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A Potentially Bad Sign For Virginia Republicans

With all signs indicating that Virginia could very well go for a Democratic candidate for President for the first time since 1964, and the Virginia Senate race essentially over, the Washington Post’s Tim Craig reports on what may be signs that Virginia Republicans will have even more problems next year:

One year before voters go to the polls to elect a new governor, Virginia Democrats appear well positioned to stay in power and continue their winning streak in major state races, according to a new Washington Post poll.

In one of the first surveys to explore the 2009 political landscape, Democrats have a 17-point advantage when voters are asked which party they want to win the governor’s race.

The question, included in a Washington Post Poll on the presidential race published Monday, highlights the challenges facing Republicans as more Virginia voters identify themselves as Democrats and independents.

Of registered voters, 48 percent prefer a Democratic governor vs. 31 percent who want a Republican.

According to the survey, a generic Democratic gubernatorial nominee starts the year with the same coalition of support that led to the election as governor of Mark R. Warner (D) in 2001 and Timothy M. Kaine (D) in 2005.

The survey, which shows voters in Northern Virginia favoring Democrats by 57 percent to 25 percent, sets the stage for another hard-fought political contest in the Old Dominion next year.

While this should necessarily be seen as an indication of how Bob McDonnell might do against whomever the Democratic nominee might be, the fact that Virginia voters, and specifically those in voter-rich Northern Virginia, are already pre-disposed to a Democratic candidate would seem to indicate that McDonnell will have an uphill battle ahead of him.

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