Virginia: Mark Warner for Governor?

Superstitions are alive and well in politics. Case in point is the story in Saturday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, ” ‘Curse’ is silver lining for GOP?” It goes on to say that gubernatorial races in Virginia are traditionally won by the opposite party that holds the White House.

Since Barack Obama just won reelection, theory would have that Republicans will win the governor’s race in 2013.

We saw how well that worked with the Washington Redskins ‘curse.’ Supposedly, if the Redskins lose their last game before the election, the party in office will lose at the polls. Didn’t work during the Bush years, and it didn’t work Tuesday.

So much for superstitions.

If the Democrats really wanted to hold onto control of the Governor’s office in Virginia, they would run Mark Warner so fast it would make your head spin. In my opinion, that’s a guaranteed win no matter what Republican goes up against him.

Terry McAuliffe has been waiting in the wings after losing the nomination in 2009 to Creigh Deeds who went on to lose to Bob McDonnell. In an email on Thursday, McAuliffe reemphasized that he planned to run for Governor.

Meanwhile, Mark Warner has said he will announce by Thanksgiving if he is going to run for Governor.

In May, I wrote about the possibility of a Warner run at the position:

It could be the game changer that Virginia Republicans don’t want to see if former Democratic Governor Mark Warner throws his hat in the 2013 race.

It’s no secret that Warner, charismatic and popular like former Republican Governor George Allen, is not entirely comfortable in Congress. That could be for a couple of reasons.

One, he likes to mix it up with people … get out in public and participate and be visible and interact. The stifling atmosphere in Washington is way different than being CEO of the Commonwealth.

Two, if he has higher political ambitions like, say, President of the United States, he has a better platform to springboard from Richmond than in DC. Track records of Presidents show that most have previously served as governors with that executive experience; those running while in the Senate had less of a chance to win. It may not be a big factor for Warner but it’s still there.

With two Republicans, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling and Atty. General Ken Cuccinelli, set to run for the Republican nomination, the question becomes, “Who could better go up against Warner?”

A Public Policy Polling survey on Thursday had some scenarios about a possible Warner-Bolling / Warner-Cuccinelli match-up. According to their poll, even though Cuccinelli would win over Bolling in a head-to-head contest, the stronger of the two to go up against Warner would be Bolling and, indeed, Bolling would win with other Democratic candidates.

Reporter Steve Contorno at The Washington Examiner writes:

Bolling would beat former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe 36 percent to 34 percent and former congressman Tom Perriello 35 percent to 34 percent. However, both McAuliffe and Periello edge out Cuccinelli.

Reporter Chris Graham at Augusta Free Press notes Warner’s continued popularity:

Warner’s strength continues to be his cross-party appeal. He has a 52 percent approval rating among all voters, with only 26 percent expressing disapproval, and he would take 13 percent of the Republican vote away from either of his possible GOP rivals.

Mark Warner has not expressed an interest in running for Governor but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had people in the background urging him to seek the nomination. Game changer? Stay tuned….

Update: Fishersville Mike has a humorous look at a possible Warner gubernatorial run … Help us, Obi-Warner Kanobi….

So is McAuliffe jumping the gun to try and cut Warner off at the pass? And is Warner seriously considering a run to once again head up Virginia? Stay tuned….

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