Archive for the ‘Virginia Senate’ Category

This one was blown wide open by Jim Riley over at Virginia Virtucon, but the results are going to forever cripple an already floundering Roscoe Reynolds campaign.

The “Macacameister” Joe Stanley, founder of Yellow Dog Strategies, has been the consultant of many Democratic campaigns, including Creigh Deeds, Jim Webb, and a host of smaller DPVA races.

Reynolds is rumored to be done with Joe Stanley’s services.  Not only is a lawsuit looming against Joe Stanley, many of his clients get to make a decision: will they keep someone who uses NAMBLA as a campaign tactic?  Doubtful they will, as we can reportedly expect many of these firms/candidates to start disassociating themselves soon.


Welcome to a new, weekly insert for VOM.  Here are the exclusive rankings for the 2007 Virginia Senate rankings.  As you can see, there isn’t much movement, with 32 seats safely in the hands of the GOP and Democratic Parties and eight key races to watch.


What is interesting is that Republicans have managed to turn at least one seat into a potential pickup (Colgan), while the Democrats are looking better in at least one seat (O’Brien).

Worse still, Democratic approval ratings in Washington are at 14%.  Bush doesn’t come in much better with low-to-mid 20s, but Northern Virginia politics are centered at the national level.  Polls are reflecting a deep dissatisfaction with the status quo, so while Republicans have much to defend, the DPVA has to offer an alternative.  Quickly. 

If the election were held today, VOM would call it for the Republicans 23-17, with two seats changing hands.  Naturally, this is way premature, and we’re certain at least one Dem seat will come off the “lean” category after the September reports come in.  That having been said, Republicans are (surprisingly) in a better position to win their pick-up than the Democrats… a 24-16 Virginia Senate is not an impossibility.

To the right!  With new and improved Tricia Stall vs. John Miller stain fighting action!

Kimball Payne over at The Daily Press has the scoop:

Democrats are scrambling to pick a candidate in the district after Republican Tricia Stall defeated Sen. Marty Williams in a GOP primary earlier this month, opening up the conservative leaning district.

Speculation had centered on Mugler and one-time House of Delegate candidate John Mil(l)er – who now works at Christopher Newport University. Mugler said in a release that he wanted to unite Democrats rather the subject them to a “quickly constructed firehouse primary” which could prove financially and politically expensive.

Sources say that while John Miller is ready to run, time (as in Miller’s ability to give 40+ hours to a full time campaign) may be an issue.

Should Miller choose to run, he faces an energized GOP base in a heavily Republican district. Add to it an already thinly stretched DPVA and Miller may not have the money or the time to make this a true contest.

Against Tricia Stall, Miller has two advantages: a sea of moderates disaffected by the primary, and Stall’s position on such issues as school choice and taxes.

Here’s the catch. Challenger campaigns must be flawless to have a chance at winning. If Miller can devote the time, if the grassroots can mobilize, if Miller has the connections to raise the cash, and if Miller can motivate moderate Republicans without alienating his Democratic base… then he has a chance.

This race isn’t a lock, but Miller faces a steeper incline than most challengers.

If true, then much ado about nothing.  Staff shakeups happen all the time without much effect. 

However, if Chuck Colgan is heading towards retirement, this seat’s potential as a GOP pickup becomes all the more realistic.

RTD reports today on that little known but highly influential tie-breaking vote known in the Virginia Senate as Bill Bolling.

“A 20-20 Senate is a 21-20 Republican Senate,” exhorts Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, whose district includes the overstuffed confines of The Homestead, where lobbyists played kissy-face with House Republicans two weeks earlier.Deeds’ point: Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, a Republican, could cast the deciding vote as Senate presiding officer, ensuring the GOP maintains control of committees and the legislative calendar.

Bolling has said he believes that the lieutenant governor, the constitutionally designated tie-breaker, can even vote on organizational issues — and he is prepared to do so. But Bolling is more than a single vote. He is an insurance policy for fellow conservatives, who could finally dominate the Senate GOP caucus and, with Bolling’s “aye” or “nay,” the entire Senate.

Want more heartburn? Of the eight targeted seats in Virginia’s Senate (4 Dem, 4 GOP), the tectonics for massive change don’t appear likely.

