(Because of a technical malfunction that crashed this site on April 4, and took down every post and comment after March 14, the following has been re-posted. It was originally written March 25, 2008.)   It was so obvious, your humble admin thought he had it covered. No matter how many times I looked over last night's winners and losers before I hit the "publish" button, no one popped out at me as unmentioned. Doh!

Thanks to an alert reader who e-mailed me directly, I realize now that I left out the most obvious winner. But c'mon! If presidential candidates can blame fatigue on misspeaking, don't I get a weary-eye break after putting in an 11-hour day?

So, without further adieu, yesterday's biggest winner is, of course, Attorney General Bob McDonnell. Determined from the get-go to run for governor, even if former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen had entered the fray, he has the nomination field clear to himself. Not only does he avoid the hassle of a nominating contest (unlike the Dems, he and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling can raise money solely for the general election), he will have the strength of a ticket consisting of two candidates who have won statewide before and the voter recognition and approval that goes with that.

But it goes beyond that. It's not just that he will have a unified party, it's that he will have legions of energized conservatives willingly working hard for the entire ticket, unlike the disjointedness of previous campaigns. Throw into the mix that the two genuinely like each other, the ticket will have an uncommon chemistry of compatibility, both personally and philosophically.

McDonnell-Bolling starts off as clear front-runners in 2009. Which leads us to an equally obvious loser:

Virginia Democrats. 2009, right now, looks like the year the GOP reverses the Democrats' winning streak. The Dems could lose all three statewide offices as well as House seats.