Friday, May 19, 2006

VA Senate Democratic Primary coming up June 13

George Allen is running for reelection as United States Senator. He is also running for President. A senate term is six years. The presidential election is in two years. You can do the math. It is obvious, as Larry Sabato points out, that George Allen hopes not to serve out the second term he is running for.

Of course, Allen’s career so far in the Senate has been quite unremarkable. Given the enormous advantage he has being in the majority party he could be guiding legislation important to him through congress but one is hard put to come up with any legislation Allen has taken a leadership roll on. Of course, he was quoted in the New York Times as saying he was bored. Apparently he was expecting the United States Senate to be entertaining. Poor George.

Why he is running for reelection is anyone’s guess. Not only is he bored but he is running for President. The Senate campaign at this time must certainly be a distraction from the run for President and a loss or even a close race could derail his hopes for the Republican presidential nomination. His role in the Republican race is to be the George Bush stand-in running against Senator John McCain. I’m not a Republican but if I were that would be an easy call to make between the two of them.

Back to the Senate race here in Virginia, the Democratic Primary is scheduled for June 13th. There are two candidates, Jim Webb and Harris Miller. So far the race has been very low key. This is not to say the candidates and their organizations have not been working hard – I’m sure they have been very busy. But so far in the Richmond area there are no bumper stickers or yard signs indicating support for either candidate. My guess this is not because people are struggling to make up their minds between the two but more likely most people are probably not even aware and election is even coming up in three weeks.

As Margaret Edds points out in her column in the Virginia Pilot, Webb seems to be drawing support from Democrats nationally who see Allen as vulnerable and Webb the stronger of the two Democratic possibilities. Miller, on the other hand, has been a player in Virginia Democratic politics and may draw a disproportionate amount of support from Virginia Democratic activists. Webb may have better name recognition but in a low-turnout election, as this will almost certainly be, Miller may have an advantage of support from party activists.

For now, it’s too close to call.

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