|Romney with extremists Michele Bachmann and Bob "Governor Ultrasound" McDonnell in Portsmouth, Virginia|
In 2008 Barack Obama was the first Democrat to carry Virginia since LBJ in 1964. If current polling holds, Obama may repeat the trick again in 2012. For a state that in a moment of insanity gave control of the state government to the Virginia GOP - and as a result witnessed utter anti-woman and theocratic batshitery as the norm for the Virginia GOP during the last legislative session - the news is encouraging. Just perhaps non-Kool-Aid drinking Virginians have come to their senses. As the new Washington Post poll indicates, Obama's 7 point lead stems in large part to a belief that the Obama's ideology is a better fit for the state than that of Mitt Romney who has shown himself to be a hostage of the Christianist extremists. Meanwhile, Romney has tried to bolster his popularity by appearing in Hampton Roads with Bob "Governor Ultrasound" McDonnell and the certifiably crazy Michele Bachmann. I hope the polling holds and that, if we are lucky, 2nd District Christofascist Scott Rigell goes down to defeat along with Romney come November. Better yet, that the ever despicable Eric Cantor gets voted out as well. Here are highlights from the Washington Post:
A majority of Virginians — 52 percent — say that “Barack Obama’s views on most issues are just about right” as compared to 37 percent who say the same of Romney’s views. Among electorally critical independents, 52 percent say Obama’s views were about right as opposed to just 34 percent who say the same of Romney.Worth noting: Among all Virginia registered voters, the gap is slightly more narrow; 49 percent of registered voters in Virginia say that Obama’s views on issues are “just about right” while 39 percent of registered voters say the same of Romney.Why does this data point matter? Because lots (and lots) of people make up their minds about who they will vote for based on which candidate they think best understands them. And, at the moment, a majority of Virginians believe that Obama is closer to how they think about issues than is Romney. That matters — big time.
The Post does note, however some reasons for caution for those pleased by the poll results:
First, Romney has been hurt across the board by the protracted Republican presidential primary which, in the final few months of the campaign, wound up focusing on contraception and other social issues that played into a preconceived notion among many independents that the GOP was beholden to their social conservative wing.Second, the Virginia presidential primary was a non-event as only Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul spent any time in the state. (Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum did not qualify for the ballot.) That means that Romney has not been properly introduced — and by that we mean through a slew of positive television ads — to many voters in the Commonwealth.The more time Romney spends in the state and the more money he and his campaign (and various super PACs) spend on TV ads promoting him as a centrist problem solver and the President as a liberal partisan, the more likely it will be that he can close this “thinks like you” gap. But the gap is real. And to win — in Virginia and elsewhere — Romney has narrow it.
It will obviously be crucial that the Christianists remain tied firmly around Romney's neck. One can only hope he does more appearances with nut jobs like Bachmann and that his visit to the coven of religious extremists at Liberty University for that institutions commencement gets LOTS of coverage. Liberty is increasingly making Pat Robertson's Regent University look moderate, so I hope the Obama campaign has plenty of folks on the ground for the commencement taking photos and recording the theocratic craziness that will likely mark the event.