election

Virginia News Stand: November 2, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Election Eve Edition

Will tomorrow be the dream come true for exiled Virginia Republicans? Or will the vaunted Democrat machine of Obama, Warner & Kaine pull a dramatic upset? The Mason-Dixon Poll, the Gold Standard of Virginia political polls, has always called the winners, usually with remarkable accuracy. In 2006, it called it for Jim Webb by one percent. Yesterday's results, in the Times-Dispatch, have it 53-41 for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. It also has his running mates, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, and attorney general candidate Senator Ken Cuccinelli, up by double digits. 

What of the House of Delegates? Only months ago, Democrats were hopeful of a takeover. Now, projections run anywhere from a two to 12 seat gain for the GOP (see the Washington Times below). Expect at least one shocker. Maybe two. Today, of course, the News Stand (even the National and Commentary sections) is all about  the election.

News:

McDonnell extends advantage in Times-Dispatch poll (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

3 Points in 3 Months: VA Gov Contest Polling Ends Just About Where It Began, with GOP Sweep of VA Races (SurveyUSA.com)

McDonnell maintains large lead (PublicPolicyPolling.com)

Republicans Unleash "McBollinelli" (WTVR.com/WTVR-TV)

Virginia candidates step up efforts in waning hours (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Now it's a sprint to Tuesday (The Daily Press)

Virginia governor candidates hold last-minute rallies (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell, Deeds push key campaign themes as race nears end (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Welcome to work, governor. It's time to slash the budget. (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell and Deeds mostly mum on how to fund their ideas (Washington Post)

Virginia Republicans expect to make gains (Washington Times)

Republicans hope to gain House seats (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Palin records calls urging Virginians to vote (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

LU hoping for strong voter turnout on Tuesday (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National:

A few elections, a few clues about our politics (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Scorn for property taxes drives NJ governor's race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Third party challenges in NJ, NY are warning sign (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Limbaugh says Obama 'in over his head' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary:

Republican Leaders Seeing the Light and Going Conservative? (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Election Eve Event: Capitol Commission's Capitol Prayer Walk

“…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again, he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” James 5:16b-18

When God hears the prayers of His children, He listens and grants such petitions as befits His plan. If we desire to have government that works in its proper God given role of promoting good a culture of life and Godly values, then we must do more than be active and vote. As His children, we must pray.

This is why The Family Foundation is pleased to support Capitol Commission, under the leadership of Virginia State Director David Andersen, in its upcoming election eve Capitol Square Cookout and Prayer Walk, Monday, November 2 (download flyer, here).

Here are the details:

» Virginia Capitol Cookout and Pre-Election Capitol Square Prayer Walk

» At Old City Hall, 1001 East Broad Street, Richmond, directly North of the capitol, across Darden Mall

» Monday, November 2, 5:00-7:30 p.m.

» Catered by Brock’s Bar-B-Que

» Featured Speaker: Fourth District U.S. Congressman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) 

» Preview Rep. Forbes' remarks by viewing one of the most watched Congressional speeches ever (click here)!

» RSVP at (804) 784-3903 or e-mail david.andersen@capitolcom.org by October 26 

The Capitol Commission's motto is Reaching Our Leaders One Heart at a Time. We hope you can attend this special event and help with that mission. Your support of Capitol Commission will be greatly appreciated and, more importantly, your prayers can bring Heaven’s reign to the public square.

Post Poll: Who Is Bob McDonnell And Why Is He Winning?

The Washington Post poll on the statewide races is out this afternoon, showing the three Republican candidates with rather commanding leads just a few weeks before election day. I'll leave the chest pumping and panicked spinning to the campaigns. But as someone who is fascinated by the media and rather enjoys the give-and-take we have with some of our friends in the capitol press corps, the Post article really fascinates me.

There is not a single line in the entire article about why Bob McDonnell is winning. The entire article is about why Democrat Creigh Deeds is losing . . . amazing. It's like they are stunned and just can't write from the perspective of a Republican leading. The article goes so far as to include yet another quote from somebody who won't vote for McDonnell because of "the thesis." It's as if they think if they yell it a little louder people will care. Let it go. 

Anyway, I'm not one to bash the media in Virginia who follow the campaigns and the General Assembly. Honestly, I think most of them are very good journalists who have a very challenging job. Cynical, some are no doubt. Bias? Probably, at times. But overall, compared to the national media types I've dealt with, they're a good group. 

It really is too bad about the Post, though. Their reporters are incredibly smart and they do good journalism at times. But when Terry McAuliffe is calling them out for carrying water for Creigh Deeds, it's more than just sour grapes.

It's the truth.

Social Extremists

Well, that didn't take long. Just a few days after yet another poll shows him lagging behind Republican candidate for Governor Bob McDonnell, Democrat Creigh Deeds went on the offensive on social issue (Washington Post) this weekend in an effort to motivate wake up reassure his base (so much for social issues being a distraction from the "important" issues like the economy and jobs).

