This is my first diary here but I have been following the blog since the Raising Kaine days when I was in college. I’m somewhat of a political junkie and find crunching the numbers very interesting.
I had a bit of a debate with a fellow reader on who should be targeted in the House of Delegates races next year. I am most familiar with Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, and Richmond, so I will focus on those areas.
Conventional wisdom seems to be that the closest in seats to DC and urban areas should be the top targets. No longer. After watching millions of dollars being poured in to certain seats and coming up short in recent years I think it is time to try a new approach.
Also, I think many folks do not realize the numbers do not actually support the conventional wisdom.
Bob Marshall, who I find to be a particularly harmful legislator, now represents a district (13th) that went for Obama by 11 points.
I have heard the argument that we shouldn’t take on Bob Marshall because we have to focus on people like Barbara Comstock (34th) and Dave Albo (42nd) who are closer in. Well, there’s a new map and Comstock represents a district that voted for Obama by just 3 points and Obama won by just 5 points in Albo’s.
Keep reading below if this stuff interests you and to see my list of top targets for 2013.
One thing I have been frustrated by is people saying Tom Rust (86th) should be the top target because of his district. We have tried that for several cycles and that hasn’t worked. The fact is he is a pretty good delegate and people like him (that’s why Democrats keep voting for him). Please don’t hate me for saying that.
Bob Marshall on the other hand is absolutely terrible and his district is not that much more Republican. From what I can tell he hasn’t been a top priority for defeat and that is baffling to me. The guy is actually getting crazy legislation through the House.
Marshall is not alone in that he represents a district that is winnable in the exurbs but hasn’t been targeted recently. There are several that are represented by the extremely conservative Republican ideologue type that range from marginally republican to slightly Democratic.
I have looked at the data for all of the House districts and there isn’t any low hanging fruit. Let’s give a few new races a shot in 2013. Keep in mind these are some of the people most dedicated to embarrassing Virginia.
Here is my list including Obama performance for each district:
1) Bob Marshall (13th) Obama +11!
2) Mark Dudenhefer (2nd) Obama +15
3) Joseph Yost (12th) Obama +10
4) David Ramadan (87th) Obama +9
5) Scott Lingamfelter (31st) Obama +5
Of course there are others but these are the top 5 to me at this point. Yes we can target the usual suspects as well, but only focusing on them has not worked out well in the past.
Of course, I am open to a debate on this matter.