From reporter Mason Adams at Blue Ridge Caucus comes this:
I took yesterday off since I’ll be covering the Roanoke Democratic firehouse primary on Saturday. My wife and I spent some time traveling and hiking around the Natural Bridge area before coming back into Roanoke.After stopping at a restaurant to eat, Adams overheard a political conversation going on at a nearby table and listened in. What he heard revealed some voters were already engaged in the U.S. Senate race. One diner was supporting George Allen ... another was backing Jackson.
... I did overhear some comments on the same subject of the U.S. Senate race a while later. These came from one fellow who was ready to defeat Democrat Tim Kaine.The controversial Soreing issue is more relevant than Democrats would like ... it's sticking with Virginians who fear for the safety of their families.
He was working to convince another member of the dinner party of the urgency in beating Kaine, and from what I heard he used two main arguments: Kaine closed interstate rest stops, and he recommended that convicted double-murderer Jens Soering be sent to Germany.
... it’s worth noting a couple of things. One is that these conversations already are being had this year. It’s not just talk about the presidential race, but the U.S. Senate race too.
Second is which two attack points have already taken hold and which are being used to convince likely voters, even in late January.
As to the rest areas, Virginians recognized that political move for what it was and were grateful to Bob McDonnell who fulfilled a campaign promise to reopen the 18 rest stops. It's still a sore topic especially after a McDonnell-ordered VDOT audit revealed $1.2 billion in VDOT's coffers proving that Kaine's demand for the closings, supposedly because of strapped funds, was false.
Bottom line: Virginians haven't forgotten Kaine's time in Richmond. Add that to Kaine's rubber-stamping of President Barack Obama's overreaching government programs and it could be the formula for a Republican victory in November.