Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Virginia can be in play for the Democrats only with the right candidate

Last week in Iowa the Democrats’ strongest candidate came in first and the Republicans’ strongest candidate (McCain) came in fourth. Last night, New Hampshire reversed that with the Democrats’ weaker candidate (Clinton) winning by a narrow margin and the Republicans’ strongest candidate winning by a reasonable margin.

The Rasmussen Presidential Poll in my home state of Virginia only confirms my belief where the strength and weakness are in this field of candidates. As I have pointed out before, Virginia has voted Republican in all Presidential races since 1964. However, during the past couple of elections, the Democrats have considered the Old Dominion as being more and more “in play.” It has not gone Democratic yet but is slowly inching that direction. Virginia is a barometer of sorts of states the Democratic Party needs to pay attention to. Perhaps with the right candidate, we can make this state (and others like it) competitive sooner rather than later.

The Rasmussen Poll lined Hillary Clinton up against Mitt Romney and John McCain and then the same with Barack Obama. Clinton ties with Romney (Clinton 43%, Romney 44%) but loses to McCain by a wide margin (McCain 49%, Clinton 38%). Obama, on the other hand, defeats Romney by a reasonable spread (Obama 47%, Romney 41%) and loses to McCain only by a very narrow margin (Obama 43%, McCain 45%).

The report goes on:

McCain is viewed favorably by 65% of Virginia voters, while Romney earns favorable ratings from 51%. Fifty-six percent (56%) give Barack Obama a favorable rating, while only 47% offer a positive assessment of Clinton.

The Democrats can take the White House easily if they can carry Virginia or Virginia-like states but some candidates have a shot at that and others just don’t. This poll gives us a pretty good idea of who they are.

1 comment:

Comrade Kevin said...

One hopes that Virginia could be a barometer of sorts to gauge the success the Democratic party would have in the endeavor. Breaking the GOP monopoly upon the Solidly Red South will be a major challenge.

I do not see Alabama going Blue this election or unless things change considerably. I've always seen Virginia as a kind of borderline state more inclined to Mid-Atlantic than Southern.