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Monday, June 2, 2014

Has the Virginia GOP Learned Its Lesson

According to the Roanoke Times, we will know some time this Saturday afternoon.  The Virginia GOP will hold its U.S. Senate Nominating convention in Roanoke on Saturday and choose between four candidates for the chance to take on incumbent Mark Warner.  The four candidates are former RNC and Virginia GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie, Tony DeTora, a congressional policy adviser from Stafford County; Shak Hill, a U.S. Air Force veteran from Centreville; and Chuck Moss, a businessman from Prince William County.   

Last year's convention for the three state wide offices was a disaster.  The nomination for Governor was unopposed and most people came in committed to one or the other AG candidates.  But for the Lt. Governor nomination, there were five candidates and most delegates were uncommitted, which created the perfect storm for the eventual winner, E.W. Jackson, who made a real stem winding speech and led on every ballot.  In the end, his 20 point loss in the general election likely helped pull down State Senator Mark Obenshain in the AG's race.  Will the GOP go with the best candidate this year?  UVA Political Scientist Larry Sabato seems to think so: 
Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, agreed that a Gillespie defeat in Roanoke is unlikely, given the stakes and following Republicans’ losses of all three statewide races in November.
“Political people are not dumb; their learning curve is not flat,” he said. “The GOP has a fair to good chance to take control of the Senate, and the party is trying to broaden the playing field.
I guess we will find out Saturday if Sabato is right.

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