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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

This May Explain Warner's Move to Negative Ads

If you watch TV, you've probably seen an uptick in political ads for the Virginia U.S. Senate race and you have noticed that Warner has gone decidedly negative.  There is a good reason for this shift.  Bearing Drift has done an in-depth look at the just released CNU polls that shows a 12-point lead for Warner, but also shows that he has a ceiling of support:
But there may be a signal in there somewhere: Warner’s vote has a ceiling. In early September, CNU showed Warner at 53 percent. Roanoke College had Warner at 46 percent in late September. The next day, Quinnipiac has Warner at 48 percent (and at 50 in a head-to-head with Gillespie). Now CNU shows Warner at 51.


Warner was supposed to cruise to victory in November.  And, while he still has a lead of between 9 and twelve points depending on which poll you choose, the final total will likely be much closer.  As Bearing Drift pointed out in the above linked post, a lot of things have to go Gillespie's way for him to pull off an upset.  But, the fact that Warner has had to pull out things like "Enron Lobbyist" and other misleading statements in his ads says that Warner knows he is in a fight.

Warner must have thought voting with Obama 97% of the time, for Obamacare after saying he would not support any proposal that made people give up their current insurance, and vote to criminalize private firearm sales and transfers among life-long friends and family members would not come back to bite him.  While he has maintained a lead, he is having to work harder to keep his seat.

Finally, Warner worked hard to get the gun and sportsman vote in his 2001 race for Governor.  He similarly worked for that vote in his first U.S. Senate race.  Neither issue is mentioned on his current campaign web site.  The Mark Warner of 2014 is not the Warner of 2001.  How self identified conservatives can vote for this guy, as the CNU poll indicates, is a mystery.

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