Is The Balance Of Political Power In Arlington Actually Shifting?

Anyone who follows politics in Arlington County knows about the relative political earthquake that was triggered by John Vihstadt’s reelection to a full term as a member of the Arlington County Board. He’s the first non-Democrat elected to the board since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. Worse yet, from the perspective of the Democratic junta that’s run the county forever, he’s encouraged “rogue” Democrat board member Libby Garvey to stand up to them more often on issues of fiscal sanity.

From their perspective, and that of the Washington Post, this is disastrous, and of course, motivated by classism and racism. (‘Shocker.’, says the average VV reader.) If one white elephant can be killed, the whole herd that the current board majority, led by Chairman Jay Fisette,  shepherds could be in danger. It would seem that years of arrogance and condescension may come to bite Democrats even in deep-blue Arlington. But the real question is: Is this only the beginning of a larger shift in Arlington politics?

The other two members of the Democratic junta board majority, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, are both up for reelection in 2015, and going into Election Day a few weeks ago, they were worried. There was scuttlebutt that Hynes might not run for reelection if Vihstadt defeated Alan Howze, the same man he bested in the special election a few months ago to fill the board vacancy. Now that has come to pass, and Fisette and Hynes (over Tejada’s temper tantrum) have decided to give up on the vaunted streetcar project.

What happens this coming year? The rumor among the Arlington GOP is that Mike McMenamin may challenge Hynes or Tejada, and he garnered the best result of any Republican candidate for county board in Arlington in decades in 2007, so he would represent a great threat to either. Democratic activists have admitted to this author and others that they “don’t have a deep bench” if Hynes retires from the board. And not to put too fine a point on it, but Walter Tejada is not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, as evidenced by his intransigence in the face of rejection by Arlington voters on the streetcar. Will a second strong candidate be recruited to run alongside McMenamin? All the anti-junta alliance has to do is win one of the two races, and that person can form a governing majority with Garvey and Vihstadt, which would be a nightmare for the Dem establishment in Arlington. And if both Hynes and Tejada go down… batten down the hatches. It look to be an interesting year in Arlington politics, for the first time in a long time. And that’s a great thing.

Scott Jacobs’ Statement of Economic Interests Makes for Interesting Reading

Scott Jacobs, the Republican-turned-Independent candidate for Brentsville Dist. supervisor in Prince William County, has filed his Statement of Economic Interests as a candidate (see here and here). It appears that once again, just as his sloppy handling of a simple filing fee cost him the chance to compete for the GOP nomination, Mr. Jacobs put his incompetence on display once again with this filing (and perhaps revealed an intriguing issue with the county’s assessment system.)

While The Derecho has already delved into these statements and discovered some interesting things of his own (with one correction – it is the 12923 Fitzwater parcel that is not listed on the statements submitted by Jacobs), there are other things to pick apart here as well.

Let’s take a closer look –

13460 Nokesville Rd. LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
.89 acres of Vacant land
Zoned agricultural
Assessed for $3500 in 2014
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 3/5/2014 for $50,000

12814/16 Fitzwater Dr. Zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
1 home and 1 commercial building (formerly Nokesville Flowers) on .8679 acres
Purchased 10/14/2010 for $330,000 (I think it was a short sale)
Property was purchased and still is held under Scott and Kim Jacobs
Assessed in 2014 for $390,100

This property fronts the large undeveloped tract known as Hale Farm (owned by real estate investors since late 90’s, including Bob Sowder). The Hale property is a huge property along the railroad tracks that the owners want to develop with high density housing and a VRE station

Then things really become interesting in January 2012 when Scott was appointed by Wally Covington to the Prince William County Strategic Plan Committee. As a member of the committee, Jacobs received briefings on various future county plans functions including transportation – specifically VRE and transit.

After the Prince William Strategic Plan Committee transportation briefing in November 2012, Scott Jacobs purchased the following properties along the railroad tracks in Nokesville at the location of the proposed future Nokesville VRE:

12917 Fitzwater Dr. SFH on .5583 acres, Zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased 9/27/12 for $240,000
Property was bought by Scott and Kim Jacobs but sold for $330,000 to 7/30/14 to Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC, which made Scott and his wife $90,000 for the two years they held the property.
Assessed in 2014 for $234,500
Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC. Was formed 7/2/14
The registered agent is Nicholas Jacobs (Scott’s brother) but there could be multiple others in the LLC
Because the property is listed on Scott Jacob’s Schedule H-2 of his Statement of Economic Interests as one of his properties, that means Scott and/or his wife Kimberly are also partners in Fitzwater Dr. Acquisition LLC.

12523 Marsteller Dr. Vacant lot 1.0 acres, zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 11/1/2012 for $30,000
Assessed in 2014 for $22,200

12615 Marsteller Dr. Vacant lot 1.0 acres, zoned General Business LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased by Scott Jacobs 11/1/2012 for $30,000
Assessed in 2014 for $22,200

12923 Fitzwater SFH on .4851 acres, Zoned General Business NOT LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2
Purchased 8/1/2014 by Scott and Kim Jacobs for $270,000
Assessed in 2014 for $207,700
Scott has told people he is going to relocate his growing real estate business to this house.

All the Fitzwater lots would be in the section of Nokesville that Scott wants to develop and make walkable with shops and restaurants.
The Marsteller lots are alongside the railroad tracks where the Nokesville VRE would be built if it was put into the transportation plan.

Properties outside PWC:
120/230 Executive Center Parkway Fredericksburg, VA LISTED ON Scott Jacob’s Statement of Economic Interest H-2

With the exception of 12814/16 Fitzwater Dr. parcel, each of the properties Jacobs owns in Prince William county are assessed for lower than what he paid for them even though some of these parcels were purchased at times when the real estate market in the county was further depressed than it is today. Since the county assesses real estate every year and it bases values on the sale prices of nearby properties, why does Jacobs appear to be getting such a discount on his property taxes via the curiously lower assessment values?

