By Lynn R. Mitchell
Tom Dougherty has good news for Republicans in Wednesday’s Practical Politicking (see Odds of GOP reclaiming Senate Majority up to 75%):
Iowa Moves to Toss-Up; Virginia Moves to Leans Democratic; and the GOP Looks Strong with 111 Days To Go
He went on to write:
The latest Practical Politicking Report (PPR) places the odds of Republicans picking up the minimum of six seats to regain the senate majority at 75.0%, with a slight increase to 57.5% in the odds of gaining eight seats.
Dougherty notes there are reasons for the change that are favorable to Republicans. Among them are President Barack Obama’s continuing downward spiral in the polls, and Obamacare continues to lose favor among Americans. The rating of state races rounds out his reasoning but of most interest to LynnRMitchell.com is his analysis of Virginia’s U.S. Senate race:
Virginia: It is by a slim numerical margin but we now see the race between challenger Ed Gillespie and incumbent Mark Warner as Leans Democratic, formerly Likely Democratic. The incumbent has the money advantage and the polling lead but neither guarantee victory four months from now. To defeat Warner, it will take a candidate with the right mix of campaigning experience, a message that resonates with Virginians, and the moxie to saddle Warner with the weight of Obama’s failed agenda; and Gillespie possesses those traits. Make no mistake, this will not be an easy win but the environment is more conducive to a Gillespie upset now than ever; and if it continues on that path this could be a barnburner by Election Day. [emphasis added]
Not only does Ed Gillespie have the traits necessary to effectively challenge Senator Warner, but he has also done well with fundraising. In the latest reported quarter, Gillespie raised $1.9 million to Warner’s $2.7 million.
On top of that, a report Wednesday indicated Democrats are concerned about Warner’s vulnerability in the current political climate. A Politico article by James Hohmann reported that a Democratic super PAC’s internal memo was concerned about Gillespie (see Va. Democratic super PAC: Obama ‘could hurt’ Warner):
“The gist of the talking points is that the political climate is bad for any Democrat, the health care law is polling poorly and Gillespie is a potentially formidable contender….”
“Gillespie is a potentially formidable contender” … words Democrats don’t want to hear but it is music to the ears of Republicans. Political eyes will be watching all races in the months leading to November.