Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Virginia Senate Race

Four months ago, this race was dead in the water. George Allen had a significant lead over Jim Webb, both in polling and cash on hand. Then came Macaca, a rather slight gaffe that should have been a bump in the road for Allen except his subsequent handling of the matter made things worse at every turn.

Since then, Allen has repeated faced accusations of racism. There are simply so many of them that it is probable that at least a few of them are true. These accusation woke up the electorate to the race and Jim Webb started closing the gap. Recent polling has Webb still behind, but within the margin of error.

Webb should benefit from getting the Washington Post's endorsement which stated "Quite simply, he is a mediocre senator whose six years of undistinguished service do not justify rehiring."

This race is a tough one to call right now. Webb needs a big blue wave on election day to push him over the top. However, since I believe women are going to lead that wave in an overwhelming fashion nationwide, Webb has a problem. Allen has been running attack ads against Webb for some comments he made in the 70's about women, and they have had a degree of effect. Is it enough to stem the tide of Iraq and kitchen table economics that should hurt Allen among women? I don't know. Prediction: True toss up, winner will win by less than a full percentage point.

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