So, in addition to “forgetting” to disclose his most recent property purchase made on Aug. 1 of this year on these filings made on Oct. 20, one has to wonder if Jacobs is getting some sort of preferential treatment (a “Friends and Family Discount”?) from the county on his property taxes thanks to their current assessment values vis-a-vis their actual purchase prices.

PWC-Loudoun Split Politically For First Time In Modern Era

I noticed something very interesting in last week’s election results. For the first time in at least 20 years, Prince William County and Loudoun County split in how they voted for the top of the ticket. While Ed Gillespie narrowly carried Loudoun County by about 0.5%, Mark Warner carried PWC by almost 3%. I have reviewed the top of the ticket for every statewide race in Virginia going all the way back to 1996 and this is the first instance of this occurring. As our friend “The Derecho” pointed out last week in his post-election summary, the approval of several high density developments in Prince William County by the Republican-dominated Board of Supervisors has ironically led the county to becoming more Democratic in its leanings. As he wrote:

It would be ironic however if the greatest source of campaign funds to several of our GOP Supervisors ultimately led to the loss of their seats as their districts become more dense and more blue.

I have been sounding the warning on this for years (and most recently predicted this outcome in June of this year.) I fear that we may have reached the tipping point now with this year’s election as PWC and Loudoun split. It doesn’t take rocket science to figure this out. Cities and the inner suburbs of many cities tend to vote Democratic. Just look at any map from the past 100 years or so. Why any political body controlled by Republicans would advance land use planning and other policies that would lead to their own political defeat is simply baffling. However, that is exactly what has been taking place in PWC for the past 15 years and has accelerated over the past five or so. More apartments, more townhouses, more condos only bring more Democratic voters.

For a review of the past several statewide elections that were at the top of the ticket and how PWC and Loudoun voted, see below. Given the trendlines, I would not be surprised to find this split becoming permanent.

2014:

Locality – LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
Ed W. Gillespie Republican 45,500 49.08%
Mark R. Warner Democrat 45,042 48.59%

Locality – PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
Ed W. Gillespie Republican 45,366 47.49%
Mark R. Warner Democrat 48,140 50.39%

2013:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
DEM Party Terry R. McAuliffe 44,369 49.55%
REP Party Ken T. Cuccinelli II 40,464 45.19%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidate Votes Percent
DEM Party Terry R. McAuliffe 50,441 51.94%
REP Party Ken T. Cuccinelli II 42,431 43.69%

2012:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Mitt Romney 75,292 47.03%
Barack Obama 82,479 51.53%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Mitt Romney 74,458 41.32%
Barack Obama 103,331 57.34%

2009:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell 39,996 61.04%
R. Creigh Deeds 25,430 38.81%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Robert F. “Bob” McDonnell 43,993 58.70%
R. Creigh Deeds 30,847 41.16%

2008:

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Barack Obama and Joe Biden 74,845 53.66%
John McCain and Sarah Palin 63,336 45.41%

COUNTY/CITY CANDIDATE VOTE VOTE%
PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Barack Obama and Joe Biden 93,435 57.51%
John McCain and Sarah Palin 67,621 41.62%

2006:
LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J H Webb Jr Democratic 40,381 50.07%
G F Allen Republican 39,249 48.67%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J H Webb Jr Democratic 44,503 50.51%
G F Allen Republican 42,409 48.13%

2005:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
T M Kaine Democratic 31,074 51.64%
J W Kilgore Republican 27,539 45.76%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
T M Kaine Democratic 33,364 49.95%
J W Kilgore Republican 32,178 48.17%

2004:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 60,382 55.69%
Kerry/Edwards Democratic 47,271 43.60%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 69,776 52.84%
Kerry/Edwards Democratic 61,271 46.40%

2002:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J W Warner Republican 40,196 82.67%
N B Spannaus Independent 4,490 9.23%
J G Hornberger Independent 3,530 7.26%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
J W Warner Republican 43,375 81.44%
N B Spannaus Independent 5,660 10.63%
J G Hornberger Independent 4,186 7.86%

2001:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
M L Earley (R) 53.44% 24,372
M R Warner (D) 45.84% 20,907

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
M L Earley (R) 52.35% 30,543
M R Warner (D) 46.79% 27,297

2000:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 42,453 56.12%
Gore/Lieberman Democrat 30,938 40.89%

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
Candidates Party Vote Totals: Percentage
Bush/Cheney Republican 52,788 52.52%
Gore/Lieberman Democrat 44,745 44.52%

1997:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
D S BEYER JR (D) 13,697
J S GILMORE III (R) 20,997

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
D S BEYER JR (D) 18,110
J S GILMORE III (R) 32,049

1996:

LOUDOUN COUNTY
CLINTON/GORE (D) 19,942
DOLE/KEMP (R) 25,715

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY
CLINTON/GORE (D) 33,462
DOLE/KEMP (R) 39,292

Virginia’s Winners and Losers

VV lists Virginia’s Winners and losers from Election Night. Did we miss someone? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below:

Winners:

1) Dave Brat – Out performed Eric Cantor last time out (percentage wise) and had more votes than any other Republican congressional candidate in the Commonwealth thanks in part to district but also not messing up a sure thing once he had the nomination.

2) Barbara Comstock – Turned a “competitive race” into a blowout. Ran a flawless campaign (good work, Susan Falconer!), weathered the Clintonites coming to town, handled national attention, focused on the issues, stayed positive. Is she the new leading light among Virginia Republicans?

3) Tim Kaine – Mark Warner’s wounded, Terry McAuliffe is Terry McAuliffe, Herring and Northam are runner ups right now, leaving Tim Kaine as the champion of Democratic statewide office. As Warner struggles, Kaine gains.

