Publication now rates Fifth District congressional race a ‘Toss Up’
The Cook Political Report has changed its rating for the Fifth District congressional race from “Lean Republican” to “Toss Up,” citing a possible “perfect storm” in the making in the sprawling district, which spans from Northern Virginia through Charlottesville to the North Carolina border.
Democrat Dr. Cameron Webb is just a point behind Republican Bob Good in the head to head, according to a poll conducted Sept. 10-14 by Global Strategy Group, a Democratic polling firm.
Republicans have held the seat in the Fifth District since GOP nominee Robert Hurt unseated one-term Democrat Tom Perriello in 2010.
The current congressman, Denver Riggleman, lost his bid for the 2020 party nomination in June, and there is a sense that the party may be having trouble coming back together from the nomination fight that raged through the spring.
Webb won a four-candidate primary by a landslide, and worked hard in the summer to build up an impressive campaign warchest, on pace to raise $5 million in the cycle.
It’s still a bit of an uphill battle for Webb. Donald Trump won the Fifth by 11 points in 2016, and Corey Stewart outpolled Tim Kaine in their 2018 U.S. Senate race in the district, in a race that had Kaine winning statewide by 16 points.
It is noteworthy that Webb is polling as well as he is. Perriello, in his 2008 upset win over long-time Republican incumbent Virgil Goode, trailed by 34 points in August, then 13 points in mid-October, before closing to within three in the final pre-election poll on Nov. 3.
“From Day 1, our campaign has been about putting people over party to get things done on the issues that matter most,” Webb said. “I’m excited that voters are responding to our message of consensus-building leadership and I look forward to continuing to build on this momentum as we work to earn the votes of the people of Virginia’s Fifth District.”
Story by Chris Graham