6th Senate District (Nick Rerras vs. Ralph Northam)
Northam has money. Rerras has grassroots, money, incumbency, and a Republican-leaning district. Now the Dem bloggers have been arguing that grassroots aren’t so bad here, but the reality on the ground is that it’s not that great either. If Northam can pick up steam, he might make it a contest. But Rerras isn’t taking this for granted, and there’s nothing worse than an incumbent motivated to hold their seat.

34th Senate District (Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis vs. Chap Petersen)
Probably the most watched race due to personalities alone. JMDD has more money, more connections to get more money, and is just enough to the center on social issues to match her district. Chap (!) has the fundraising power, and certainly knows how to run a campaign. The question is, can it happen? If incumbency is any answer, Petersen is fighting an uphill battle, especially if DPVA chooses to widen the net to include races it cannot win (Holtzman-Vogel, Stuart, Stall, Hanger).

37th Senate District (Ken Cuccinelli vs. Janet Oleszek)
Cooch has the best grassroots organization in the Virginia GOP. Against his fanatically loyal base is a school board member whose politics are left-leaning at best. Still, Cuccinelli presents and inviting target to Democrats hungry for one of the most conservative members of the Virginia Senate. Can it happen? Incumbency plus a terrible habit of implosion point towards two factors arguing against a Democratic win here, plus Cuccinelli’s grassroots, plus his fundraising, plus his name ID…

39th Senate District (Jay O’Brien vs. George Barker)
O’Brien’s recent staff shakeup helps put some new blood into the campaign. On the opposite end, Barker is plowing along despite a nasty primary contest. Advantages here are surpisingly Democratic… though O’Brien gets points for incumbency and fundraising, Barker proved he had the grassroots to win. If the Dems pick up a seat, it could very well occur in the 39th.

Now before you go running off thinking all is rosy with the GOP, look towards the four GOP targeted seats:

17th Senate District (Edd Houck vs. Chris Yakabouski)
Does Yak have a shot? Sure he does. Chairman of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors with a district heavily Republican, it should be a cakewalk. The problem? Edd Houck has strong support from the VEA, NRA, and is just centrist enough not to anger the folks back home.

20th Senate District (Roscoe Reynolds vs. Jeff Evans)
The question here is whether Evans can raise the money. Incumbency and fundraising once again bring things to a fine point, and this seat (barring some kind of change in the national climate) should be safely Democratic.

29th Senate District (Chuck Colgan vs. Bob Fitzsimmonds)
Probably the best shot the GOP has at picking up a seat this year. Why? Fitzsimmonds is making his second run here in a district that is very much Republican. The catch? Colgan is no lightweight and will fight for every precinct. Once again, incumbency and fundraising are all against the challenger…

33rd Senate District (Mark Herring vs. Patricia Phillips)
The GOP’s version of the 6th District. Incumbency, fundraising, grassroots all side with Herring. Phillips proved she can motivate the Republican base, but can she build a coalition that can win in the 33rd?

FINAL OUTCOME: The GOP holds on to their four seats, while the Democrats hold on to their four. Result? A much more conservative Virginia Senate with a 23-17 split.

One or two seats don’t do it for the Dems. In fact, the Democrats have to sweep all four winnable races in order to take the Senate, while the GOP has to be successful in either defending one seat, or taking one from the Dems to hold onto their majority, and with it, redistricting.

November looks more and more like “Mission Impossible” for the Democrats in Virginia. Not what everyone wants to see or read, but until something seismic happens to motivate the voters against incumbents and for their challengers, incumbency is a powerful weapon, and this sweep isn’t happening.

SWAC Girl: 47%!

The jury is still out as to whether or not the insurrection in Augusta County was successful in the long haul or not.  Lynn Mitchell over at SWAC Girl offers her post-election analysis.

This is such a conservative area of Virginia that it really doesn’t hold much importance in terms of the swing in the Senate (Emmett Hanger should return to Richmond).   The tactics employed should be where the conversation should go.  Blogs were almost exclusively negative on both sides, though the Staunton News-Leader was indelicate and overreached in its reaction.

What makes this race interesting still?  Arin Sime.  That 47% of the Republican base is angry still… can Sime make waves, or is the pond too big?  The resident VOM libertarian is putting high hopes on this; the resident VOM liberal and conservative don’t think it’s happening (though the liberal certainly hopes it happens).

