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Twelve Days of Christmas for Virginia Democrats: Day Eight, Swing Voters

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Welcome to this twelve-part series looking at the challenges, obstacles, and future possibilities of Virginia Democrats. If you've missed past diaries, follow these links: Day One, Competitive Districts. Day Two, Turnout Problems. Day Three, Past Mistakes. Day Four, Downstate Democrats. Day Five, Unchallenged Incumbents. Day Six, Present Opportunities. Day Seven, Democratic Trends. For today's poll, I'm asking about your early support for Governor in 2017.

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Commonwealth of Virginia gave to me ...

Swing voters, that crucial demographic of people who voted Romney-Kaine, or Cuccinelli-Northam-Obenshain, or even were crazy enough to go for Sarvis!

In the last half-decade, Virginia Democrats have seen a range of elections that allow us to roughly identify geographic areas of ticket-splitters. I'm talking about folks who came out and voted for Mitt Romney and Tim Kaine. Or switched back and forth in 2013 between Sarvis, Northam, and Obenshain. Or even McDonnell-Wagner-Shannon! It's all possible.

How to convert New Agers to Right Wing Lunacy

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Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Dr. Joseph Mercola is one of the most popular New Age health gurus on the web. He is now using that popularity to push Ron Paul for president.

I tend to agree with many of Mercola's positions in favor of natural foods and avoiding chemical toxins in food and the environment.  I even agree with a few of his more controversial stances, like his criticism of the use of mercury-containing dental fillings.  (Does it really make sense to put a known, potent toxin in your mouth, for permanent use?)

Unfortunately, he too frequently dips into the crazy end of the pool, for example in jumping on the twisted bandwagon claiming that HIV does not cause AIDS.  He is also a relentless marketer of sometimes questionable products.  That has gotten him in trouble more than once with the FDA, which issued warnings to him in 2005, 2006 and 2011 for making exaggerated claims about his products, e.g., that one will "help to virtually eliminate your risk of developing cancer in the future."

These experiences with the FDA in turn seem to have fueled a certain paranoia and distrust of government, and hence perhaps Mercola's embrace of Ron Paul's vision of our Federal government and most of its programs being gutted.