fightin' ninth

VA-9 Update: Griffith Edges Ahead In Latest SurveyUSA Poll; Independent Does Boucher's Dirty Work And Takes Free Ski Vacations?

Republican House candidate Morgan Griffith, the House of Delegates Majority Leader, continues to gain momentum Virginia's 9th congressional district race. Starting off 20 points down in its first poll a few months ago, the last News7/SurveyUSA poll released a week ago shows a change in the numbers between long-time incumbent Rick Boucher and Delegate Griffith (see SurveyUSA for analysis).

Just a few weeks ago, Boucher appeared to be cruising to another term with double-digit leads. Each subsequent poll showed Griffith making progress until he was within striking distance, and now, possibly poised to a major upset. According to the poll, the race is too close to call as independents have shifted their votes to Griffith, and Boucher's lead among women has evaporated.

Here is a look at the results (see WDBJ.com/News7 for more):

Morgan Griffith (R): 47 percent

Rick Boucher (D): 46 percent

Jeremiah Heaton (I): 4 pecent

Undecided: 3 percent

Margin of error: 4.1 percent

But there's more to the story. The independent, Mr. Heaton, isn't only a wild card, he's more like a wild man. In the most recent debate, he relentlessly attacked Griffith on personal matters, including his wife, while nary a complaint against the incumbent. That's particularly odd, since since elections are referendums on incumbents. But the out of left field attacks on Delegate Griffith's family were over the top. It led to much suspicion in the local media about not only why Mr. Heaton made the attacks, but who put him up to it (see Roanoke Times). Adding to the intrigue was Mr. Boucher's "good cop" approach, which was strange considering his perilous position in the polls. But why do the dirty work if a rapid dog is willing to do it for you? 

But it wouldn't be the Fightin' Ninth if not for still more controversy. The Washington Examiner's David Freddoso recently reported that Mr. Boucher, on top of buying a new Fordwith campaign cash (see Not Larry Sabato), he's been vacationing in plush Rocky Mountain ski resorts on lobbyists money. Seems Mr. Boucher has parlayed his sellout of the coal industry into some influence among the special interests, basically flaunting it in a district that is seeing some of the worst economic conditions in the country.

It's all a Winter Wonderland to Mr. Boucher who seems more and more out of touch with his constituents. Will he be out of a job late tonight?

Will it only snow . . . or completely avalanche on Rick Boucher and the Democrats tonight?

Poll: Griffith Pulls Even With Boucher In 9th Congressional District

Of the four Congressional races targeted by the Republican Party of Virginia this year, the one in the legendary "Fightin' Ninth" seemed the most difficult. Incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher has held the seat for 28 years and GOP challenger Morgan Griffith, the House of Delegates Majority Leader, got a late start in the campaign and wasn't nearly as well funded. But anyone who knows Delegate Griffith knows he's a tenacious worker and despite the pile of money spent against him by Mr. Boucher and outside left-wing interest groups such as NARAL, he has methodically made his way back into the race. Starting from 20 points down, to eight, then four and now . . . according to a poll by the National Republican Congressional Committee . . . it's even at 44 percent.

The poll was one of many House Republicans conducted to gauge which campaigns around the country are now in play for them. The field is expanding, where even long-time lefties such as Barney Frank and Jim Oberstar have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money this late into the game (a sign that even Dems don't want to go down with them). The news comes from Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post's The Fix blog, where he keeps readers up to date on races across the country. The question in the Commonwealth is whether Virginians in the great Southwest want to to spend years 29 and 30 with Rick Boucher (see YouTube).

While Life Is Tough In VA-9, Rick Boucher Buys New Car With Campaign Money!

This tone-deaf, out-of-touch, slap-in-the-face political elitism from Virginia's senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, Rick Boucher, who represents the Commonwealth's "Fightin' Ninth" district in the great southwest of our state . . .  from an alert reader via Red State's Moe Lane via Not Larry Sabato (this is what the experts call "viral"):

Via  . . . Not Larry Sabato, who cannot be happy about the fact that his fully-justified anger at seeing a 14 term Democratic Congressman use campaign finance money to buy himself a nice, new car is now showing up as yet another reason why to vote for Rick Boucher’s opponent Morgan Griffith, who is not using special-interest money to buy himself shiny new automobiles. I know this because I just called to check; and the sound of their laughter at the very thought . . .

PS: For extra giggles, Boucher sabotaged his own administration’s fiscal policies by buying a Ford. What, Government Motors wasn’t good enough for the Democrat? Didn’t the government buy that company for our own good?

PPS: Morgan is also campaigning on the idea of cutting Congress’s pay by 10%.

By the way, of the four races targeted in Virginia, this was probably rated the fourth. However, an in-the-know source told me yesterday, Griffith, the House of Delegates Majority Leader, is behind only by eight points, after starting down 20. The car purchase may be good for Mr. Boucher's comfortable rides, but my guess is that it's also good for another two-three points in the polls for Delegate Griffith.