You guys know me, this blog isn't a GOP echo chamber anymore. Hasn't been for awhile. I've been convinced for some time now that Tim Kaine was going to win this Senate race, and do so rather easily. Not only is George Allen damaged goods, he hasn't done much to repair that reputation in Northern Virginia. The Republican Party is strong now than it was in 2005-2008 when the Democrats where at their zenith, but the GOP's success was in cultivated new candidates and not defeated retreads. Tim Kaine is a gifted campaigner and engaging politician, and I've thought him the perfect foil to defeat Allen. He's sympathetic and likable, is relatively popular even though his governorship was largely a without accomplishments. He biggest victory, if you will, was pinning HB3202 on the Republicans when he signed it, too. I've also heard that Allen's actual campaign has been a shell of its former glory. They don't coordinate with the other campaigns in the state and they theme I've heard over and over is that Allen hasn't left a footprint when he leaves after an event.
But George Allen seems to have found some reat traction with this sequestration issue. He is just pounding Allen with television ads here in Northern Virginia about the potential loss of jobs to the defense industry and the most recent Washington Post poll has this basically a dead heat. Allen is coming on with independents, and I'm wondering of those are independents who work for Boeing and all the other contractors. What is more striking is I haven't seen any sort of pushback from Kaine about this. Most of his ads are positive spots (one even had him bragging about working with George W. Bush, which must be a first for a Democrat) but nothing about supporting defense cuts. Nothing about the fact that the deal was cut by Eric Cantor. Just smiling, happy ol' Timmy Kaine on the TV.
I still think Kaine squeeks this one out, but for the first time it seems Allen has some real juice in his campaign. I think Kaine is just running out the clock right now, and Allen is finally found something to work with as an issue that can distract people from his past and make voters think about their jobs and their local economy.
Ironically, I agree with Kaine on this issue but whatever.