Congressional and Ballot Measure Updates

Various Bearing Drift contributors and friends will be giving us a quick look at what’s happening beyond the presidential election on this last day of the election. Expect updates to this post!


Right to Work Constitutional Amendment
McAuliffe Flip Flops and Attacks Right to Work (D.J. Spiker)

Oh Terry. Bless your heart.

Three years after throwing a monkey wrench into Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign by supporting right-to-work, Governor Terry McAuliffe has shown his true colors, taping robocalls to voters and urging them to reject Tuesday’s Virginia’s constitutional amendment. This amendment would entrench Right-to-Work into the Virginia Constitution.

Read D.J.’s entire post.

Virginians should listen to election-year Terry McAuliffe – the one who said the Right to Work law helps us “grow businesses in Virginia.”  This is true, which is why it is so important that Virginians should ignore McAuliffe’s last minute flip-flop, vote for jobs, and vote YES on Amendment No. 1.


Virginia Beach – Light Rail (J.R. Hoeft)
No one really knows how much light rail is going to cost the Virginia taxpayers, let alone the taxpayers of Virginia Beach where this ballot measure is being held. Additionally, the construction of the system in Norfolk came in over-budget, not to mention that ridership on “The Tide” has been down since 2013. In this case, the pro-light rail folks really haven’t sold the deal. And they certainly haven’s sold it beyond Virginia Beach so that pressure could be applied to our state’s most populous city. It would be wholly unsurprising to see this measure fail.


1st District (Susan Sili)
Rob Wittman is the Republican running for his sixth term representing Virginia’s historic 1st District with a bit of a shift in the usual dynamics.

Wittman’s Democratic opponent has gotten some traction as the nice young man on the local town council in the county seat of Caroline County. Democrat Matt Rowe has received a fair amount of positive newspaper and social media coverage, the hook appearing to be his service as an elected official. However, a look at his actual voting record, if any undecideds care to do so, will show that he is solidly anti-business and was against allowing food stamp recipients to be able to make use of their EBT cards at local farmer’s markets.

For a candidate who entered the race explaining he just wanted to see what it was like to run for Congress, Rowe’s focus quickly shifted and he has traveled the 1st District weekly shoring up his base. Wittman, though, is always reaching out to his base and beyond. Wittman probably enjoys the most cross-over votes of any Virginia Congressional Candidate and that will help hold his numbers.

Wittman should again win the predominately Republican 1st District by a nice margin, with new Trump voters actually adding to his margin.


3rd District (Adam Perry)
It was suggested that Marty Williams not run for Congress – that he would be wasting precious financial resources that could be used to elect Republican candidates in other safe districts who would be able to raise money.   Many Republicans just wanted to give the seat away to Democrat Bobby Scott for nothing.

However, Williams said the people living in the new 3rd District deserved the opportunity to vote for a candidate they can respect who puts America first.  He wasn’t going to lay down and has led a new Republican movement in areas of our state that the party had been forgetting.

Sound familiar?

By campaigning as an authentic Trump Republican, Williams has forced Scott to attempt to publicly defend indefensible Democrat positions and his unwavering support for Hillary Clinton at a time when the polls show that Democrats are increasingly disappointed, disinterested and may well stay home.

Williams is an unorthodox candidate that has given people what they have been asking for at a time when Trump might catch lightning in a bottle: he is someone who is not a career politician, not controlled by special interests, and a genuinely nice person.

Marty may shock the world just like Trump.


4th District (J.R. Hoeft)
In the 4th District, Mike Wade has done everything that he possibly can to demonstrate why this district that was once reliably Republican should remain Republican following the redistricting fiasco. Because of redistricting and a loss in the primary in the 2nd District, Rep. Randy Forbes, the once powerful chairman of the House Seapower Subcommittee, will be out of a job this January. Still respected, he’s been advising Donald Trump on how to build a 350-ship Navy.

Wade is a much different candidate than Forbes, but with equally strong conservative convictions. With experience working and rehabilitating people on an individual level, this public servant isn’t about grand policies; he’s more about helping the individual achieve success through smart and rational initiatives. To him, it’s about helping the individual achieve personal success, which will become personal responsibility. With that, the rest of it somewhat takes care of itself.

State Sen. Don McEachin is a man of entitlement and little grace. He skipped the one forum in Hampton Roads where residents could know who this Richmonder is; he was afraid that he was going to be recorded. Aloof and out of touch, McEachin acts as if he’s entitled to the seat. Is that how minority-majority districts are supposed to work?

Wade is practical and should be rewarded with the opportunity to serve – something he has demonstrated to people regardless of race for decades.


Fifth District (Rob Schilling)
For those inclined to support Democrat Jane Dittmar in Virginia’s fifth congressional district, please consider:

Jane Dittmar is not the moderate politician that she portray herself to be. Like Tom Perriello before her, Democrat Dittmar is a political chameleon, whose situational campaign statements must be cross-checked for accuracy, consistency, and veracity.


7th District (Norman Leahy)
Barring the arrival of S.M.O.D. between now and election night, David Brat will win re-election in the 7th district over his Democratic challenger, Eileen Bedell.

The only real question is whether Brat will fare relative to the 60.8 percent of the vote he earned in 2014. In presidential election years, Henrico County has trended strongly toward the Democratic presidential nominee. If the trend continues this year, it might cut into Brat’s margin, though he is still very likely to poll ahead of Donald Trump in the district, as the previous incumbent, Eric Cantor did in previous presidential election years.

Otherwise, there will be no surprises in this race.

That may have to wait until 2017, when Brat could run for the GOP nomination in the special election contest to fill Tim Kaine’s Senate seat.


10th District (Brian Schoeneman)
In the 10th District, a glut of late money has been dumped into paid advertising on both sides of the race. Ads from groups supporting LuAnn Bennett have been desperately trying to attack Barbara Comstock and tie her to Donald Trump in the district. Comstock has responded with positive issue ads, and has let third party outside groups like the NRCC respond with negative ads about Bennett.

On the ground, Comstock’s superior ground game has continued, and she is well on her way to completing her 72 hour plan. Bennett, who is running on fumes in terms of cash-on-hand, will be relying almost totally on the Clinton campaign to handle the basic GOTV, knock-and-drag and final election day operations, while Comstock has the ability to handle all of those herself with limited support from a dysfunctional Trump ground team.

Despite Comstock’s strong efforts, this race is likely to be the closest in the 10th District in nearly 40 years. That being said, Comstock is still expected to be relected.

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