Friday, November 05, 2010

Was Va. a bellwether state in 2010 mid-term elections? Yes!

Cross-posted at the Washington Examiner....

In my election eve Washington Examiner post, I wondered if Virginia would be a bellwether state in the 2010 mid-terms. The day after elections, the answer is a resounding, "Yes!" As Virginia went, so went America as a red tide swept the nation.

The Commonwealth now has eight Republican Congressmen and two Democrats with voters waiting on results from the neck-in-neck race in the 11th District.

Virginians reelected five Republicans including House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (VA-7) along with Rob Wittman (VA-1), Randy Forbes (VA-4), Bob Goodlatte (VA-6), and Frank Wolf (VA-10). Three Democrats were swept from office in VA-2, VA-5, and VA-9.

In the 2nd District, Democratic freshman Glenn Nye was voted out of office and replaced with Republican Scott Rigell with a decisive 53% to 42%. Nye, a conservative Democrat who voted against ObamaCare, angered his liberal base by not supporting the Democratic agenda, and never built a conservative Republican following. Rigell, a military veteran who had the backing of popular Gov. Bob McDonnell, campaigned hard and flipped the seat to red.

The 5th District race was one of the most closely watched in the nation. Freshman Democrat Tom Perriello had been a faithful foot soldier for Obama, consistently voting for Obama’s liberal agenda even while representing a mostly conservative district. Virginia State Senator Robert Hurt capitalized on his opponent's votes and close ties with the White House, and was able to overcome even a last-ditch campaign visit from Barack Obama, winning 50% to 47%.

In the 9th District, long-time Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher was considered a battleship that could not be sunk and, as a result, few opponents had tried throughout his 28 years in office. However, in the anti-Obama atmosphere of 2010, Virginia House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith took on the herculean task of removing this Democrat stalwart, campaigned non-stop with energized volunteers, and stunned the Democrats both locally and nationwide by winning 51% to Boucher's 46%.

Voters in the 11th District are still waiting to hear the results after a neck-in-neck race that is tied at 49% to 49% with many speculating that it will go into a recount. In a district that was originally thought to be secure for freshman Democrat incumbent Gerry Connelly, increased voter dissatisfaction and the anti-Obama sentiment sweeping the nation gave Republican challenger Keith Fimian a chance.

Virginia’s own Rep. Eric Cantor (VA-7), currently the Minority Whip in the House, has sent a letter to his fellow Republicans as he seeks the powerful Majority Leader position after Tuesday's historic elections shifted power in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is expected to continue in leadership along with John Boehner (R-OH) who will most likely be the next Speaker of the House, replacing Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

There’s more to this election than what happened on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a new Congress is in place and, this time, Republicans are in charge with the help of three new Virginia representatives, given a second chance by the American people who will be keeping a close eye on them.

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