4) Virginia’s Republican Delegation – Part of this is the national wave, but Democrats were hoping to challenge Rigell and even Hurt yet neither of those opposition campaigns were able to get off the ground. Hopefully the Republican Reps took the opportunity to work on their networks and ground games for future runs because this was live exercise and 2016 will be different.

5) Ed Gillespie – Mark Warner spent millions trying to define him on an issue that most people don’t even remember. Ed’s within a point and well positioned to have run for another statewide office should he want it, even if he would face a challenge from his right.

6) Republican Party of Virginia – It’s been a rough couple of years for RPV. But a solid operation this year helped assist where it could and was absolutely mistake free. Candidates were helped, volunteers were utilized, operations were perfect.

Push:

1) Mark Warner – For the most popular and highest approval rated elected official to be this close to losing what should have been a safe seat (and without a macaca moment) is something Warner and his entire campaign should be ashamed of. It smacks of arrogance and a complete disregard for the people Warner supposedly represents. But he still won, so he stays out of the loser category.

2) GOP Grassroots vs. Establishment – Both sides came together for the most part to try and beat Mark Warner and help Brat win the 7th and Comstock with 10th. While the battle isn’t over, see what we can do when we work together?

3) Terry McAuliffe – Barely won last year, did nothing too audacious this year to rock the cart one way or another, he’s just there.

4) Ken Cuccinelli – Absent in Virginia. And after a string of primary losses for Senate Conservative Fund, absent across the nation. But lives to fight another day.

5) Bill Bolling – Also absent on the trail, but rooted for the right guys. Overall electorate showing was less than far right which may give Bill hope for a return, but tread carefully…

Losers:

1) John Foust – Turned a “competitive race” into a blowout. One of the worst run campaigns this cycle, wasted millions (including half a million of his own money), and set Democrats in the 10th District back quite a bit. And he lost his own Supervisor district by 6 points, meaning he has to watch his tail next year.

2) Democratic Party of Virginia – These guys were riding pretty high after last year’s sweep. But now? Yikes. Talk about asleep at the wheel. These guys were floundering out the gate, showed no messaging, no real effort, really gave up before the gates opened.

3) 7th District Democratic Committee – Is there one? Yes, this is a red district, but Bob McDonnell owned the headlines most of the summer, Dave Brat was an untested general election candidate, and the best they could do was Jack Trammell and not even a lackluster effort even then. Not that this was winnable, but they could have made Brat (and Gillespie) sweat. And they didn’t.

4) Bob McDonnell – Looking at the Gillespie/Warner numbers, one was to wonder how many points McDonnell’s trial took out of the Republican brand. Even if it was 1%, that’s the difference right now.

5) Arlington County Democrats – A jurisdiction that gave over 70% of its vote to Mark Warner chose a Republican endorsee for County Board of Supervisors. That’s an epic fail. When Ben Tribbett can call you a bunch of out-of-touch elitists, and be right about it, you have a serious problem.

6) “War On Women” – Foust tried it against Comstock, Connolly against Scholte, Democrats across the nation. It didn’t move the needle one bit – actually, it may have pushed it to Republicans.

7) Polls – From Cantor’s primary loss to Gillespie’s close race to Comstock’s blowout of Foust, no polling saw any of that coming. Turnout models were junk, methodology was questionable, and the public is quickly seeing polls as what they are: not true measures of public sentiment but as tools to create said sentiment.

ELECTION DAY OPEN THREAD – Share Your Stories Here!

Polls are now open in the Commonwealth of Virginia and will remain open until 7 p.m. tonight. So long as you are in line by 7 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.

Have you voted yet? How long did it take you to get through the line? What sort of turnout has there been in your precinct so far? How were the various campaigns and parties represented at your polling place? Share your stories here throughout the day and keep checking back to see what others are saying!

Foust Rally With Warner CANCELLED

There was supposed to be a GOTV rally in Sterling tonight with John Foust, Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. Yesterday, they cancelled it:

DemRally

But none of the others across the state. When asked by the Washington Post why the cancellation:

A planned rally in Sterling for Foust and Warner was canceled, with both campaigns saying that they decided to focus on getting out the vote rather than pulling volunteers off the street the evening before the election.

“[W]e made the smart tactical decision to deploy our resources reaching-out to thousands of targeted voters to remind them to vote on Tuesday rather than building a rally on Monday night,” Warner spokesman David Turner said.

Warner and Foust made a tactical decision to schedule the rally late last week in the first place. So what’s changed?

Bearing Drift speculates:

Are Democrats fleeing from John Foust? Or was the unorganized and suddenly vulnerable Mark Warner relying on John Foust’s campaign to set up the event only to find out that Foust is in no position to save himself let alone Warner?

Either way, this is a terrible sign for both campaigns in the 10th Congressional District. Either they’re both so disorganized they can’t get this event together, or they’ve both given up.

Either way, for them to suddenly say it’s a “tactical decision” to cancel is a weak excuse.

Warner’s Obamacare and Its Cost to You

 Out of pocket expenses have risen by 300%.  The price of premiums for working families have gone up in VA by 15%  So now healthcare premiums are in the $20,000-$25,000 range with a $10,000 deductible.  A typical mortgage in VA is half that much.  This is the fundamental change Obama has talk about, and Warner has voted for.  Warner is no moderate.  Warner should not be representing Virginia.

John Foust Again Lies In A Mailer

Last week it was the Fairfax County Democratic Committee trying to claim that John Foust was endorsed by the Washington Post when, oh no, he was wholly rejected by their editorial board.

Now, John Foust himself is sending out flyers that imply that he received the WaPo endorsement while they went on to criticize his opponent, Barbara Comstock:

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 11.40.36 AM

What more do we need to know? How about the rest of the quote about John Foust:

Mr. Foust has been a solid supervisor — he knows the county budget, and he played a constructive role in promoting Metro’s Silver Line extension — but shows no spark as a campaigner and no deviation from party talking points.