Anyway, the label tossing has begun, with each side using the word "extreme" almost as much as Obama uses the word Czar (well, maybe not that much). It is always useful, though not very common, to do a little compare/contrast when talking about "extreme" positions on issues like abortion. So, as the Post article touts Deeds' opposition to the ban on partial birth abortion and parental consent laws, let's reflect way back to 2003 when those bills passed the General Assembly in overwhelming numbers (enough to override then-Gov. Mark Warner's killer amendments). It is interesting to see what other abortion "extremists" joined then-Delegate Bob McDonnell (and 105 other members of the GA on Partial Birth and 99 other members of the GA on parental consent) in support of these "extreme" measures:

Senator Russ Potts (R) (D) (I) Senator John Chichester (R) (D) (?) Senator Chuck Colgan (D) (now chair of Senate Finance Committee) Senator Edd Houck (D) (now chair of Senate Ed and Health Committee) Senator Phil Puckett (D) Delegate Ward Armstrong (House Democrat minority leader)

Oh, and the partial birth ban was supported by none other than former Democrat candidate for governor Brian Moran. That's just to name a few.

Now there's a line up of right wing extremists if I've ever seen one.

If Value Voters Vote

Today in Washington, D.C., there is a meeting of the vast right wing conspiracy. Big surprise, The Family Foundation is in the midst. Although the left might prefer we were the only ones in the room, we are not. The Values Voter Summit hosted by the Family Research Council Action has drawn more than 2,000 people to the historic Washington Hilton. Speaking to this energized crowd is quite a line up of thinkers and doers including CNN host Lou Dobbs, Joe Gibbs, Newt Gingrich, Michael Medved, Stephen Baldwin, Alveda King, Michael Steele, Star Parker, Dr. Bill Bennett, Laura Ingram, Ben Stein, Chuck Colson and many more. 

Casual conversations with folks indicate that they really wish Governor Sarah Palin was joining us but they respect the fact that she is in Alaska deploying her son and since she just drew 23,000 people in Farfax this week, they'll cut her some slack. Michael Steele told us what he has told the media this past week, "I know Sarah Palin and you don't want to mess with Sarah Palin. She shoots moose, what do you think she is going to do to a donkey?" 

The leadership of all of the family policy councils around the country have been here much of the week pow-wowing about marriage amendments on the ballots in Ariz., Calif., and Fla., and much more. A smaller segment of the group is discussing not just issues, but tactics. In particular, a conclusion has been reached by those of us that aren't 50+ year old white men (no offense to those that are) that our movement has not yet grabbed the tools and terminology needed to reach the ever important 18-29 year old voting block. While we don't have all the solutions, I've heard that the first step is acknolwledging the problem. 

Lou Dobbs encouraged conservatives in the room to diversity our issues. Although his comments were aimed at the fiscal issues, closed door meetings have discussed not allowing the left to claim the issues of poverty and social justice. Indeed the greatest efforts toward giving every citizen a shot at the American dream are those that go straight to the root problem — solutions that secure and stablize a nuclear family. A bunch of brainiacs shared some embargoed research with a small group of us yesterday and it continues to be clear that if we want men, women and children to succeed in any way (financial, education, etc.), we must stop the out of wedlock births, cohabitation and divorce. If we want our young men to grow up and not end up on the street or in our prison system, they need their dads! That's not a moral opinion, its a social science fact. Clearly, we need to be a part of making sure we love our neighbor by making sure they know where their next meal comes from, but working to solve poverty runs so much deeper than a bunch of government programs. 

Interestingly, Dobbs acknowledged that FRC President Tony Perkins has been instrumental in his "conversation" to believing that values voters matter and need to have a voice in the public square. Dobbs hasn't always believed that way and said he was used to pursuading people to his point of view, but Tony turned the tables on him.

One thing is for sure, the energy level among values voters has received a monumental shot of adreneline with Sarah Palin joining the Republican ticket. These people are ready to go home across the nation and go to work. That impact will no doubt be felt election day.

   

Republican Moral Divide

A quick look at Barak Obama's campaign web site finds several references to faith and values. Unfortnately, there doesn't appear to be any such reference on John McCain's site.  This, while a new Gallop poll indicates that Republican voters are growing more concerned over the state of the nation's moral values. In just two years, the percent of registered Republicans who said the moral condition of American is "poor" has risen by 15 points. Today, 51 percent of the GOP is frustrated with the nation's moral climate, compared to 36 percent two years ago.

So, Republican voters appear to be more concerned about traditional values — not less. As such, these voters are more likely to seek out candidates who they believe share their concerns. Apparently, McCain and his advisors still don't get it.

And its not just Republican voters with concerns. Since 2002, Republicans, Democrats and Independents have grown more pessimistic about the nation's moral direction. In fact, 81 percent believe the nation's moral state is "getting worse."

So, in that context, how smart is it for McCain and other Republicans to avoid talking about moral issues? While their campaign consultants may convince candidates to avoid all talk about marriage and abortion, that appears to be exactly what the voters (and activists) want them talking about. 

Don't get me wrong. Candidates can't talk only about moral issues. They have to address rising gas prices, the economy, Iraq, terrorism, etc. But they can't completely avoid moral issues either.

The message to Republican candidates is clear — avoid these issues at your peril. Don't expect the activists and voters who got you into office to be energized if you refuse to even mention the issues they care about.