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Tim Kaine Pick for VP a Potential “Rare Opportunity for Virginia Democrats” in 2017


From the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. You might also want to check out my post from February 2015 (need to update this) on the most vulnerable (e.g., ones that Mark Herring won in 2013) Republican-held Virginia House of Delegates districts to Democratic pickup. There are a bunch of them, if Democrats just turn out and vote!


The Virginia House Democratic Caucus today continued to express its support for Secretary Clinton’s choice of running mate, Senator Tim Kaine.

“We could not be more pleased to see Hillary Clinton pick Senator Kaine,” said Del. Rip Sullivan, Campaign Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “Senator Kaine is a statesman, a reliable progressive, and most importantly, he is an honorable man. He is the most genuine public servant I have ever met. We are confident that Senator Kaine will be an outstanding Vice President.”

This news also presents a rare opportunity for Democrats to make significant gains in next year’s House of Delegates races across the Commonwealth.

Governor Terry McAuliffe will appoint a replacement after Senator Kaine vacates his Senate seat in January, a special election will be held in November 2017 to elect Senator Kaine’s replacement. The special US Senate election in 2017 will — along with the Governor’s race, the Lieutenant Governor’s race, and the Attorney General’s race — drive up turn out.

Democrats will seize this opportunity next fall.

Right now, many highly conservative House of Delegates Republicans represent districts won by Senator Kaine in 2012, President Obama in 2012, Governor McAuliffe in 2013, Attorney General Herring in 2013 or Senator Warner in 2014.

All of these districts send members to Richmond every year who fight to keep women from making their own health care decisions, are allergic to any sensible gun safety proposals, deny the existence of climate change, and work to make it harder for Virginians to vote.

Why do these Democratic districts elect far-right Republicans? Low turnout.

Statewide turnout was 71.78% in the 2012 presidential election. It fell to 43% in the 2013 gubernatorial/lieutenant governor/attorney general election.Turnout plummeted to 29.1% in last year’s General Assembly elections. Low turnout elections disproportionately favor Republicans.

The special Senate election and the three statewide state elections will draw Democrats to the polls next fall. The stakes are high: the race could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate, and far right Republicans, such as Dave Brat and Ken Cuccinelli — have already expressed an interest in running for the seat.

All of the attention and interest in next year’s special Senate election will motivate Democrats, increase turnout, and help elect Democrats to the House of Delegates.

  • From the LuAnn Eennett for Congress campaign:

    Larry Sabato: “Kaine pick should make it easier for Democrats to win Virginia”

    Comstock in Trouble as Moderate Republicans Flock to Support Kaine

    McLean – With Tim Kaine on the ticket, more Virginians will vote this election season, and moderate Republicans in key districts like VA-10 are more inclined than before to vote for the Clinton-Kaine ticket, according to the University of Virginia Center for Politics’ Larry Sabato. Read the full piece here; highlights below.

    This scenario – high voter turnout and enthusiasm for a home-state vice president nominee widely popular across ideological boundaries, combined with a toxic GOP standard bearer and a party platform described as the “most extreme in history” – is a major blow to Barbara Comstock, who continues to hide from the public her support for Trump. From Sabato:

    “The state’s richly-populated and growing Northern Virginia suburbs and exurbs are filled with the kind of Republicans — wealthy and educated — who Trump may have trouble with, and Kaine’s presence on the ticket may give some portion of those voters a reason to consider voting for Clinton.”

    Northern Virginia, including Loudoun County and parts of Fairfax County that make up Virginia’s 10th district, is now one of the most crucial parts of the country for national Democrats. A bellwether district in a bellwether state, national Democrats cannot afford to lose Loudoun, which means even more national attention and resources will pour into the 10th. From Sabato:

    “Moreover, Northern Virginia’s overall share of the statewide vote in 2016 seems likely to increase once again, having increased in every presidential cycle since 1980. In 2012, it made up 34% of the state’s vote, and if Northern Virginia goes more Democratic than in 2012, it will be hard for Trump to win.”

    “Add it all up – more voters going to the polls this November, excitement around a wildly popular and well-liked home-state Vice Presidential pick who extends across party lines, and a Comstock-Trump ticket that is out touch with the 10th district – and Sen. Kaine’s ascension to the Democratic ticket amounts to a major shift in the race for Virginia’s 10th,” LuAnn Bennett spokesman Robert Howard said. “A friend of LuAnn’s, Sen. Kaine on the ticket is a wind in LuAnn’s sail and a blow to her opponent.”

  • From the DCCC:

    Three Reasons Tim Kaine Scares Barbara Comstock

    1. Tim Kaine is a hugely popular public official in Virginia, having never lost an election in the state during his entire political career.

    2. Tim Kaine has won local and statewide elections in Virginia for City Council, Mayor, Lt. Governor, Governor and Senator.

    3. Tim Kaine will drive Democratic turnout across the state and Northern Virginia.

    For proof that Comstock is spooked over Clinton’s selection of Kaine as her running mate, consider this: the day after Hillary Clinton selected Tim Kaine, the career political operative reached back into her opposition researcher bag of tricks by releasing more false information on LuAnn Bennett to distract from the obvious damage this does to her campaign.

    “It’s great news for Virginia Democrats, and bad news for Barbara Comstock that Hillary Clinton selected Tim Kaine to her running mate,” said Jermaine House of the DCCC. “Barbara Comstock released yet another false attack to distract from that fact while her party’s leader Donald Trump is hugely unpopular in her district, Democrats’ Tim Kaine is popular among Virginians across the state.”