OUCH!

So what does the other side of the mailer contain? More of the party talking points that the Washington Post criticized John Foust for sticking to. But what’s best is his claimed “Top Accomplishment”: a balanced budget in Fairfax During last Sunday’s final debate between the two candidates, Foust said he opposed a Balanced Budget Amendment saying you shouldn’t need a law to balance the books, even though he conceeded that he balanced the budget because it was MANDATED BY LAW.

That’s like saying your top accomplishment is that you haven’t robbed anyone. I mean, sure, it’s illegal and all, but hooray for me for not doing it, right? Right?

The rest of the flyer highlights nothing on his side and attacks Barbara Comstock over the same issues that even the Washington Post, who he is proud to highlight the non-endorsement of, has said is not a big deal.

John Foust is losing. He knows it. But he’s continuing his nasty campaign of attack attack attack despite members of his own party begging him personally to stop:

“When I listen to candidates, I just hear complaints about the other side, and I’m left afterwards [wondering] what’s this guy going to do for me, and I would like to know that,” she said.

Foust said he hoped voters were familiar with his stances on issues by now.

“I’m happy to answer any questions you have on issues certainly, but over the next week, it’s not going to be a lot of positive issues,” Foust said. “We’re hoping that that message has sunk in…”

Another attendee suggested Foust include in his messages not just “what Barbara Comstock is against, but…tell what you’re for in maybe the same message.”

Please, John, for the sake of everyone in the 10th District, stop it already.

Election Day can’t come fast enough, even for the Democrats sick of John Foust’s message.

Real Clear Politics Downgrades Mark Warner’s Chances for Reelection

Yesterday, we brought you news that Real Clear Politics said to keep your eyes on the Virginia senate race as one that may blindside pundits and pollsters on election night.  Today, we get further confirmation of such movement towards Ed Gillespie as RCP downgrades Mark Warner’s chances of holding the seat for Democrats from Likely Democrat to Leans Democrat.

va senate

The Christopher Newport University poll has show Gillespie closing fast on Warner, going from 20 points down to 12 and now 7 in their latest poll. If you thought Dave Brat upsetting Eric Cantor in the primary was huge, this would be just as big. Furthermore, if Warner does go down or at the very least underperforms and doesn’t break 50%, you could see an upset in the 11th District with Suzanne Scholte defeating Gerry Connolly who has run a campaign just as lackluster and devoid of purpose as Warner’s has been.

UPDATE: Throwing even more gasoline on the fire, the only poll that showed Dave Brat with a chance of defeating Eric Cantor in the primary, Vox Populi, has this as a 4-point race, 44% Warner-40% Gillespie-5% Sarvis. This poll has a sample of 34% Democrats, 31% Republicans and 35% independents with an Obama approval/disapproval rating of 44%/56%.

Real Clear Politics Says Pollsters and Pundits May Be Blindsided in VA Senate Race

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics says keep your eye on the Virginia Senate race as it could be the one that blindsides the pollsters and pundits on Tuesday:

The first scenario involves the working hypothesis I’ve used for most of this cycle: Gravity wins out. In that scenario, Democrats are effectively capped by the president’s job approval, and undecided voters break heavily toward Republicans. Indeed, most of what we see right now is perfectly consistent with this theory. Democrats tend to run a few points ahead of the president’s projected job approval in their states: They are generally polling in the low 40s in the red states, in the mid-to-high-40s in the purple states, and in the low 50s in the bluer states.

Under this scenario, we should expect to see something akin to what we’ve seen over the past few months: A gradual improvement of the GOP’s position in most races. The most prominent example of this is in New Hampshire, where Scott Brown has won over virtually every undecided voter, but you can also see a gentler version of this in the Virginia Senate race. This would be something like what occurred in 1980 and 1994, when we really were blindsided by a number of the races that broke for Republicans. If this happens, we’d see double-digit gains for the GOP in the House and probably nine or 10 seats picked up in the Senate. (emphasis added)

Virtucon’s 2014 Pre-Election Congressional Analysis

One thing is certain no matter which party holds the majority in the Senate after the elections – they will likely have a narrower majority than the current 55-45 split Democrats have now. National Journal writes, “Republicans now are positioned to net between six and nine Senate seats in the upcoming midterms, with the higher end looking more likely. Most of the battleground Senate contests are now either trending in a Republican direction or remaining stable with a GOP advantage.” The RealClearPolitics’ electoral map is predicting that Republicans pick up a net of seven seats.

A new Wall Street Journal/NBC/Annenberg survey helps explain this potential political sea change. Among likely voters’ congressional preferences, 52% favor Republicans to 41% for Democrats. Even among the larger registered voters sample, Republicans hold a four-point edge, 46%-42%. This points to a less energized Democratic base without a presidential candidate running at the top of the ticket.

Following are brief rundowns on the key races in play.

* indicates incumbent

ALASKA: Mark Begich (D)* vs. Dan Sullivan (R)

Sen. Mark Begich has trailed former Alaska Attorney General/Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources Dan Sullivan in all nine public polls conducted since Sullivan captured the Republican nomination in August. Begich has been unable to get above the 45% threshold in any poll and remains mired in the low 40s. Most analysts and election models have moved this race into the “Republican Pick-Up” column.

ARKANSAS: Mark Pryor (D)* vs. Tom Cotton (R)

Many of the same dynamics in Alaska are at work in Arkansas where another incumbent Democrat senator representing a red state is battling stiff winds. Out of the 19 polls taken in Arkansas since May, Mark Pryor only led in two of them. The five polls taken so far during October give Rep. Tom Cotton an average 5.0% lead with the most recent polls showing him closing in on 50%. Meanwhile Pryor’s polling average of 41.8% is dangerous territory for an incumbent. The conventional wisdom of political pundits is that Republicans will gain this seat as well, inching them closer to the net six seat increase they need to win control of the Senate.

