With Republicans licking their wounds after humiliating defeats for Governor and Lt. Governor, all eyes are focused like a laser on the attorney generals race, after Herring pulled out a 164 vote lead once all of the ballots were counted statewide. Once the Virginia State Board of Elections certifies their results on November 25, 2013, it is thought that Senator Obenshain will request a recount, which would probably take place in December of 2013.
In the meantime, focus is already shifting to the the U. S. Senate race in Virginia in 2014, when Senator Mark Warner will be up for re-election. Odds are that Warner will win re-election, especially if one of the two announced candidates for the Republican nomination for U. S. Senate, both Tea Party types, wins the nomination.
And as Lowell posted yesterday, Cuccinelli mentioned in an interview with the Washington Post about a potential run against Warner, however, Republicans know this is not a great idea and the polling verifies that.
Now a new name has been floated as a potential candidate for the Republican nominee for U. S. Senate – Fairfax County Delegate Barbara Comstock. The idea of drafting Comstcok for U. S. Senate was first started by started by Chris at the Mason Conservative blog on November 7, 2013:
I might be trying to be a little cute with the title, but I’m actually serious about this. Some are saying Ken Cuccinelli should run for the Senate. There is already a draft Pete Snyder. I’m sure there are others. But allow me to throw a name out for consideration.
Delegate Barbara Comstock.
Chris … you crazy!
I know. She’s only been in the House of Delegates for four years. She’s from McLean, how will that play in ROVA? Here are a quick n’ dirty look at my reasoning:
She’s a women, and a very successful women who can reach across demographics
She spent a majority of her adult life working within the Republican Party. She should be able to marshall national resources unlike almost any other candidate. In short, she can raise a shit load of money.
She represents a blue districts so she knows how to win moderates and independents.
She worked for Frank Wolf for years and is his protege. Wolf is one of the more well-liked Republicans in the state and should help her with a crossover appeal.
Her voting record in the House of Delegates is excellent. Before dismissing this, downstate conservatives should take a hard look at her record in the House. Its fantastic.
She is a seasoned political operative who was the lead oppo-researcher for Bush 2000. In short, she’s not afraid to stand up and fight anyone.
She can raise money, unite the party, bring in big time national money, and appeal across the spectrum. Someone should ask her to really think about it.
A Comstock candidacy appears to be gaining steam on some conservative blogs in Virginia. And frankly, I think Comstock would be a good candidate for Republicans to run against Warner.
A protege of Congressman Frank Wolf, Comstock represents a blue district in Fairfax County in the House of Delegates, proving her ability to capture votes from some Democrats and independents.
Comstock’s fundraising prowess (she raised over 1 million dollars in her last race, more than any other candidate for the House of Delegates)would be a big plus, but in addition to that, Comstock would raise a ton of money nationally because she would be seen as such a credible candidate.
Comstock’s mainstream conservative views on issues would guarantee her a united Republican Party, something Cuccinelli could only fantasize about.
But most importantly, Comstock could be the key for Republicans to unlock suburban votes they lost in this last election, especially with suburban women.
Some might say that Comstock’s Pro-Life views, coupled with her pro-vaginal probe votes in the state legislature could prevent her from winning this race, but the results of the attorney generals race in Virginia tells us that this would not necessarily disqualify her from receiving votes from suburban women.
Obenshain’s views on abortion, birth control, the vaginal probe and other views related to women’s health issues were horrible, yet he only lost by 164 votes. And it is painfully clear that Obenshain received votes from some MacAuliffe voters in suburbs in northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads.
Despite sharing the same views as Cuccinelli on women’s healthcare issues, Obenshain didn’t come across as the boogeyman to some voters that Cucinelli did and perhaps the Obenshain ad featuring his daughter defined him in such a positive way that it insulated Obenshain from being perceived as such a threat like Cuccinelli. As a result, Obenshain was able to pick up votes from some suburban women, as well as some African-American voters, running well ahead of of Romney percentage wise in many urban/suburban precincts across the state, only to lose the race in southwest Virginia due to poor turnout. And I think Comstock might be able to do the same thing.
Comstock’s re-election also caught the attention of Mona Charen at the National Review:
Yet in the 34th district of Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C., a very conservative delegate was able to run between 8 and 18 points ahead of Cuccinelli and win a district that just a year ago went for Tim Kaine for senator and Barack Obama.
Barbara Comstock is as conservative as any right-winger could desire – pro-free enterprise, pro-life, and pro-second amendment. Her opponent, Kathleen Murphy, a doctrinaire liberal, was supported by the unions, Michael Bloomberg, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood.
If conservatives want to win elections and not just preen about their ideological purity, they should study Comstock.
A Warner-Comstock race would be fascinating to watch play out. I think the Republicans would be hard pressed to come up with a more viable candidate. And I think that the Warner campaign, the Democratic Party and its allies should not underestimate her candidacy if she decides to make a run.