This Election Eve predictions edition of the “Inside Scoop” show with guest Ben “Not Larry Sabato” Tribbett being interviewed by host Catherine Read seems to be turning into an annual (or more than annual) tradition. We’ll see how Ben does in his predictions this time around. In addition to predicting a Clinton/Kaine win tomorrow, Ben had some thoughts on Virginia races, both this year and in 2017 (including the special election for U.S. Senate, assuming Tim Kaine will become VP). I’m presenting this without commentary for now, mostly to get it out there before Election Day, but let’s just say that I don’t agree with everything Ben argues here. 🙂
First, here’s Ben on the marquee U.S. House race in Virginia this year — Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock vs. Democrat LuAnn Bennnett. According to Ben, this one will be close, with a slight edge heading into election day for the incumbent. Ben also argues that Comstock’s constituent services have left a LOT to be desired, including her not being “always comfortable” helping her Democratic constituents. If true, that’s wildly unprofessional and reason alone to vote against Comstock tomorrow!
On Republican Tom Garrett vs. Democrat Jane Dittmar in the Virginia 5th CD, Ben basically argues that it all comes down to whether or not Hillary Clinton carries the 5th, and that if she doesn’t, Garrett will probably win, despite not being a particularly strong candidate, simply because of the district’s Republican lean. Which means Dems really need to turn out in the 5th CD tomorrow and vote for Clinton/Dittmar!
On the 4th CD U.S. House race, Ben predicts correctly that State Sen. Donald McEachin will “win easily” tomorrow.
On the wild-and-crazy Richmond Mayoral race, Ben predicts: “Joe Morrissey is going to carry four districts for sure – the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th in south and east Richmond; and Jack Berry is going to overwhelmingly carry the three white districts, wards 1, 2 and 4. So it’s really down to wards 3 and 5. Levar [Stoney] only needs to win one ward – assuming that Joe does not win the other ward – in order to force a runoff…”
Moving to 2017, Ben discusses the special election for US Senate. Ben says that Tom Davis will be the “prohibitive frontrunner for the Republicans because of his ability to raise money and his base in northern Virginia to win the Republican nomination and probably the prohibitive frontrunner to be our next U.S. Senator.” Ben says it’s going to be “tough for Bobby [Scott] because Tom [Davis] has such a good base in Northern Virginia, which is traditionally Democratic, and you have this Republican energy from having a Democratic President.”
On the 2017 Democratic Lt. Governor race, Ben strongly favors Eileen Filler-Corn, argues that it’s very important to have a woman on the ticket. On the Republican side, Ben said it’s “wide open,” in part because it will be “overshadowed” by the US Senate race and Governor’s race. State Sen. Jill Vogel could certainly be a strong candidate, but at this point, none of the Republican LG candidates have any name ID to speak of, plus they have to put serious campaigns together.
Finally, on the other two Democrats – Justin Fairfax and Gene Rossi – running for Lt. Governor next year, Ben argues that neither had elective experience, and that without elective experience it will be “very very difficult” to win a general election. If Justin Fairfax, for instance, were a sitting state Delegate, Ben argues he’d be a MUCH stronger candidate in four years or whatever for statewide office.