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Monday, June 21, 2010

Boucher-Griffith Race Featured in CQ Politics

This morning's CQ Politics features an article on a couple of competitive races that demonstrate the challenging environment in which the Democrats find themselves this year. One of the races featured is the 9th Congressional District race between Morgan Griffith and incumbent Rick Boucher.

CQ Politics previously rated this race as Likely Democratic. They now rate is as Leans Democratic. They explain the change this way:

The movement of Boucher, who has represented his southwestern Virginia district for 28 years, isn't due to any specific poll but more the result of a general drift toward a more competitive race.

State Del. Morgan Griffith (R), who has served in the state Legislature for over 15 years, is a solid recruit who is expected to give Boucher his toughest challenge in years. The current Majority Leader of the Virginia House of Delegates should prove to be a solid fundraiser. He brought in over $100,000 in two weeks in March before his first federal filing deadline. But Griffith's next fundraising report (due to be filed by July 15) will be highly anticipated, since both parties will be watching to see if he's made any substantial headway in closing the huge financial disparity that he faced in early May. At that point, Griffith showed just $110,000 in his campaign account, compared to Boucher's more than $1,9 million warchest.

Knocking off an incumbent is difficult, especially one with a large warchest. But money does not always translate into victory. If Griffith can raise a credible amount of money, and puts together a great ground game to turn out voters in this sprawling rural district, he can give Boucher a run for his money.

Boucher is endorsed by the NRA Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) but Griffith has been a consistent "A" rated legislator in the House of Delegates, including introducing legislation to expand the rights of gun owners. The gun issue may be a wash in this race so it is likely that the election be decided on other issues important in the district. McCain won the district by 19 points in 2008.

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