Still, one has to remark on the good showing.  Question is, can the SWACtion turn this lemon into some lemonade?  And are they willing to share it with Hanger?

We don’t consider this to be a serious challenge to Senator Ken Stolle, despite recent victories against Sen. Marty Williams and near-misses against Sen. Walter Stotch and Sen. Emmett Hanger last Tuesday.

Whether this depicts the untapped strength of conservatives, or the tapped out strength of the GOP Senate Leadership Trust is to be determined.  We suspect the latter, though in the end the protest vote against Stolle is academic.

If the race heats up, we’ll be sure to include it in the Big Line.

  • Virginia Big Line

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    1st Senate District
    (R) Tricia Stall (3-1)
    Tricia continues to plow ahead with grassroots and phones...
    (D) John Miller (5-1)
    Still a lackluster effort... we've yet to see the spark that is going to make this a win.
    6th Senate District
    (R) Nick Rerras (3-1)
    Democrats aren't going away, but neither is Rerras...
    é (D) Ralph Northam (5-1)
    Astroturf for grassroots won't make up for fundraising advantage
    11th Senate District
    é (R) Steve Martin (2-1)
    Martin knows his district and represents it well...
    ê (D) Alex McMurtrie (5-1)
    Self-financed candidate, but where are the grassroots?
    13th Senate District
    (R) Fred Quayle (2-1)
    This one is out of reach for the Democrats
    ê (D) Steve Heretick (7-1)
    Credible candidate, wrong district.
    17th Senate District
    (D) Edd Houck  (2-1)
    Edd gets hit on immigration... abuser fee stunt wasn't all that great.
    é (R) Chris Yakabouski (5-1)
    Good hit on illegal immigration makes Yak a leader... no Edd signs in Spotsy either!
    20th Senate District
    ê (D) Roscoe Reynolds (3-1)
    Joe Stanley and Ben Tribbett come to the rescue?
    é (R) Jeff Evans (3-1)
    Great blog hit on Roscoe makes the Dems bring in the heavy artillery!
    22nd Senate District
    é (R) Ralph Smith (2-1)
    That cracking sound you hear from Roanoke???
    ê (D) Michael Breiner (8-1)'s the sound of the Brenier campaign's back being broken.  This race is done.
    24th Senate District
    (R) Emmett Hanger (2-1)
    Grassroots still on fire... infighting doesn't help.
    (D) David Cox (6-1)
    Conservative vs. moderate infighting is getting worse...
    ê (L) Arin Sime (15-1)
    STD says "no thanks" to Sime, Myron Rhodes.
    26th Senate District
    (R) Mark Obenshain (2-1)
    Obenshain for AG?  Not yet... first things, first.
    (D) Maxine Roles (6-1)
    Tough, tough uphill climb in the Valley.
    27th Senate District
    (R) Jill Holtzman-Vogel (2-1)
    Still plugging along, campaign staff changes a bit odd.
    é (D)  Karen Schultz (5-1)
    Tate aftermath helping Schultz a bit...
    28th Senate District
    (R) Richard Stuart (2-1)
    Chichester's money, Howell's politics... but Stafford could prove problematic.
    ê (D) Albert Pollard (5-1)
    Stupid debate attack on Stuart for prosecuting drug lords...
    29th Senate District
    ê (D) Chuck Colgan (3-1)
    Lackluster fundraising makes this race officially a toss-up.
    é (R) Bob Fitzsimmonds (3-1)
    Strong fundraising makes this challenger race a potential GOP pick-up.
    33rd Senate District
    ê (D) Mark Herring (3-1)
    More money, favorable demographics leans this race left.
    é (R) Patricia Phillips (5-1)
    Surprisingly strong showing in fundraising...
    34th Senate District
    (R) Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (3-1)
    Strong fundraising advantage, plenty more where that came from...
    ê (D) Chap Petersen (4-1)
    Hits JMDD on abuser fees... shortly after waffling on them himself.  duh.
    37th Senate District
    é (R) Ken Cuccinelli (3-1)
    Good fundraising, great grassroots, and on the offensive against very liberal opposition.
    ê (D) Janet Oleszek (5-1)
    Downgrade here... Janet just isn't getting the traction against a strong Cuccinelli campaign
