Election Day is less than a week away, and you’d be hard-pressed to find any person in either party willing to bet that Virginia Democrats will have a majority in the State Senate after Tuesday. With projections anywhere between 1 to 4 seats gained for Republicans, the Democrats have been dealing with headwinds against their attempts at momentum for months now. However, in the past week, things have taken a considerable turn and we’re beginning to get a sense of just how desperate Virginia Democrats are.
– Tolling I-66 to the tune of $17 per trip has spiked Republicans’ popularity and united their messaging, with McAuliffe’s administration blindsiding Democratic candidates and leaving them scrambling to respond. McAuliffe’s links to $17 tolling likely hurts every appearance he makes for candidates to close the election.
– Last week, the same three judge panel who ruled that the Democrat-created 3rd Congressional District was unconstitutional rejected the same argument for the House of Delegates, squashing Dem hopes of a presidential-year Hail Mary to recapture the General Assembly.
– Governor Terry McAuliffe goes unhinged in a radio interview yesterday, lashing out at the Republican boogey-men and calling soon-to-be State Senator Hal Parrish a ‘liar’ and demanding voters send him people to work with.
– Yesterday, Andy Parker, new face of the gun-control movement in Virginia after Roanoke’s tragic events, takes to State Senator Bill Stanley’s Facebook to threaten and harass him, including: “I’m going to be your worst nightmare you little bastard.” and “You’re the only person I know that would try to turn me into a threatening bad guy. I love it.” Stanley contacts authorities as a precautionary measure. (admittedly, I personally don’t think it was a threat so much as buffoonery, but it was still incredibly dumb to send to a sitting elected official.)
– This week, Virginia Dems announce their statewide stumping tour for this weekend, featuring McAuliffe, and Senator Mark Warner, including stops in Northern Virginia (21st) and Southwest Virginia (29th). However, in must-win Hampton Roads (7th), long-shot and stolen-valor candidate Gary McCollum was reduced to a Get Out the Vote rally out of his district, and was lumped in with Lynnwood Lewis, pulling campaign staff, candidates and workers out of the district for a political rally.
– McAuliffe’s personal attacks on Hal Parrish leads retiring Democrat State Senator Chuck Colgan’s entire family to endorse Hal Parrish. Democrat and outside group attacks on Hal Parrish leads Manassas Park’s mayor, who previously committed to staying neutral, to endorse Parrish.
Looking at the State Senate map, many are calling Parrish’s and Glen Sturtevant’s races the two that will decide the State Senate. However, with Democrats defending a tough race in the 21st (Ralph Smith, last remaining Democrat in Southwest Virginia), and with the State Senate hanging in the balance, saddled with an unpopular governor, it’s hard to see a path to majority for Democrats in Virginia. Combined with the historic television ratings and attention to the GOP presidential candidacies while Democrats deal with a boring, months-long coronation, momentum remains with Republicans. The question as this point is how large of a majority Virginia Republicans emerge with.