Kidd: The fundamentals in Virginia politics haven’t changed
At first glance, Virginia has flipped, big time. The Old Dominion was blue in 2008, and has been bright red since, with Republicans sweeping the 2009 state races and taking three of the six seats held by incumbent Democrats in the 2010 congressional midterms.
Not so fast, says Quentin Kidd, a political-science professor at Christopher Newport University and regular contributor to AugustaFreePress.com.
Kidd hesitated after ’08 to call Virginia blue, and he’s not jumping the gun to declare the Democratic Party of Virginia dead after 2010, either.
“The fundamentals of Virginia I don’t think have changed. I think for the last 10 or 15 or 20 years, maybe, VIrginia has been an increasingly competitive state where both parties battled it out over ideas and such. I think the part of the moving part that’s moved back and forth has been that moderate middle,” said Kidd in an interview with AugustaFreePress.com this week.
The moderate middle had been rewarding Democrats like Mark Warner, Tim Kaine and Jim Webb for their centrist, business-oriented approaches up until the 2009 elections, when Republicans, led by Bob McDonnell, seized the center of the political spectrum.
“If you just count seats, it looks like Democrats are where they were 10 years ago. But I think it’s worth noting that Bob McDonnell ran successfully as a Republican gubernatorial candidate as a business-oriented, no-nonsense, I’m-going-to-work-on-the-economy, I’m-not-going-to-deal-with-social-issues kind of candidate. And I think he found himself over there running not as an ideological Republican, but as a business-oriented Republican, in part because of the successes of the Democratic Party,” Kidd said.
Listen to the interview below.
Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.