COLORADO: Mark Udall (D)* vs. Cory Gardner (R)

Until early September, Udall appeared to be defying the forces that were dragging down Begich and Pryor. However, Rep. Cory Gardner has taken the lead over Udall in 11 of the last 12 polls conducted in the state. Udall’s current poll average is just 43.9%. Compounding matters for Udall, the state’s largest liberal-leaning newspaper, The Denver Post, endorsed Gardner. While not as certain a pick-up as Alaska and Arkansas, this race has shifted from Lean Democrat to Lean Republican on prognosticators’ radar screens.

GEORGIA: (OPEN – R) Michelle Nunn (D) vs. David Perdue (R)

Georgia offers Democrats their best opportunity to offset Republican gains elsewhere if they can win this seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Democrats nominated Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, who previously headed up the Points of Light Foundation started by President George H.W. Bush. Republicans did not select their candidate until a runoff in July when Fortune 500 businessman David Perdue, cousin of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, claimed the nomination. The race is tied at this point with each candidate leading in two polls and tied in a fifth. A third-party candidate in this race makes it possible that no candidate receives the 50% needed to avoid a Jan. 6 runoff. Democrats need to win this seat outright in November as Republicans are favored to retain it if this goes to the runoff.

IOWA: (OPEN – D) Bruce Braley (D) vs. Joni Ernst (R)

If Georgia is the Senate seat Republicans should not have had to worry about this late in the game but must, then Iowa is that one for the Democrats. Rep. Bruce Braley (D) was chosen early on as his party’s successor to Sen. Tom Harkin (D). Braley quickly dispelled the air of inevitability around his campaign with a series of gaffes including one in which he disparaged both the farming profession and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) who is one of the state’s most popular politicians. State Sen. Joni Ernst (R) has led Braley in the seven out of ten of the most recent polls and was tied with him in two others. Her Real Clear Politics average lead over Braley is currently 2.1%. Early voting data being reported out of Iowa appears to indicate an advantage for Ernst consistent with her slight poll advantage.

KANSAS: Pat Roberts (R)* vs. Greg Orman (I)

Sen. Pat Roberts survived a multi-candidate primary with 48% of the vote in early August only to find himself in another multi-candidate election against Independent Greg Orman and Democrat Chad Taylor. That race became even more complicated for Roberts when Taylor dropped out of the race. Issues stemming from Roberts’ Kansas residency and his length of time in Washington hurt his standing with voters in the state and Orman quickly jumped to a lead. Roberts has since fought back painting Orman as a stealth Democrat and the race is now tied with each candidate leading in four October polls. Orman has said that he will caucus with whichever party holds the Senate majority, but has not stated which party he would caucus with if he held the deciding vote.

KENTUCKY: Mitch McConnell (R)* vs. Alison Lundergan Grimes (D)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced in mid-October that they were pulling their resources out of Kentucky and leaving Grimes to fend for herself. (They have since reversed themselves and reengaged after receiving pressure from their top donors.) McConnell appears to have taken command of this race, leading his opponent in nine of the ten polls conducted since Labor Day. The one organization that showed a Grimes lead during this time gave McConnell the lead in a later poll.

LOUISIANA: Mary Landrieu (D)* vs. Bill Cassidy (R) vs. Rob Maness (R)

Louisiana holds what they call an “Open Primary” on the day the rest of the country holds the general election. If no candidate receives 50% of the vote, the top two candidates proceed to a Dec. 6 runoff. Sen. Landrieu currently leads the open primary polling with an average of 37.5% of the vote followed closely by Rep. Cassidy with 34.3% and Maness at 9.3%. Polling for the runoff gives Cassidy a 5.8% advantage, 47.3%-41.5%. It is possible that the runoff may decide control of the Senate meaning Election 2014 could head for overtime between this race and the one in Georgia.

MONTANA: (Open – D) Steve Daines (R) vs. Amanda Curtis (D)

Rep. Steve Daines is the prohibitive favorite in this race after Sen. John Walsh (D) dropped out following revelations that he plagiarized his thesis while a graduate student at the Army War College. Daines holds a 20-point lead over Curtis.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Jeanne Shaheen (D)* vs. Scott Brown (R)

Sen. Shaheen faces her former Senate colleague Scott Brown as he attempts a political comeback in his home state after representing Massachusetts in the Senate. Shaheen holds an average lead of 2.2% over Brown, but remains shy of the 50% mark and trails him by 1% in the most recent poll. Since winning the Republican nomination in September, Brown has steadily closed the gap in polls and The Cook Political Report has now moved this race into the “Toss-Up” column. If there is an upset on election night, this is the state to watch. Most polling places close in New Hampshire at 7 p.m., but a handful remain open until 8 p.m., so results will not be known until after all the polls in the state have closed. The results in this race, especially if the race is called quickly for one candidate or the other, should be a good bellwether as to how the two parties will fare nationwide.

NORTH CAROLINA: Kay Hagan (D)* vs. Thom Tillis (R)

For much of the year, Sen. Hagan has been on the offense against Tillis as she worked to tie him to the unpopular North Carolina legislature where he is Speaker of the House. While the race had been see-sawing throughout the summer, a massive Democratic ad blitz took its toll on Tillis in September as Hagan opened up a lead. Republican outside groups joined the fray in October and a shift in issue focus to the federal level – in particular the government’s response to Ebola and revelations that Hagan had skipped a briefing on ISIS to attend a campaign fundraiser as well as her family business profiting from the federal stimulus she voted for – has closed the gap once again. Hagan’s poll average is 43.6%, just a point over Tillis.

