in your first year of college, and I don’t expect you to understanding this in its entirety; this is  redistricting year.  See, Danny, every ten years the federal government conducts what we call a “census” to gather demographic data (oh… demographic means gender, race, age, etc.). This causes the districts to change boundaries; in some cases significantly. In the First District quite dramatically.

      Another important consideration is incumbency protection.  As I’m sure you live in the first district (otherwise you wouldn’t be commenting on a district you know nothing about), you hear people say things like “John Miller is great,” “I just saw John Miller,” or “I just got a letter from John Miller,” right?  This is called incumbency advantage. It is a huge factor in a re-election campaign.

      What a pretty graphic you show regarding the First Senate District results from 2007. Wow! Of course it’s a moot point because of redistricting, but what a nice picture. Your thesis statement of “Miller’s seat is ripe for a pick up,” is fascinating. Next time move it to the first paragraph and back it up with facts, especially if the title of your essay correlates with your thesis statement. I highly encourage you to look at data and facts before writing your next piece (of sh__).

      I’d bet your lunch money this seat is safe.  

    • melsaddle

      While I agree with Harry’s comments, I wish that he could do it with a little bit more class.

      It is hard to say without seeing a polling data if John Miller is “imminently vulnerable.”  I’m sure both campaigns have access this to data, however.  The simple fact that Mr. Miller’s opponent could only raise an insignificant $20K shows that his  Republican supporters as well as Republican politicos do not see this as a competitive race.  That fact provides us with some insight into what the polls may say.

      Furthermore, it is a flawed argument to compare this race to the 2007 data.  This district has changed dramatically including Williamsburg, which as I am lead to believe is highly democratic.

      So, to sum up, using Harry’s grading scale, I concur that Mr. Sullivan’s argument is flawed.  But I give Harry a D- for maturity.