Old Dominion

Polls Show Virginia GOP Within Distance Of Sweeping Four Targeted House Seats

In 1994, a year after George Allen led a historic landslide Republican victory in the Old Dominion, Virginia was, for the most part, left out of the national limelight in the even more historic national Republican wave that won the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate for the first time in more than 40years. Oliver North lost a hotly contested Senate race to Chuck Robb and the GOP picked up only one House seat (the 11th, Tom Davis) while Republicans were winning in all corners of America. Was reason given by pundits at the time was that Virginians had gotten the protest out of their system in 1993. This year, following last year's more-impressive-than-1993 Bob McDonnell-led-landslide, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins has been fond of saying that to take back the House, the GOP needs to gain 40 seats; 10 percent of that is here in Virginia. Now, as Jim Geraghty of National Review's Campaign Spot blog writes today, polling information shows those victories may be within reach: Three Republican challengers in those four targeted districts are leading their Democrat incumbent rivals, with a fourth closing fast. Here's the breakdown:

» In the 2nd Congressional District, Republican Scott Rigell leads Democrat Glenn Nye, 48.6 to 34.5 percent.

» In the 5th District, Republican Robert Hurt leads Democrat Tom Perriello, 51.1 to 34.7 percent.

» In the 11th District, Republican Keith Fimian leads Democrat Gerry Connolly, 42.2 percent to 36.7 percent.

» In the 9th District, Republican challenger Morgan Griffith is down to Democrat Rick Boucher only 42.6 to 39.7 percent. However, one poll had Boucher up by 20 points about a month back, then by only 8 points a couple of weeks ago. The recent fallout over Mr. Boucher buying a brand new Ford with campaign funds while Virginians in the Southwest part of the state are suffering particularly hard during this recession could easily factor into a quickly narrowing gap.

The rest of the respondents in each poll were undecided. Tellingly, though, the poll, conducted by ccAdvdertising, does not include independents or third parties. Although not a top tier polling outfit, the snapshot does provide a glimpse of what directions the campaigns are going and who has momentum.

Not all landslides are the same and electorates can swing back from whence they came in a very short time. But this year, Virginia Democrats have much going against them, much more so than in 1994. Many of the circumstances that drove people to the polls and to the GOP in Virginia and in blue New Jersey (and deep blue Massachusetts in January) last year are still around: Primarily, as in the case of Congressman Boucher, this:

This love is going to last, but that might not be a good thing.

And this:

He's doing fine, representing liberal special interests rather then his constituents.

Winning Matters Winners (And Still More Work To Do)

In October, we announced an online contest to reward the person who distributed the most voter guides prior to the election. We also announced a drawing for all who participated in our online contest. Congratulations to Donna Moore, our contest winner, who distributed nearly 10,000 voter guides to churches and various groups in the Fredericksburg area. Donna is a member of the Rappahannock Family Forum and has been actively engaged in making a difference in that region for years. We will send Donna a beautiful framed photograph of the state capitol.

Also, congratulations to Tony Armstrong of Newport News, who won the overall drawing. He will receive an autographed copy of the book From Hope to Higher Ground by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

We offer our sincere thanks to all who distributed voter guides during the past campaign. With your help, we placed nearly 900,000 voter guides in churches and with civic groups throughout The Old Dominion! This is by far our largest voter guide distribution effort and we believe our voter guides had a big impact on the election. CNN exit polls reported that 34 percent of those who voted were born again/evangelicals, 83 percent of whom voted for the winning candidates. That is the highest percentage of voting for that demographic since CNN began exit polling in Virginia, giving the winning ticket nearly 50 percent of their votes.

This does not take into account our many African-American friends, such as new Pastors For Family Values Chaplain, Bishop Earl Jackson. We also published our first voter guide in Spanish and received much positive response from pastors in the Hispanic community. But . . . there is still work to do!

Please continue to keep our Winning Matters efforts in your prayers. There are at least two special elections to fill vacant Senate seats (to replace Attorney General-elect Ken Cuccinelli and Virginia Beach Sheriff-elect Ken Stolle) and maybe more as Governor-elect Bob McDonnell selects his cabinet appointees. We will be "on the job" and "on the ground" with our Winning Matters team, covering these elections, motivating and educating voters to make an informed choice at the ballot box.

Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Conference September 22-23 In Colonial Williamsburg

The Family Foundation of Virginia and the Family Research Council will host a regional "Watchmen on the Wall" Pastors Conference, this one in Williamsburg on September 22 and 23. It is one of the most exciting events with which The Family Foundation has ever been involved and, as of now, more than 160 Virginia pastors have registered. Interested pastors may register for this complimentary issues briefing by calling 1-800-225-4008 or by logging on to watchmenevents.org by clicking here. For additional information and a lineup of speakers, click here and see below.

The "Watchmen on the Wall" Pastors Conference will educate, encourage and motivate pastors to take their rightful place in the cultural debate. Confirmed speakers include FRC President Tony Perkins, Attorney General Bob McDonnellRev. Jonathan Falwell, Bishop Harry Jackson and Pastors For Family Values Chief Servant Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, among others. Those who have heard Bishop Glenn know that he alone makes it worth the time to attend. His presentations leave people incredibly challenged and blessed.

The conference will begin with an optional Spiritual Heritage Tour of Colonial Williamsburg, led by Stephen McDowell of the Providence Foundation, Monday evening, September 22. This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear the true history of one of our commonwealth's most historical sights and the birthplace of Virginia and American government.

The program on Tuesday, September 23 will feature a number of exciting speakers, opportunities to connect with other pastors and ministers from around Virginia, informative sessions on issues currently facing the church and the commonwealth, and information about the constitutional freedoms of pastors. It will take place at the Williamsburg Marriott. We and our sister organization, Pastors For Family Values, as well as FRC, look forward to meeting and getting to know scores of pastors of all denominations from around the Old Dominion next week.

We Had It First: An Introduction To Governor Sarah Palin

As just about the whole world knows right now, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the Republican nominee-to-be for president, has chosen Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his vice presidential running mate. Many in Virginia and across America may be scrambling to learn all they can about the woman who may sit one day one heartbeat away from the presidency. Initial reaction has been very positive.

But she may not be too big a mystery to many in the Old Dominion — at least the thousands who smartly read familyfoundation.org (making us one of the most read political blogs in the commonwealth). That's because we may have been the first Virginia blog to tell you about her in some detail (or at least about her deeply personal pro-life, and insightful, story). On May 22, we posted Would You Kill This Child? (click here) about Governor Palin's decision to keep her fifth child, Trig, despite the pre-natal diagnosis of his Down Syndrome. We cited her profound, and deeply held, pro-life principles. 

A subsequent investigation finds that her high school yearbook quote was:

He is the Light, and in the Light there is Life.  

If you didn't read it, are new to our blog or want to read it again, we encourage you to take a look. We congratulate Governor Palin on this high honor and Senator McCain for a choice who will be a determined fighter and eloquent advocate for the sanctity of innocent, unborn life.