Analysis: Is Mark Warner in trouble?


A poll released last week by Christopher Newport University has Democrat Mark Warner ahead of Republican Ed Gillespie by 2014 as the attention turns slowly toward the November U.S. Senate race.

mark-warnerThe poll had Warner at 50 percent and Gillespie, making his first bid for elected office, at 30 percent, largely because Gillespie is unknown to Virginia voters.

Seven in 10 voters have no opinion of Gillespie, according to the poll.

“The odds heavily favor Sen. Warner, but he clearly has work to do to make the case to voters between now and November,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

That’s good advice from Kidd, that Warner has work to do to make his case. Because Gillespie will become more known as the seasons change from winter to spring to summer to fall, and he will be on the attack early and often, trying to pin everything in terms of troubles in the second term of the Obama administration, from the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website to, well, did we mention that botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website?

Warner is about as close to Teflon as there has ever been in Virginia politics. He left the governor’s office as the most popular governor ever, and won his 2008 Senate race against another former governor, Jim Gilmore, in a 30-point landslide.

But a lot has happened since then. Barack Obama won the state in his 2012 re-election, and Tim Kaine won the 2012 Senate race, but while Democrats swept the statewide races in 2013, the races for governor and attorney general were too close for comfort, with borderline extremist Ken Cuccinelli carrying the flag at the top of the ticket to boot.

Virginia remains a competitive state politically, and it is in this environment that Warner will be forced to defend the record of the Obama administration, whether he wants to or not.

The race might be 20 points now, but it will be single digits by the end of the summer, and thus anybody’s game.

Column by Chris Graham



uva basketball team of destiny

Team of Destiny: Inside UVA Basketball's improbable run

Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25.

The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Subscribe

Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009. (We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!) That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year. (Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.) AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue? From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading. Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.

 


augusta free press
augusta free press
augusta free press news