SOUTH DAKOTA: (OPEN – D) Mike Rounds (R) vs. Rick Weiland (D) vs. Larry Pressler (I)

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds was viewed as easily picking up the seat of retiring Sen. Tim Johnson for the Republicans. While Rounds is still viewed as the favorite to win the seat, the entrance of former Republican Sen. Larry Pressler as an Independent has complicated matters. Sensing an opportunity, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dropped $1 million in the state on behalf of Weiland, forcing the National Republican Senatorial Committee to do likewise. Pressler’s leftward drift, including his support for President Obama, has been the focus of Republicans as of late and appears to have taken the wind out of Pressler’s sails.

VIRGINIA: Mark Warner (D)* vs. Ed Gillespie (R)

This race appeared to be “the one that got away” for Republicans despite nominating the candidate they wanted in former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. Sen. Warner consistently held a double-digit lead over Gillespie throughout the year despite hovering at or just below the 50% threshold. This race was thrown a curveball just before Columbus Day when The Washington Post reported that Sen. Warner was under investigation by the FBI for suggesting he could arrange a federal judicial appointment for the daughter of a Virginia state senator in exchange for the state senator not resigning from office and thus handing control of the chamber to Republicans. Every election there tends to be one race where pundits wake up the next morning and ask themselves, “How the heck did that happen!?!?!?!?” This is the dark horse race to watch on Tuesday night.

WEST VIRGINIA: (OPEN – D) Shelley Moore Capito (R) vs. Natalie Tennant (D)

The only question remaining in this race is the size of Capito’s victory. Rep. Capito has been polling over 50% since July while her opponent has been mired in the 30s. This race could have larger implications for the Senate majority as there has been speculation that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin could either switch parties or become an Independent who caucuses with the Republicans should the GOP win a Senate majority. If Capito’s victory margin is sizable enough, it could prove to be a catalyst for such a move by Manchin who is rumored to be unhappy in Washington and considering a return to the governorship. A shift in Manchin’s partisan allegiances would mirror the shifting electorate in West Virginia.

POST-ELECTION: The Impact of Independents

In addition to the wildcards of Orman in Kansas and Manchin in West Virginia, one cannot forget Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, indicated in April that if Republicans retook the Senate he would consider crossing the aisle to caucus with the GOP. King previously has stated his decision on which party to side with would be determined by what is best for his state and the committee assignments he would receive.

While we may have a fairly good picture of the state of the Senate after Election Day, we probably will not know the final composition of it until two months later once Georgia holds its likely runoff election.

GOP LIKELY TO INCREASE HOUSE MAJORITY

The House currently is comprised of 233 Republicans and 199 Democrats with three vacancies. There are 228 seats that are now rated as solid, likely or lean Republican (10 more than the 218 needed for a majority) while Democrats have 187 seats in those same categories. Twenty seats, 13 Democratic and seven Republican, remain as toss-ups.

Republicans have instituted what they are calling their “Drive to 245,” an effort to win an additional 12 House seats. Such a gain would give them their largest House majority since the Truman presidency.

Democrats currently hold seven out of the top ten House seats most likely to change parties.

TOP TEN HOUSE SEATS MOST LIKELY TO CHANGE PARTIES:

  1. UT-4 (Open – D)
  2. NC-7 (Open – D)
  3. CA-31 (Open – R)
  4. NY-11 (Grimm – R)
  5. NY-21 (Open – D)
  6. AZ-2 (Barber – D)
  7. CA-52 (Peters – D)
  8. IA-3 (Open – R)
  9. WV-3 (Rahall – D)
  10. NH-1 (Shea-Porter – D)

Black Activists Turn On Democrats

Looks like the Democrats have finally gone once too often to that well. Every year they play the race card and hand out free stuff. Looks like the community that suffers the most from identity politics has decided to get off the Democrat merry-go-round.

The African American community is the most reliable vote the Democrats have.  This is also the poorest, least educated, most brutalised and most incarcerated community in America.  They live primarily in Democrat run hell holes like DC, Detroit, Chicago and Camden.  It is precisely in these Democrat run jurisdictions where the overwhelming majority of the brutality occurs.  The abuse is economic, educational, judicial and systemic.  For 50 years the inner city has been the domain of the Democrat party.  Democrat rule now is a byword for decay, corruption and neglect.

If the sentiment of this video is widespread, the party of Obama is going to be in for a real stormy ride this Tuesday.  The Democrats with their progressive, agenda of controlling your wallet, your diet, your fuel, and your life may have come to its end.  People want opportunity, not hand outs after all.  Free abortion is not a substitute for a path to prosperity.

Desperate Dems Lie To Boost Foust

It’s been happening for a while. The lies from Democrats to make it appear like John Foust isn’t losing the race for Congress in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. His supporters have taken to social media to spread false information about Barbara Comstock, the attacks have gotten more negate, more desperate, and further from the truth. John Foust is seeking to destroy everything in his wake in a last ditch scorched earth campaign to destroy Comstock politically, personally, and permanently.

foustcountry
Brilliant, Terrence

It’s gotten so bad that Democratic Committees in the District are mailing out sample ballots that LIE about Foust’s endorsements and even the state of the House of Representatives!

Endorsed
Endorsed?

That Washington Post endorsement never happened for ol’ John Foust, saying he “shows no spark as a campaigner and no deviation from party talking points.” OUCH!

Comstock’s refusal to support more unfair tax increases for Northern Virginia makes her untenable for the editorial board at the Washington Post. But the Post editorial board can’t bring themselves to endorse democrat John Foust either,

Agreed!

Then there’s this doozy.

Balance

“Electing John Foust could tip the balance in the House of Representatives.” Really? In what Bizzaro World? Democrats are down by 33 seats in the House and a Washington Post poll shows all of the momentum behind Republicans. In fact, Republicans are set to GAIN seats and the Democrats know it, having pulled resources from John Foust to bail out a Democrat incumbent in CALIFORNIA. Sheesh.

