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VA-11 Outlook: No Surprise, And He’s Probably Right

The WaPo’s Chris Cillizza ranks Virginia’s 11th District as one of the Congressional seats most likely to change parties this year:

2. Virginia’s 11th (Open seat, R): In the days leading up to the June 10 Democratic primary between Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly and former Rep. Leslie Byrne, there was a real sense that Byrne had the momentum to pull off the upset. Um, no. Connolly, a hard-nosed but effective pol, demolished Byrne — winning 58 percent to her 33 percent. Connolly’s impressive showing and his high profile in the most populous part of the district make him a formidable force in the fall. Republicans are optimistic about businessman Keith Fimian, who had $768,000 in the bank as of May 21, but Connolly is a solid favorite (Previous ranking: 3)

There really isn’t any reason to argue against Cillizza’s conclusion here, all you need to do is look at numbers.

In 2004, Bush/Cheney won Virginia 53.68% to 45.48%, with 252,217 separating Bush/Cheney and Kerry/Edwards. In the 11th District, Bush Cheney barely won the 11th District, grabbing 49.92% (161,104 votes) to Kerry/Edwards’ 49.29% (159,055 votes).

In 2005, the Democratic candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General all won the 11th District by a comfortable margin.

In 2006, Jim Webb beat George Allen in the 11th District by more than 24,000 votes, in a year when Tom Davis won re-election by over 30,000 votes — which indicates a sizeable portion of Davis’s voters also voted for Webb that year instead of George Allen.

And, well, we know what happened in 2007.

If this were any other year, and if the Republican Party were in much, much better shape than they are right now, then there might be a chance of holding on to Davis’s seat in November. As things stand right now, though, it’s looking as though the 11th District, which started it’s life out in Democratic hands in 1992, will turn blue once again in 2008.

One Response to “VA-11 Outlook: No Surprise, And He’s Probably Right”

  1. [...] as I noted back in June: In 2004, Bush/Cheney won Virginia 53.68% to 45.48%, with 252,217 separating Bush/Cheney and [...]

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