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.
Former Virginia Congressman Scott Taylor (R), who lost his Virginia Beach anchored congressional district after one term, announced yesterday that he will challenge Sen. Mark Warner (D) next year. Acknowledging that he will be an underdog in the race against Sen. Warner, Mr. Taylor is nonetheless moving forward with his campaign. As Virginia continues to move left, Sen. Warner is viewed as a solid favorite for re-election even though he barely escaped (49.1 – 48.3%) a surprise finish opposite Republican Ed Gillespie in 2014.
Hampton University gives us our first major look at the Old Dominion Democratic presidential primary (taken 5/29-6/6; released 6/20; 1,126 VA registered voters likely to vote in the Democratic presidential primary) and, like the recent Florida poll (see above), former Vice President Joe Biden claims a 30+% lead with Mayor Pete Buttigieg gaining momentum. Here, the numbers break 36-17-13-11-7% for Mr. Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Buttigieg, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), respectively. Virginia has 99 first ballot delegates, ranking it 12th highest of the 57 delegate voting entities.
The Rundown Blog
Before you vote, learn more about the candidates who will support a pro-jobs America.