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Monday, October 04, 2004

So We're Leaving Virginia

Posted by DavidNYC

According to the Washington Post, Team Kerry is sending its top VA campaign staff to other, hotter battlegrounds. I can't blame them - this move makes sense. I've always been bullish on Virginia, but for the longer term. People like Maura Keany and her group, Democracy for Virginia, are laying the groundwork to, as she puts it, Turn Virginia Blue. This state will be ours one day, in the foreseeable future.

I still think we're better off spending money in VA than in LA, though a stronger Dem presence in Louisiana may help us with the Senate race there. (There aren't any major statewide races in VA this year.) But in any case, I'm glad we played some offense and made a serious push into Virginia this year.

(Via Race 2004.)

UPDATE: Hoya90 - who agrees with this move - has some thoughts on what Democrats in Virginia ought to do.

Posted at 03:57 PM in Virginia | Technorati


I didn't think it would be possible for Kerry to win in VA, but after spending a long weekend there (in Alexandria), I feel that the state could be in play.

Posted by: pepe at October 4, 2004 08:15 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Kerry's only chance at winning Virginia is by saturating the airwaves of fast-changing northern Virginia with ads. Of course, this requires EXPENSIVE D.C-area advertising...money I maintain could be better used to correct the Kerry campaign's biggest blunder thus far...premature pullouts from Arkansas and Missouir.

Posted by: Mark at October 4, 2004 08:34 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Mark, I know you've criticized Kerry for pulling out Missouri, but I swear I saw an article in the past few days that said the 527s were still spending heavily there. I Googled and Googled but couldn't find it.

In any case, due to the restrictions against "coordination," any situation where the Kerry camp winkingly moves out while 527s knowingly move in will nonetheless be reported as a "pullout" by the Kerry campaign.

And, also, Kerry hasn't spend any TV money in VA in quite some time, so it's not like they are freeing up a lot of cash by doing this. Looks more like moving their top staff to where they'll be most effective and narrowing their focus.

Posted by: DavidNYC at October 4, 2004 09:11 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

What states will Kerry focus on over the next four weeks? It looks like OH and FL are the states. He's even spending sometime in CO this week preparing for the debate.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 4, 2004 10:45 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

VA, at this point in time, is not a likely state for Democratic hopes. The state is divided between an Old South southern part that will vote GOP like the Carolinas and Georgia, without much to be done about it, and a northern part that is mostly suburbs of DC. Northern VA is relatively a lot more liberal than Southern VA, and it could almost go consistently Democratic except for one thing: in the DC suburbs, the MD counties tend very strongly to be older, settled neighborhoods (Montgomery) where they are not mostly minority (Prince Georges), and the older, settled neighborhoods attract Democratic-leaning people -- the VA counties around DC, I think, get a disproportionate number of small business people because VA has much less restrictive zoning and business laws, and these people lean more GOP than suburbanites in general.

The VA suburbs of DC are choking on their growth, and they will before too long start getting serious about managing growth the way the MD counties have been doing for years. This will end the relative attractiveness to business of northern VA, and probably start having the area be no more GOP-leaning than the MD suburbs. But this is several years away yet.

Posted by: Marsden at October 4, 2004 11:59 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Pulling out of Virginia is a big mistake. This state is within grasp. If not this time, then a strong showing would rev it up for turning blue in 2008.

Louisiana polls show us losing comfortably. Pull out of there, instead!

Virginia is a bigger electoral prize, anyway.

Posted by: Wayne at October 5, 2004 12:51 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Wayne, I agree, pulling out of VA seems kind of odd. Especially if he isn't pulling out of a lost cause like LA. They've got the internal polls that they use to make decisions. Kerry must think that being a Catholic and heavily minority state, he can win LA with a strong get out the vote effort.

VA seems like a natural pick up for Dems. I've got to think that it is the Democratic areas of the state in the north that are growing fastest. I think it was the Swift Boat adds that killed Kerry in VA, a state with a lot of veterans.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 5, 2004 01:19 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I definitely think VA is Kerry's best shot at winning a "true" Southern state. I'd love to see Kerry's campaign really fight for it, as it could be won.

FL is part of the South, yes, but few Southerners regard this geographically most Southern state as truly "Southern." It's in a class by itself. Speaking of FL, the hurricanes have really muddled the picture down there even more than usual. Still, I like Kerry's chances in the Sunshine State. It's going to be close, but I think the playing field is more to his advantage in FL than say, in OH.

Posted by: Pepe at October 5, 2004 01:33 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I agree that FL isn't much like the rest of the South. I've been to Miami, and it's a lot more like being in New York or Philadelphia, than being in some southern City like Biringham, AL.

It's really northern FL that's culturally part of the South. The rest of the state has so many transplanted NorthEasterners and immigrants, that it's a lot more culturally like the Northeast than deep South. Which is why Kerry actually has a chance of winning FL.

Posted by: Rock_nj at October 5, 2004 01:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Exactly, Rock. Northern FL is really an extension of southern GA and AL. I have a friend in Jacksonville who refers to that city as the "Belt Buckle of the Bible Belt." But once you get out of the Panhandle and south of Jacksonville, you're in the Northeast, Midwest, Central America, and Caribbean! It's a true anomaly, and that's what makes a Kerry win possible in this state.

Posted by: Pepe at October 5, 2004 02:03 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

I was in VA and helped register voters. I think it is still in play. It looks to me like the campaign has made the Republicans expend effort on traditionally red "safe" states, but really never tried to focus on more than the states that regularly swing. However, every election VA votes red by a slimmer majority. Same thing with NC. This follows a general trend. As people move South, the southern states get more votes and become more moderate. The trouble is these populations are concentrated. These are also states where people obviously don't vote party-line (NC's state government is predominantly Democratic). I'm a little miffed the campaign can't/doesn't go after more states that are "hard".

Posted by: Andrew C. Oliver at October 18, 2004 10:10 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Hey, I am Saad and I live in Fairfax County, VA. You have to realize that VA has two distinctive political regions: Northern Virginia and everything else. Northern VA is RICH, we are the richest county in the nation and it is growing at an insane rate. Fairfax County has a populations that exceeds that of seven states! We are extremely diverse, and we are a place where minorities are peosperous and racism is at very low level. Up here we are extremely liberal (guess where do they get the majority of people on the National Mall in D.C. for pro-abortion and gay-rights protest?, not to mention our huge gay popultaion either), you would probabbly think you are in a Boston or NY or someother big liberal city's suburb. However, eventhough we are growing rapdily we are still out-numbered by the southerners who are REALLY conservative. Even N. VA is like 50-50, and we account for only 1/3 of the total votes and a strong support of GOP in the south makes it very hard for VA to go Democrats however things are changing. The population of N. Va is dramatically going up while south is losing some, so I think Democrats will eventually have VA but you will have to wait for a while. And all of you keep saying that N. Va is in south......trust me, we are so NOT South. You guyz should come here sometime and you will realize how un-southern we are. N. Va is really NOT Virginia :)

Posted by: Saad at October 27, 2004 09:28 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Well, I have been to Northern VA, which is not VA! It's like North Carolina's Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill), which is not North Carlolina, for the same reasons you describe within your state.

Posted by: pepe at October 27, 2004 10:52 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment