Purple Is Trending Red in Virginia

by Sal on October 11, 2009

in Election 2009,Politics

Virginia has been described in recent years as a purple state trending blue.  In the last decade, the state has trended left in its statewide offices.  By 2008, the Governorship and both Senate seats had been lost to the Democrats in what had been at one time a reliable Red state.  The 2008 Presidential election also marked the first time that Virginia cast its electoral votes for a Democrat since 1964.  Yet the gubernatorial election coming up in a few short weeks shows signs that Virginia is again trending red.  Unlike New Jersey, where the upcoming election is too close to call with a weak Republican candidate, Virginia looks to be the GOP’s to lose.

A Mason-Dixon poll released today (the most accurate of state polling firms) has the Republican Bob McDonnell up over Democrat Creigh Deeds by a margin of 48-40 (H/T: Patriot Room).  While still possible for Deeds to catch up (there are 12% undecided) the trend is definitely Republican.  Says Mason-Dixon:

The poll suggests that McDonnell is heading into the final three weeks of the race largely unscathed from Deeds’ continuing focus on McDonnell’s controversial 1989 law-school thesis. Further, the poll depicts an electorate, perhaps because of continuing economic anxiety and contentious policy debates in Washington and Richmond, cooling to the dominant Democratic establishment.

If the Republicans are going to regain their foothold in government, they first need to take back states like Virginia and North Carolina, states in which they ceded ground to the Democrats in recent years.  While it would be nice for New Jersey to elect a Republican Governor (especially for those who, like my co-blogger Ryan, live there), New Jersey is somewhat of a lost cause, and it will take a lot to swing that state back to purple, let alone red (Sorry Ryan, but at least you don’t live in Massachusetts).  Virginia is more important, as I can’t see a likely future GOP Presidential victory without carrying the Commonwealth.  McConnell still needs to close it out, but it’s looking good.

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