    39th Senate District
    ê (R) Jay O'Brien (3-1)
    O'Brien is in the fight of his life here...
    é (D) George Barker (5-1)
    Finally a bump that is earned.  Barker is making the push...
    1st House District
    é (R) Terry Kilgore (2-1)
    Terry's got nothing to worry about here...
    ê (D) Jerry Taylor (10-1)
    Best o' luck, me boy-o
    5th House District
    (R) Bill Carrico (3-1)
    Close NOVA matchup
    é (D) Suzie Dixon-Garner (4-1)
    Picking up steam, getting stronger
    6th House District
    (R) Anne Crockett-Stark (3-1)
    Tough district, but managable
    ê (D) Bill Thomas (4-1)
    Needs more $$$ to make this seriously competitive
    7th House District
    ê (D) Peggy Frank (3-1)
    Slack fundrasing made this a contest...
    é (R)  Dave Nutter (3-1)
    Strong fundraising, competitive campaign.
    9th House District
    é (D) Eric Ferguson (3-1)
    Fundraising advantage, previous campaign in '05, good district to work from
    é (R) Charles Poindexter (4-1)
    Heck of an effort, isn't going down or away without a fight!
    11th House District
    (D) Lee Ware (2-1)
    Roanoke Dem has six figures in the warchest
    é (I) Mac MaCadden (9-1)
    Doubt this will become interesting; $10K is a voice.
    13th House District
    é (R) Bob Marshall (2-1)
    Uber-conservative benefits from abuser fee opposition...
    ê (D) Bruce Rommelt (6-1)
    Ain't.  Gonna.  Happen.
    14th House District
    é (R) Danny Marshall (2-1)
    Silly Dems... "silly" as in even Gov. Kaine defended Marshall...
    ê (D) Adam Tomer (6-1)
    Kindly say "thanks" to the Joint Democratic Caucus for ruining your shot...
    16th House District
    ê (R) Donald Merricks (3-1)
    Heir to Robert Hurt has a tough race/district
    é (D) Andy Parker (3-1)
    Good district for the Dems...
    19th House District
    é (I) Lacey Putney (2-1)
    Sizeable warchest barely makes this a race
    (D) Lewis Medlin (6-1)
    Why is he "medlin" in this race?  Is this mic on?
    21st House District
    (R) John Welch (3-1)
    Fundraising and name ID are the kickers...
    é (D) Bob Mathieson (4-1)
    Nice warchest makes this a potential D pickup.
    26th House District
    é (R) Matt Lohr (2-1)
    Solid district, good warchest, good name ID.
    ê (D) Carolyn Frank (6-1)
    Tough race... needs the cash and the grassroots to be serious.
    28th House District
    (R) Bill Howell (2-1)
    It's the Speaker of the House... what's the big deal?
    é (D) Clyde Matthews (6-1)
    Abuser fees!
    31st House District
    é (R) Scott Linamfelter (2-1)
    No one outworks Scott...
    ê (D) Bill Day (5-1)
    Tough district, tough race, not enough cash (yet)
    32nd House District
    ê (D) David Poisson (3-1)
    Lots of cash may make this R district tough to win...
    é (R) Lynn Chapman (4-1)
    ...but Lynn is the next Paul Harris for the RPV.  Good district too.
    33rd House District
    ê (R) Joe May (3-1)
    Rumors of poor staff and conservative opposition put this seat in play.
    é (D) Marty Martinez (4-1)
    Good fundraising performance and a mobilized grassroots game... watch out!
    34th House District
    ê (R) Dave Hunt (3-1)
    Callahan's old district; big ol' target on it.
    é (D) Maggie Vanderhye (3-1)
    Excellent showing for cash, inside the beltway, and good grassroots...
    35th House District
    é (D) Steve Shannon (2-1)
    Warchest looks OK, district looks good.
    (R) Arthur Purves (6-1)
    Knew it was a tough race, jumped in anyway.  Working hard, too.
    40th House District
    é (R) Tim Hugo (2-1)
    Tough district, nice warchest, good network of volunteers.
    ê (D) Rex Simmons (5-1)
    Gotta rely on something other than ActBlue and demographics...
    45th House District
    (D) David Englin (3-1)
    There's no crying in baseball!
    é (R) Mark Allen (4-1)
    Can Republicans win in NOVA?  This race will say a lot if it's won...
    50th House District
    (R) Jackson Miller (3-1)
    Short line to cash, didn't have much time in the House...
