Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Virginia Gubernatorial Race

News articles across the country are looking to the Virginia governor’s race.


In a state where its own residents (including me) are sick of the non-stop ads cluttering up television between the two candidates, this race is about more than who will be governor come January.

Political pundits predict that the outcome of this election will demonstrate where Americans in general stand. Democrats are certainly more subdued this year as opposed to last fall, when they were energized to the point of helping elect Barack Obama. Now, the Republicans are building momentum and in many polls Republican Bob McDonnell is far outleading Creigh Deeds.

Even though many might think Virginia’s recent blue-state status is propelling the Commonwealth towards a more left-leaning political base, that’s not necessarily true. The fact is that Virginia often has a governor of a different party than who is in charge in Washington, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see McDonnell take this race.

Negative ads can have effects on either side of the party line. Negative ads can charge up party faithfuls by making them think that the race is close and they need to get out and vote, or they can irritate the opposite party and get those people out to vote. The fact is, though, it’s an off year. People just don’t come out to vote for governor (and many other offices) when it’s not a presidential year. Maybe people are worn out from last year.

Regardless of the outcome, it is possible that Virginia could be showing the greater thoughts of the rest of the country: concerned with where the administration is taking things, delaying things, or not focusing on and use this to push for change in their own state.

But please, candidates, stop pretending you’re going to be generous with taxes. Virginia’s going to face tremendous financial problems without taxes. Would you rather be honest about the state and try to get elected that way or would you rather promise no new taxes and then break your promise? Wouldn’t that then make it easier for the opposite party to get elected the next time around? Politics is a tricky game.

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