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.