Mark Warner Just Won Virginia

Just minutes ago, Mark Warner just won the Senate race in Virginia. The difficult task facing Republicans of preventing a filibuster proof Democratic majority in the Senate just became a little bit more difficult as the Old Dominion, a state that has not voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate since 1964, is now about to elect two Democratic Senators in back to back election cycles.

The voting hasn't even started yet for the November election, but today's Republican convention in Virginia nominated by the narrowest of margins former Governor Jim Gilmore over Delegate Bob Marshall. And by narrowest, I mean 5,222.3 votes to 5,156.97.

As I outlined in my first post, Governor Jim Gilmore was the last Republican to occupy the Governor's Mansion in Richmond. He was elected over the liberal Volvo-cars salesman Don Beyer in 1997 based largely on an economically conservative message of cutting taxes. Once in office, he allowed out of control spending to position Democratic Party Chairman Mark Warner to run as a "fiscal conservative" and a "businessman" who would fix Virginia's budget.

Candidate Mark Warner promised not to raise taxes; Governor Mark Warner raised taxes. The lack of Republican credibility on budgetary issues, largely created by Governor Gilmore, is what allowed this to take place. Today, Virginia's Republicans nominated the same man who created the mess that first swept Warner into office to try to stop him from bringing his tax-raising liberalism to Washington.

It didn't have to be this way. There was another candidate: Delegate Bob Marshall.

First, Delegate Marshall is a 100% pro-life Republican who would have been able to stand up to the activist judges that recently struck down Virginia's partial-birth abortion law.

Second, has has taken a strong stance in opposition to illegal immigration in a state that is already suffering from an increase in crime perpetuated by gangs linked to illegal immigrants.

Third, he is a fiscal conservative who opposes taxation and regulation of the Internet, the economic engine of the 21st Century. Delegate Marshall has NEVER voted for a tax increase. He opposes No Child Left Behind and he opposes fiscal smoke and mirror to "balance the budget" by borrowing from Social Security.

It is my hope that Delegate Bob Marshall will continue to seek higher office, particularly with an eye to taking on Jim Webb in 2012. He represents the traditional small government conservatism that has worked in Virginia and the rest of the country.

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Sad but true

We were there today and what you've said is true.   The Old-Guard VA Republicans just shot themselves in the foot today   The Marshall supporters were twice as energized and excited as the Gilmore supporters.    Sadly many of those will have a hard time supporting Gilmore due to his false attacks on Marshall.   We hope that Marshall runs again.  

Bob Marshall would have been

Bob Marshall would have been a disaster.  His one-trick pony campaign of 'pro life from conception' is useless in a Senate race.  There is nothing at all that a Senator can do on abortion except to vote to confirm constructionist judges.  Like it or not, abortion is now a federal issue;  Roe v Wade made it so.  Until it is overturned, railing about abortion is farcical.  His classless, childish refusal to be gracious in defeat was predictable.  You want to stay home, stay home.  Just don't whine when an Obama WH, and a Dem congress, puts a couple more Ginsburgs on the court, raises your taxes, and abandons your troops.  You will make the 'Warner can't be beaten' a self-fulfilling prophesy. 

I can tell you this; had Marshall won, Gilmore and his supporters would have been quick to rally around the candidate, rather than doing what Democrats do when they lose elections.  Grow up and get behind your candidate, or shut up and stop whining. 

If we were going to probably lose to Warner anyway..

which is what the polls show...we might as well have tried to build up a new candidate for future races rather than recycle an old one.

I know this may be heresy. but the VA GOP needs to start acting like it is in an upscale MidAtlantic state and start nominating candidates with broader appeal. Marshall might have have been that candidate, and Bob O'Donnell better be or folks will be wishing for the "good old days" when "moderate" Tim Kaine was Governor.   

Either way

This will be the most one-sided open seat contest since Obama-Keyes.


I listened to both Marshall and Gilmore speak at Shad Plank, Virginia's political rite-of-passage event held last month, and was impressed by what Bob Marshall had to say.  Gilmore spent his 10 minutes railing against Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, while Marshall actually layed out his ideas in a clear and concise manner.  The contrast was startling.  Very unfortunate that Gilmore is the nominee.  Patrick is right...this is is going to be at least a 25% win for Warner when the votes are tallied.  There's a reason the traders over at the political site have given Warner an 83% chance of winning this Senate seat.

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I'll add to this some other observations (either from dkos or 538, don't ask me where my memory comes from!): people don't "lock in" their partisanship until they vote multiple times (two or three). So we're looking at a span of anywhere between 4 to about 12 years, in which someone makes up their political mind.

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