In 2012, 33 senate races will be contested. Some look like landslides, some look closer. Among the tightest is the Senate race in Virginia, which pits Democrat Tim Kaine vs. a Republican who will be chosen in a primary. George Allen is the frontrunner in that race.
In elections for President, Virginia has been a swing state. Obama won the state in 2008 (53 – 46) but Bush won in 2004 (54-46) and 2000 (52-44). That’s important to the senate race because it means both Obama and Romney will be working the state a lot, and because a close national election may increase turnout. Traditionally, it’s been thought that heavy turnout favors Democrats.
Statewide, Virginia’s two senators are both Democrats: Jim Webb and Mark Warner. Although Webb’s last race was very close (see below), Warner won very easily in 2008, beating Republican Jim Gilmore by almost 2-1. Virginia’s governor is Republican Bob McDonnell. He beat Democrat Creigh Deeds fairly easily in 2009. Virginia has 11 representatives in the House of Representatives: 8 are Republican and 3 are Democrats
The Senate race
The senate race is open because the current senator, Democrat Jim Webb, is retiring. In 2006, he beat George Allen in a very close race, winning by 9,329 votes out of over 2 million cast.
The Democratic candidate: Tim Kaine is a former governor of Virginia, serving from 2006 to 2010.
Tim Kaine has supported civil partnerships for same sex couples, he supports longer maximum sentences for convicted criminals, but supports a moratorium on the death penalty “until it is fair”. He is is personally opposed to abortion, but in favor of a woman’s right to choose. He wants to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire and to increase the amount of renewable fuel being used. He opposes the privatization of social security. He supports Obama’s ending of the Iraq war. On The Issues rates him as a moderate to slightly liberal on social issues and a moderate on economic issues.
The Republican candidates: George Allen is far ahead of his Republican opponents. One poll (see polltracker site) had Allen with 68 percent of the Republican vote, with Jamie Radtke getting 6 percent and Timothy Donner 2 percent. I believe it fair to assume Allen will be the nominee. The primary is June 12.
George Allen is a former senator and governor of Virginia. He was governor from 1994 to 1998 and Senator from 2001 to 2007. As noted, the 2006 race was very close. He was leading that race fairly easily when he called an Indian-American Webb volunteer a ‘macaca’. Although he apologized, he more recently got into trouble again, asking Craig Melvin, an African-American reporter “What position did you play?” (Melvin did not play any sport in college).
Allen is a strong opponent of abortion and choice, he has voted for a balanced budget amendment. He opposed making Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday, voted for a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage and to make it easier for cell phones to be wiretapped. He voted against repeal of a tax benefit to companies that outsource jobs. He supports the death penalty and the abolishment of parole. Allen has repeatedly voted against funding for education and against measures to reduce global warming and has been a strong supporter of the war in Iraq.
He has a 0 rating from the League of conservation voters, a 0 rating from the American Public Health Association, a 0 rating from SANE, a 100 rating from the Christian Coalition, and a 100 rating from the Chamber of Commerce and a 0 rating from the Association of Retired Americans.
On The Issues rates him as solidly conservative on both social and economic issue.
The most recent polls are from Rasmussen, which showed Allen winning by 1 point, Roanoke College, which had Allen by 7, Quinnipiac, which had Kaine by 3 and NBC/Marist, which had Kaine by 9.
- May 26: A Marist poll has Kaine up by 6.
- June 5: A Rasmussen poll has Kaine up by 2
- June 6:A new Quinnipiac poll has Kaine by 1.
- July 11: a PPP poll has Kaine up by 2.
- July 19: A Quinnipiac poll has Allen up by 2 and a Rasmussen poll has him up by 1
- Aug 8: A Qunnipiac poll has Kaine up by 2
- Aug 23: PPP has it tied
- Sep 11: Gravis has Allen up by 5
- Sep 14: NBC/Marist has it tied
- Sep 17: Rasmussen has Kaine up by 2
- Sep 19: Qunnipiac has Kaine up by 7; Washington Post has him up by 8
- Sep 20: Fox News has Kaine up by 4
- Sep 21: YouGov has Kaine by 1
- Sep 28: Suffolk University has it tied at 44.
- Oct 3: Roanoke College has Kaine up by 10
- Oct 4: Marist has Kaine by 5
- Oct 8: Rasmussen has Kaine by 7; PPP also has him up by 7
- Oct 11: Quinnipiac has Kaine up 7, Marist has him up by 1, McLaughlin has Allen by 3
- Oct 16: Rasmussen has Kaine up by 1
- Oct 17: YouGov has it tied at 42
- Oct 19: PPP has Kaine up by 5
- Oct 22: GHY has Kaine by 4
- Oct 23: Public Opinion Research has Kaine by 2; Rasmussen by 1; Wenzel has Allen by 3
- Oct 25: Old Dominion Univ. has Kaine by 7
- Oct 27: Rasmussen has Kaine up by 1
- Oct 29: Washington Post has Kaine up by 7
- Oct 30: Gravis has Allen by 2; Washington Post has Kaine by 7
- Nov 1: Quinnipiac has Kaine up by 4; Roanoke College has Allen by 5
- Nov 3: Reuters has Kaine by 3; We Ask America has it tied
- Nov 5: Reuters has Kaine by 2 (LV) or 5 (RV); PPP has Kaine by 6; YouGov has it tied and Rasmussen has Kaine by 2
Through April 1, Kaine had raised $7.5 million and Allen a little under $7 million.
- June 1: Between April 1 and May 23, Tim Kaine raised $1.2 million and George Allen $740,000
- July 12: For the quarter, Kaine raised $3 million and has $2.7 million cash on hand. Allen raised $2 million and has $3.3 million cash on hand.
- Oct 4: For the quarter, Kaine raised $4.5 million and has $1 million COH (but he just bought a lot of advertising time). Allen raised $3.5 million and has $2.6 million COH.
- The Montana senate race: voices.yahoo.com/the-montana-senate-race-2012-jon-tester-vs-denny-rehberg-11314950.ht
- Massachusetts senate race: voices.yahoo.com/the-massachusetts-senate-race-2012-elizabeth-warren-11299260.html?ca
- Nevada senate race: voices.yahoo.com/the-nevada-senate-race-2012-dean-heller-vs-shelley-11337962.html?cat