Just as in Colorado, the Data for Progress polling organization tested the Virginia Super Tuesday electorate (2/23-25; 499 VA likely Democratic primary voters). Here Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) leads former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg 28-19-17-17%. Here, too, the numbers suggest that the top four candidates will likely qualify for delegate allocation.
Polling such as what we see in these three states mentioned above gives credence to the analysis that the Super Tuesday result will be muddled with several candidates gaining a substantial number of bound first ballot delegates. Super Tuesday’s results will go a long way toward determining if a first ballot victory can be achieved, or whether the candidates advance to a contested national convention in July.
Republican state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) just announced her candidacy for the open Virginia Governorship in 2021. Incumbent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is ineligible to seek a second term from the last state in the nation that limits its elected chief executives to just one term in office. Sen. Chase’s candidacy, as declared yesterday while the legislature was considering the Governor’s gun control initiative, will be slightly different in that she will run on the “gun rights” platform. Ms. Chase obviously won’t be alone among Republicans who will defend the 2nd Amendment, but she apparently is looking to run an early single-issue campaign strategy.
Former one-term Congressman Scott Taylor (R), who freshman Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk/Virginia Beach) unseated in 2018, announced that he will return for a re-match later this year. Previously, Mr. Taylor had entered the Senate race to challenge incumbent Mark Warner (D).
The 2nd District is politically marginal, so we can expect another close campaign here later this year. In ’18, Ms. Luria defeated then-Representative Taylor, 51-49%, after a campaign scandal involving members of the Congressman’s team attempting to qualify an Independent candidate to potentially draw some liberal votes away from the eventual Democratic nominee proved to weaken the incumbent’s standing.
Former Congressman Scott Taylor (R), who held the Virginia Beach anchored 2nd District for one term before current Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia Beach) unseated him in 2018, is reportedly ending his Senate bid against incumbent Mark Warner (D) and will instead enter the House campaign to seek a re-match with Ms. Luria. The Democratic incumbent will again be favored in a changing district that is moving more toward the Democrats. Rep. Luria won the 2018 election with a tight 51-49% victory margin.
Yesterday’s impeachment inquiry vote saw only two members, both Democrats, buck the party line. Four members, however, did not vote, but all had reasons for not attending the session that had nothing to do with President Trump. Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA) was absent for health reasons. William Timmons (R-SC) was on military assignment with his Army Reserve unit. Jody Hice (R-GA) was tending to family matters with the passing of his father. It is unclear why Rep. John Rose (R-TN) was not present for the vote. Rep McEachin would have been a yes vote for the inquiry, while the three Republicans were sure “noes.”
Virginia is another state whose electorate will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3rd, but polling here has been infrequent. The Research America, Inc. firm tested the state (9/3-15; 882 VA registered voters), however, and found that former Vice President Joe Biden has a substantial lead here as he does everywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
According to RA, Mr. Biden records 23% preference, which is a big lead against the rest of the field. Tied for second place with just 9% apiece are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg trailing with just 5 and 4% support, respectively. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and businessman Andrew Yang follow with 2% support. All others record 1% or less.
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
Dr. Cameron Webb (D), a University of Virginia physician and former White House Fellow, says he will mount a campaign against freshman Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas). Despite the Democratic trend in the Virginia 2018 elections, Mr. Riggleman was able to score a 53-47% open seat victory over former national news programming director Leslie Cockburn (D) and keep the seat in the Republican column. It is likely that Mr. Riggleman will be even stronger here in 2020. President Trump, for example, scored a 53-42% win here over Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite him losing the statewide vote, 44-50%.
Some retirement rumors had begun swirling around seven-term Virginia Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Montross/ Fredericksburg) but those have been quickly extinguished. After raising $231,000 in the second quarter, Rep. Wittman yesterday announced that he is running for re-election.
The 1st District, which stretches from the outer Washington, DC suburbs to the area just east of Richmond and ending west of Williamsburg, is reliably Republican. Rep. Wittman is a heavy favorite for re-election after winning 55-45% last November in a state turning more Democratic. President Trump carried the seat 54-41%, and Mr. Wittman has averaged 59.4% in his seven congressional elections. At this point, the only announced Democratic candidate is 2018 nominee Vangie Williams.
Some Republican leaders were hoping to recruit state Delegate Nick Freitas (R-Culpeper) into the 7th Congressional District next year to challenge freshman Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Glen Allen) but that plan may have hit a bump in the road. Mr. Freitas was looking to win re-election to the state House this year in a landslide to strengthen his position, but now it appears his filing was not successfully completed meaning he is disqualified. If he is to run for the state House, it looks like he will have to run as a write-in candidate.
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