I know we all have a million things on our mind these days — Cheeto Mussolini, of course; McConnell and Lyin’ Ryan; right-wing assaults on DREAMers, the environment, science, decency, democracy, even sanity itself; Virginia Republicans killing everything decent/progressive in Richmond; the 2018 Congressional elections; etc. etc.
But one thing most of us aren’t particularly focused on right now is the 2018 U.S. Senate race here in Virginia. Why not? Because, frankly, most of us probably just assume that Sen. Kaine will beat any of the three crackpots running for the VA GOP nomination – theocratic bigot Ewwww Jackson, neo-Confederate Trumpster (although fired from the Trump campaign for insubordination and incompetence – LOL!) Corey Stewart and far-right Nick Freitas. Well, that may or may not be so, but let me give you three big reasons why we shouldn’t ASSume that Kaine will win big and that, to the contrary, we should be working our butts off to ensure a YUGE win for Kaine this November.
- As a general rule, we should never ever ever ever (did I mention “ever?” – lol) take anything for granted. Remember how Sen. Mark Warner was supposed to win by 15 points or whatever in 2014, then barely held on to squeak out a 49.1%-48.3% nail-biter of a victory? So yeah, let’s not ever do that again. 😉
- A “yuge” Kaine win this year will send a clear, resounding message to Virginia Republicans that their brand of extremist nuttery and bigotry is not welcome here in the Commonwealth. It will further send them a message that their party is quickly becoming a footnote in Virginia, having lost U.S. Senate races in 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, and now hopefully 2018; the governor’s race in 2001, 2005, 2013 and 2017; the LG race in 2001, 2013 and 2017; the AG race in 2013 and 2017; etc. Let’s keep that streak going, resoundingly, in 2018!
- Last but not least, we need to make sure Sen. Kaine wins “bigly” in November for the effect on “downballot” candidates – particularly for Congress, but also for local offices (e.g., Arlington has a County Board race this year, with Republican John Vihstadt on the ballot). Check out what the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics has to say about that this morning (bolding added by me for emphasis).
One other lurking problem for the Virginia GOP is the margin in the Senate contest, which will be at the top of the ballot. If Kaine wins by as much or more than Northam won the gubernatorial race (nine percentage points), his coattails could help down-ballot Democrats and endanger Republicans running for reelection to the House of Representatives, perhaps most notably Reps. Barbara Comstock (R, VA-10) and Scott Taylor (R, VA-2). And if Kaine were to win by what amounts to a landslide in this day and age, that could even threaten GOP House incumbents in redder seats, such as Reps. Dave Brat (R, VA-7) and Tom Garrett (R, VA-5). Fear of a blowout at the top of the ticket is one reason why many establishment Republicans are worried about Stewart, whose rhetoric might play very poorly in some parts of the commonwealth with competitive or potentially competitive House races.
So…how much do you want to see Rep. Barbara “Votes 97% with Trump” Comstock (R-VA-10) defeated in November? Rep. Scott “Votes 98% with Trump” Taylor (R-VA02)? Rep. Dave “I’m an economist!” Brat (R-VA07)? Rep. Tom “I hang out with white supremacist Jason Kessler!” Garrett (R-VA05)? VERY badly, right? Well, the key to beating them is VERY likely to be the margin of Tim Kaine’s victory at the top of the ticket this November. Which is why, again, we need Tim Kaine not just to win in November, but to win YUGE! Let’s make that happen. Thanks. 🙂