New poll finds Kaine up while the liberals I KNOW may not be so enthused

    227
    4
    SHARE

    In an NBC/Marist poll released on Thursday, former Governor Tim Kaine was up six points against his GOP rival, George Allen. While the race for U.S. Senate in Virginia is sure to be closer than six points, the results taken from a sample of 1,076 does give Virginians in favor of relatively sound policy  an elevated glimmer of hope.

    But for many among the liberal base of the Democratic Party of Virginia, Tim Kaine represents less the exemplar politician than the lesser of two evils (i.e. whichever Republican candidate he’s facing). Virginia’s Democrats outside of Northern Virginia, in general, are more representative of the “Blue Dog” Democrats than the more liberal Democrats like Al Franken and Dennis Kucinich.

    The result has been an absence of liberal political candidates in central and southern Virginia for Virginia’s liberal base to latch on to.

    While it is sometimes difficult to fault a careerist politician like Tim Kaine or Mark Warner for prudently playing their political cards, their reluctance to embrace liberal policies on a number of different issue fronts has left the liberal Democratic base without much of a political voice and a consequent feeling of exclusion.

    So what can the liberal Democratic base in Virginia do, vigorously and frequently attack Tim Kaine and/or Mark Warner, throw a monkey wrench into their political machinations every now and then, passively or actively support them and let them go about their business?

    While I would like to say attack, attack, attack, the truth is that the alternative (i.e. the VA GOP candidate) is usually so repulsive that the policies of Kaine and Warner appear wholly sensible by comparison, and they know it.

    Liberals in Virginia will not however passively or actively support Kaine and Warner indefinitely if they continue to follow a centrist path that the GOP has already eliminated as a possibility.

    For the moment, though, a George Allen victory to the U.S. Senate would take on a feeling akin to the loss of a close family member. That is, let’s hope it doesn’t happen.  

    • FreeDem

      “Virginia’s Democrats outside of Northern Virginia, in general, are more representative of the “Blue Dog” Democrats than the more liberal Democrats like Al Franken and Dennis Kucinich.”

      Statistically speaking, Virginia’s Democrats outside of Northern Virginia are probably more likely to be African-American than either “Blue Dog” or Dennis Kucinich.

      Interesting thought, take Obama’s 2008 performance, take away votes he received from Northern Virginia, estimate votes from African-Americans, and what percentage of Obama’s 2008 vote is from white, non-Northern Virginia voters.

      How many of them are:

      1- Base Democratic activists, the sort that would vote for a liberal candidate in a Democratic primary (See 2005, Leslie Byrne)

      2- College students, young voters, in Blacksburg, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Richmond, etc.

      3- Liberals in areas like Charlottesville.

      My guess is that the non-Northern Virginia Democratic Party looks a lot like the Northern Virginia Democratic Party, except for the composition of minorities.

    • …although it’s admittedly unscientific, right now it looks like very few of our readers feel a lack of enthusiasm for Tim Kaine. How much of that is hostility to George Allen and how much of it is enthusiasm for Tim Kaine, I don’t know exactly, but so far I’m not seeing a dramatic lack of enthusiasm for Kaine among BV readers. Do you have a source for your observation that there might be such a lack of enthusiasm? Thanks.