    é (D) Jeannette Rishell (4-1)
    Is bringing the wood... will probably get a big line upgrade by Labor Day...
    51st House District
    (R) Faisal Gill (3-1)
    Will have to overcome rumors, get on issues to carry the day.
    é (D) Paul Nichols (3-1)
    Potential Dem pickup due to nasty GOP primary...
    52nd House District
    é (R) Jeffery Frederick (2-1)
    $330K in the bank.  Yes, $330K....
    ê (D) Chris Brown (6-1)
    Can't use the abuser fees on Jeffy... don't see this one happenin'.
    54th House District
    (R) Bobby Orrock (2-1)
    Gets token opposition... but this, plus abuser fees, plus a skimpy warchest means effort.
    é (I) Kimbra Kincheloe (6-1)
    Ever hear of VVAW?  You will after this...
    59th House District
    ê (I) Watt Abbitt (3-1)
    This one is going to be close...
    é (D) Connie Brennan (3-1)
    Can the Albemarle Dems reach out to rural African-American voters?
    67th House District
    ê (D) Chuck Caputo (3-1)
    Was gifted the 67th in 2005, won't be so easy this time...
    é (R) Mark Cadin (3-1)
    Caputo has the cash advantage, but everything else points to this as a pick-up.
    68th House District
    ê (I) Katherine Waddell (4-1)
    Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
    é (R) Manoli Loupassi (3-1)
    Nice warchest, would be stronger if not a three-way race.
    (D) Bill Grogan (4-1)
    Three way race is the only bit of bright light, but his cash flow looks OK
    72nd House District
    é (R) Jim Massie (2-1)
    Henrico's GOP won't let this one go.
    ê (D) Tom Herbert (8-1)
    Not a chance...
    78th House District
    (R) John Cosgrove (2-1)
    May have to get the lead out on grassroots and fundraising, but should be OK
    (D) Michael Meyer (6-1)
    Tough contest in this district... and Cosgrove isn't going to lay down for long
    82nd House District
    é (R) Harry Purkey (2-1)
    Coming back from '05 challenge, Purkey needs a bit more cash
    (D) Bob MacIver (5-1)
    Running hard... if he gets more cash in the bank, this could become quite competitive.
    83rd House District
    (R) Chris Stolle (3-1)
    A conservative named Stolle?  GASP! 
    é (D) Joe Bouchard (3-1)
    Still running behind Stolle, but running well.
    86th House District
    (R) Tom Rust (2-1)
    OK district, but huge fundraising advantage
    é (D) Jay Donahue (5-1)
    Been running a very skillful race... we're impressed, anyhow.
    87th House District
    ê (D) Paula Miller (4-1)
    ... is in trouble, and not the kind of trouble easily gotten out of
    é (R) Hank Giffin (3-1)
    Admiral Giffin is doing everything right in a district he should win.  GOP pickup here.
    88th House District
    é (R) Mark Cole (2-1)
    Slow and steady fundraising, slow and steady candidate. 
    ê (D) Carlos del Toro (5-1)
    "Jabba del Toro" isn't walking his district as he should...
    96th House District
    é (R) Brenda Pogge (3-1)
    Nagging Noll is a nuisance negating notions of near-sighted nanny-staters
    ê (D) Troy Farlow (5-1)
    Translation: Tell Noll to shut up if you want to win.
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  • TOP VA BLOGS (08-22-07)
    é 1.  Virginia Virtucon
    Drops NLS's drawers.  Everyone laughs.
    é 2.  Raising Kaine
    The Dems owe everything to Lowell Feld, that is painfully obvious.
    é 3.  Leslie Carbone
    Steps up and levels Ben Tribbett on the ODBA/NAMBLA stuff
    é 4.  SWAC Girl
    Transitioning from SWACtion zealot to den mother of the Republican blogs.
    ê 5.  Not Larry Sabato
    If what is rumored is true, Ben Tribbett may be facing some serious legal problems...
    ê 6.  VB Dems
    Attending RPVB meetings now...
    é 7.  Now at the Podium
    Quickly becoming the resident conscience of the Virginia blogosphere.
    é 8.  The Ward View
    Yes, eight is probably way too low...
    ê 9.  Black Velvet Bruce Li
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    We love these guys... but they got sucker punched by Tribbett.
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