Virginia, long a bastion of conservative thought typified by the Byrd dynasty, Columnist James Kilpatrick, Liberty University, and Pat Robertson elected a Catholic, anti-death penalty Democratic Governor Tuesday Night. In a state with the perfect mix of rural protestants and military families to make it the state with longest streak of consecutive Republican electoral wins in Presidential politics (Virginia last voted Democrat for President in the landslide election of 1964 and before that in 1944), The GOP has now lost two consecutive Governor's elections in the state.
Kaine, the former Mayor of Richmond demonstrated that a Democrat in the South can position him/herself to win by doing some basic things. Kaine deemphasized polarizing social issues and ran his campaign on a positive message of economic growth. Kaine's success in minimizing Republican margins in the Hampton Roads area which is dominated by Military families is a promising sign for Democrats in 2006. Kaine's campaign which furthered Warner's populist appeals of 2001 was even successful in the rural Tidewater area a GOP bastion whose Congressman Virgil Goode switched to the GOP several years ago because the National Democrats were way out of step with his constituents. Kaine was able to build upon the margins Mark Warner built in the inner Northern Virginia areas (Suburban Washington) of Alexandria and Arlington Counties while running much stronger than Warner had in Fairfax, Prince William and Lounden Counties just outside the Beltway. This area has filled up with many new residents and high tech companies over the past several years and Warner began an upward trend for Democrats in the area.
The Democrats now have the right combination of suburban and urban voters to win the peripheral south (states like Virginia, Tennessee, Florida and North Carolina) if the right candidates are put forward. Democrats in Washington are crowing about Kaine's victory declaring that it is a harbinger for 2006. It can and will be precursor for next year only if the Democrats study Kaine's victory and why he carried areas of the state that Democrats running for President have had no success in.
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- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.