The Spectacle Blog

Virginia Aftermath

By on 11.8.07 | 7:51PM

Everyone has an explanation for the Virginia GOP losses on Tuesday. From the vantage point of Fairfax County I would urge the GOP to get a better script. In some ways it was a replay of 2005 when Jerry Kilgore made the death penalty a central issue. Yes, illegal immigration on a national level packs a punch but frankly the Democrats just did a better job on transportation, schools and other bread and butter issues that motivate most suburban voters in local and state elections. (And those excessive driving penalty fines to finance roads which the GOP legislature voted for didn't help either.) Two other points:1) Demographics are a killer. There just are a whole lot of government employees and more liberal professional types moving into Northern Virginia. These are not traditional GOP voters. 2) I am never squeamish about a good, hard political fight over issues but some of these races descended into nasty, pointless mud slinging. In the fiercely contested Jeannemarie Devolites Davis-Chap Petersen state senate race in my district the never ending stream of petty accusations and faux scandals (portrayed in TV ads and voluminous direct mail) ranged from comic to appalling. About half way through I suspect a lot of folks just tuned it all out. In the end I think it left voters thinking worse of both of them( who frankly weren't ideologically much different). I do think Republicans do better sticking to issues. To win tough races Republicans should give voters the sense it's about them and not the politicians' contrived squabbles.
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