All of this fun has been brought to you by the Fairfax County Democratic Committee:

Ballot

Complete with a union bullet on the bottom.

The election is next Tuesday. Barbara Comstock is poised to win with a comfortable margin.

So, Why Did Mark Warner REALLY Not Run For President In 2008?

Mark Warner made 67 trips to 28 states in preparation to run for president in 2008. He had field offices open in both New Hampshire and Iowa. Barack Obama was on nobody’s radar screens for 2008 at that point. Mark Warner had the entire field to himself as the legitimate alternative to Hillary Clinton. Then he suddenly pulled the plug without warning, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Not long after that, Sen. John Warner announced his retirement and Mark Warner, apparently having had enough of his family already, jumped in that race.

So, why did Mark Warner REALLY not run for president in 2008?

That is the subject of this video (which contains Not Safe For Work language from the movie “Primary Colors.”)

This video contains a clue as to the real reason why Warner did not run for president if you are familiar with the book / film adaptation. Feel free to speculate as to what that reason was, but if you are already among those in the know, please refrain from dropping that turd in the punchbowl.

As Comstock racks up endorsements, Foust’s death spiral continues

Terrence Bouldon has a GREAT timeline up at Bearing Drift showing the collapse of the John Foust campaign through October:

Things aren’t looking good for John Foust. The wheels are coming off. While Comstock continues to rack up endorsements across the district, her campaign is outworking his on the ground. She’s winning on the issues just as much as she’s winning in fundraising. And while Foust is cancelling ad buys, the Comstock campaign is still expanding.

With 12 days to go, there’s momentum in the Barbara Comstock camp, and nomentum with John Foust.

Read the whole thing, it’s absolutely worth it. But what stands out the most are the endorsements Barbara Comstock has been racking up this week, all while the Foust campaign is scraping for money and support and canceling ad buys left and right:

October 21stThe Sun Gazette, which endorsed Foust for Supervisor in 2011, endorses Comstock for Congress:

“Throughout the hard-fought campaign this summer and fall, only one of the candidates has shown the potential of living up to Wolf’s legacy and of having what it takes to survive in the rough-and-tumble world that is national politics today. Only one candidate seems comfortable on the stump and in the debate hall. That candidate is Barbara Comstock. Comstock has worked on Capitol Hill – both as a senior aide to Wolf and as a chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives. Although that kind of experience isn’t a prerequisite for a member of Congress, she knows what it takes to succeed in Washington. Comstock is familiar with the sprawling 10th District, which stretches from McLean to the West Virginia border and south through Manassas and parts of Prince William County.”

October 21stThe Washington Times endorses Comstock for Congress:

“In the legislature, Mrs. Comstock stood up to the unions by drafting the law that now shields employees from being harassed by labor organizers who improperly obtain worker phone numbers and email addresses from employers. She proposed a bill that would have tied the state’s mass-transit funding to objective performance measures, requiring the bureaucracy to work to get the public’s money. It’s a novel concept, one that ought to spread to Capitol Hill.”

October 22ndThe Winchester Star endorses Comstock for Congress:

“She also knows her way around politics. Her Democratic opponent, earlier this campaign season, said of Mrs. Comstock, ‘I don’t think she’s even had a real job.’ We beg to differ; so does her resume. Among her myriad positions and career achievements: law partner, co-founder of an eponymous public-policy firm, campaign researcher, Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, investigative counsel and then senior counsel to the House Committee on Government Reform, two-term delegate in the Virginia House, senior aide to Mr. Wolf… and wife and mother of three children.”

October 22ndThe Loudoun Times endorses Comstock for Congress:

“In her interview with the Times-Mirror editorial board, Comstock moved beyond touting herself as the polished, political operative. Rather, she cited assets and resources in Northern Virginia as solutions that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservative alike could embrace in non-partisan decisions. Comstock suggested that she could facilitate agreements around these assets from the state’s technology and business communities, as well as its universities…

“This is why she deserves the nod over John Foust, her opponent from the Democratic Party who currently serves as a Fairfax County supervisor. Foust is a dedicated public servant, but lacks the legislative experience and familiarity with national issues to address the nation’s many problems.”

New Poll Shows Comstock Is Geared Up To Crush Foust

A new poll puts GOP nominee Barbara Comstock up +16% over Democrat John “Hey, ladies, you’ve never had a real job” Foust in the contest to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf in Virginia’s 10th congressional district.

The truly amazing thing about this poll is that the sample gave Democrats a 2% edge in turnout and consisted of an electorate that voted for Obama by 3% despite the district being carried by Romney. What does that tell us? That Comstock’s numbers are likely higher than even that 16% advantage tells us.

Based on the Comstock-Foust poll, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if two other Republican campaigns — those of Gillespie and Scholte — overperform in Northern Virginia and sneak up to claim upset wins. As we have pointed out here before, in 2006 Jim Webb did not claim a lead in any post-Labor Day poll over George Allen until a poll that was completed on Oct. 23. The number of polls conducted in this year’s senate race (18 since Nov. 2013) has been paltry in comparison to ’06 (41 between Dec. 2005 and Election Day 2006) and in fact no polls have been released in the past two weeks since news of the #BRIBESTORM FBI investigation of Mark Warner broke.

Don Beyer Latest Dem to Open Mouth, Insert Foot and Show Elitist Attitude

The Democrat nominee for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District Don Beyer just stepped in it. Apparently he’s too good to meet with “the little people” that he is seeking to represent in Congress…

“I am not going to spend every waking moment knocking on doors of people that aren’t likely to vote or are not likely to vote for me but I’m trying to connect with the important communities and community leaders where I can make the greatest difference.”

