Dave Brat clambered onto the Trump Train last year after The Donald donated thousands of dollars to his war chest. Though he didn’t formally endorse Trump until after the primaries, Brat was calling him a “brother-in-arms” and declaring that he was “all in” for him already in 2015 (see this article on their shared positions and extremist support).
That was Brat’s big big mistake. Trump is going down, and going down fast, and Brat’s going down with him. While Trump’s candidacy has had the salutary effect of revealing the divisions and tensions in our society (the better to confront them), the precipitous decline in his poll numbers in recent weeks — when the vast majority of Americans have started to pay attention to the election — has also revealed the decency of the American people. Whatever their political leanings, an overwhelming majority of Americans simply can’t stomach the man.
But Dave Brat can (see this article on Brat’s hoboing onto the Trump Train). Brat seems to think that Virginia voters will pass right over Trump’s stupid vulgar language and criminal deeds. Brat has doubled down on his support of the man, even signing on to Trump’s new Virginia leadership team. While a long list of Republican leaders, including Virginians, have retracted their endorsements or refused to campaign for Trump,the Brat-Trump bromance is thriving.
And then there’s Dave own lack of popularity within Virginia’s Republican ranks. The Bearing Drift, a leading conservative blog in Virginia, has published 21 highly critical articles on Brat in 18 months; they accuse him of ignorance, obstructionism, nativism, and incompetence. Two of the articles were posted just last week (HERE and HERE). Odd timing if they wanted their party’s candidate to win.
Meanwhile, Eileen Bedell, Brat’s centrist Democratic opponent has her own train, and it’s picking up steam. Insiders say that five weeks ago — before the Access Hollywood recordings were around to stick in the craw of decent folks — Bedell was only a handful of points behind Brat. Since then, Republican poll numbers have taken a nose-dive around the country, and Brat’s wholly inadequate response to Trump’s blatant misogyny makes it highly likely that Eileen is now within the margin of error. And did I mention that the 7th CD lines have been re-drawn since 2014 and the District is now more favorable to Democrats?
Maybe that’s why Brat’s afraid to debate Bedell. He has turned down four chances, the latest an invitation from the University of Richmond, to discuss or debate issues with her in public. Well, who would want to be in the position of defending one’s support of a man like Donald Trump? Brat caught a ride on the Trump Train, but my bet is he’ll end up greasing the tracks in the November 8th wreck.
VA-7 may very well be the biggest surprise of 2016. Virginia voters of all political stripes are nothing if not good and decent people. Why would they pick an unprincipled and opportunistic loser when they have a sane, sound, and centrist alternative in Eileen Bedell?
To learn more about Eileen and to help her boot the Brat out of Congress, click: