by Jerome Armstrong, Wed Oct 24, 2007 at 07:05:41 AM EDT
Here in Virginia, the signs are everywhere. I've never lived in a place that has so many political signs around the upcoming election. They are everywhere.
The Democrats have a shot, and this election matters nationally. If we can gain a majority of the Senate or House (the Senate being much more likely), then we will have a seat at the table when it comes to redistricting after the 2010 census. Right now, in a state that's got a 50-50 partisan split, the Republicans hold an 8-3 advantage in congressional seats held.
These districts are already semi-winnable for Democrats running statewide. In 2001, Warner, running for Governor, won 6 CD's, and in 2005, Kaine replicated that feat by winning 6 CD's. It's tougher at the federal level, where we saw Webb win 4 seats in 2006. If Democrats have a seat at the redistricting table, it is entirely possible that the delegation could grow from three to six members in one cycle. It's not just the redistricting issue either, as the the Republican leadership in Richmond have put up roadblocks to progressive policy being enacted in Virginia.
So the eyes are on the '07 Virginia. The Republican State Leadership Committee have put nearly 400K into the state leg. campaigns of VA's Republicans this year, but the Democrats have the right ingredients for winning again. First, there's momentum from the big Warner/Kaine/Webb wins this decade. Second, in generic balloting for the targeted districts, Democrats are averaging a 4% or greater lead. Third, there are more Democrats running this time than ever before in recent history. The 50 state strategy is trickling down. One note of accomplishment is that more Dem leg. candidates in VA are using ActBlue than any other fundraising vehicle.