“People that aren’t likely to vote”? Who does he mean by that? Minorities? Young people? The poor and working class? Those are typically the people who do not vote in mid-term elections. And what about those “not likely to vote for [him]”? Isn’t he running for the House of Representatives to represent every person in his district? Does he think that it isn’t worth his time to explain his vision and reason for running for Congress in order to win over minds and hearts to his side?

This is the most elitist thing that I have heard come from any candidate running for office this year. Did this guy go to the Joe Biden School of Charm?

It is time for a fresh voice in Virginia’s 8th district, one who cares enough to meet with anyone and everyone.

edmond

Foust abandoned by Clinton-ites who can’t put their money where their mouth is

Oh, this is fun.

Not only did John Foust lie to the media about his fundraising numbers AGAIN (which we called out as odd when first announced), and DCCC abandon Foust to his own devices, now it looks like his Foust’s biggest supporters can’t lend any dollars to back up their words.

Clinton-ites have spent most of this election cycle attacking Barbara Comstock for her years of work on behalf of constituents and Congress in investigating their pile of scandals in the 90s. In July it reached a head with a hit piece in Politico (have they ever written anything positive of Comstock or critical of John Foust?) where Paul Begala came out swinging with the “little bit nutty, little bit slutty” attack that we’re all sick and tired of. At the time, Bearing Drift took the attack to task:

Leaving to one side the horrifically sexist nature of that attack (no worries, Peter Roff slammed Begala for it in US News and World Report), Begala’s purpose was more than just garnering headlines. He is hoping that the average reader and voter remembers his line, and thus ties Comstock to the Lewinsky investigation – which Democrats are convinced was a political loser for the GOP and anyone involved with it.

Here’s the problem: Comstock didn’t investigate the Lewinsky fiasco. The investigations of which she was a part dealt with DNC fundraising (think Lincoln Bedroom, campaign money raised from foreigners including the Chinese Communist Party, Al Gore and the Buddhist temple, etc.). While the Democrats want you to link Comstock with the sex investigations, she actually focused on the money issues – issues which did not severly wound Clinton, but likely had a role in keeping the Republicans in control of Congress in 1996 (and Gore out of the White House in 2000).

In other words, voters weren’t so blase about the scandals Comstock actually investigated.

Too right.

So about Paul Begala. He’s not only used Politico as a platform, he’s lent his name to numerous fundraising emails for John Foust, each one including more attacks on Barbara and trying to make it sound like Foust is the next best thing for Virginia’s 10th District:

begala

Foust the progressive, the most extreme candidate in Virginia’s 10th, supposedly has Paul Begala’s support.

But does he really?

Go to the FEC website and search for Paul Begala’s contributions to Federal Campaigns. Look to see if he’s contributed to John Foust. Don’t worry, we’ll wait.

SPOILER ALERT: He hasn’t given a dime of his own money to John Foust. Not one red cent. Heck, he gave $500 to Comstock’s opponent in 2009, but can’t bring himself to give Foust any money? OUCH!

Nothing from a Clinton. Nothing from Nanci Pelosi or Madeline Albright, both of whom highlighted fundraisers for John Foust that the press either didn’t cover or weren’t invited to.

So in a campaign where Foust has accused Comstock of being the divisive partisan warrior who’s all talk, it’s his national supporters aiming to score political points in twenty year old battles showing which candidate is truly the all hat, no cattle person in the race.

COMING SOON: Mark Warner and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Two and a Half Weeks of His Political Life

For those Democrats rejoicing that Ed Gillespie has taken his TV ads off the air, enjoy the next 36 hours because after that…

Mark Warner is about to have the worst two and a half weeks of his political life starting on Saturday when Gillespie goes back up on the air with ads targeting Warner’s involvement in #BRIBESTORM where he suggested a quid pro quo of a federal judicial appointment for the daughter of a sitting Virginia state senator in exchange for that senator not resigning and handing the majority to Virginia Republicans. Don’t forget, Bob McDonnell was just convicted on a number of charges where there was not nearly as clear of a quid pro quo as there is in this case.

Warner is refusing to state that he is not a target in the FBI’s investigation of this matter, his internal poll numbers were in free fall even before these revelations came to light, and Larry Sabato is now including this as a “Crystal Ball” factor that could lead to an upset in this race.

Let’s revisit the 2006 polls since 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of that year in a lot of ways. In particular, let’s look at the polls from the George Allen vs. Jim Webb race. Jim Webb led in only TWO POLLS all year (and those were in mid-August / early Sept. during the midst of “macaca”) until a poll conducted Oct. 20-23, 2006, whereas George Allen held the lead in 25 other polls and the two were tied in just one. After Oct. 20, Allen only led in four polls while Webb led in eight (and again the two were tied in one.)  Eight years ago today, George Allen led Jim Webb 50-47 in a Zogby Interactive poll.

Get ready for what is about to rain down, Virginia…

Mark Warner Refuses To State He Is NOT A Criminal Target Of The FBI In #BRIBESTORM

The quid pro quo offer from U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) of a federal judicial appointment for the daughter of former state Sen. Phil Puckett (D) in exchange for him not resigning and handing control of the Virginia Senate to the GOP continues to boil.

Via The Washington Post:

Warner refuses to explain the extent of FBI investigation

Has he been subpoenaed to provide documents, phone records for example? His campaign won’t say. Was he represented by counsel during the FBI questioning? Did he provide information orally or in writing under oath? No answer. Quite simply, the voters have no idea whether their senator is in any real legal jeopardy.

But it isn’t just the Washington Post that is pursuing this story. UVA professor Larry Sabato is now factoring it into his latest election calculations.

In Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner (D) has been hit with a nasty story involving the possible promise of a judicial post for a relative of a state senator to keep the official from resigning, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see this contest decided by single digits. Virginia, after all, is a highly competitive state.