Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Update on 37th District (3rd Hottest)

Lots of developments here, most in the last 48 hours.

We are making our first outlook adjustments in any race.

Overall Outlook: Toss Up

Democratic Primary: Toss Up (Change from Likely Bulova)

Republican Primary: Likely Mason

Possible Matchups:

Bulova v. Mason: Leans Republican (Change from Toss Up)
Bulova v. Kaplan: Leans Democratic (Change from Likely Democratic)
Oleszek v. Mason: Toss Up
Oleszek v. Kaplan: Likely Democratic

The readers of this site are observant enough to see we are giving David Bulova a major across the board downgrade. Bulova has dealt himself two setbacks, either one of which he could survive, but we doubt he can survive both.

Issue #1

Bulova has moved sharply to the left- to the left of California, Vermont or Connecticut even by endorsing gay marriage. No legislature in the country has passed gay marriage without a court order, and bans on it win in red and blue states alike. See the article here. Now, I know some people will say "opposing a ban on gay marriage is different from supporting it". I actually agree with that, but very few voters do, opposing a ban is the same thing as supporting in most people's minds. Keep in mind this was not opposition to Bob Marshall's HB751 that caused so much controversy. This was opposition to the ban on gay marriage that passed 79-17!

This may have been to try to keep up with Oleszek, a charming self described liberal who staked out the same position two weeks earlier. On this and other issues both are inviting a comparison they do not want with Delegate Chap Petersen. Close your eyes and imagine the November mail piece. Mason and his positions on the right. Bulova or Oleszek on the left. and Petersen in the middle with the same positions as Mason.

In Fairfax this may cut into the Democrats margin, but it won't kill your campaign on it's own. That's why while I question Oleszek's savvy in stressing this issue, I'm not downgrading her rating. So why is Bulova's going down?

Issue 2: A tin ear to Fairfax City.

As we discussed in the original analysis of this district, Fairfax City is very important. As a small jurisdiction with only one representative they view things different then Fairfax County voters. And Democrats are trying to overcome their historic losses in the City when a County Dem challenges a City Republican. Yet David Bulova seems to have turned a complete tin ear to this in his first mail piece.

With his mother as a Democratic Supervisor, it won't surprise you that a large majority of Fairfax County elected officials support his campaign. But what may surprise you is that Bulova has not gotten a single elected official in Fairfax City to support him (there are about 20). David took his county support and mailed it right into Fairfax City. My sources tell me that it was a major setback, reminding voters that he wasn't from the City, and didn't draw his support from there. If you think that sounds like a stupid issue- you don't know Fairfax City. A copy of this letter is on David's website.

With concerns already high about the City not having a Delegate or Senator resident for the first time since 1970 Bulova has really stepped into it. His campaign is far from over, but his days as the Democratic frontrunner are over, and he has made his fight in November much more uphill.


At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting analysis. I wouldn't suspect that gay bating will lose anyone any votes in the general election. Here's the problem:

In a House of Delegates race, it's hard to make ANY headway on any issues. You just don't have enough money to promote your issues. In order to make something a big issue, you have to send out mail pieces.

So - in order to make gay marriage an issue, the Republican will have to send out fliers with men kissing (ala Paul Jost). And in NOVA, gay bating isn't looked upon favorable.

I don't see gay issues being big in this district.

At 2:52 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I agree that it is distasteful to discuss in Northern Virginia. Thats's why the Republicans are lucky to have Chap Petersen leading the discussion. He talks about it all the time.... My guess is the way John Mason will use it is by getting a friendly reporter to do story about "The Democratic Candidate to replace Chap is far to his left", and then using that article all the time until Nov

At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Fairfax Dem said...

Yah, but the Republican candidate is probably to Chap's left. I can't think of a single issue where Chap Petersen is a Democrat.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Pope Benedict XVI said...

Bless you.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...


At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I head (seriously guys, I have to know if this is true) that Olezeke came into the room to an instrumental version of O'Canada. Was anyone there?

At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...


At 4:48 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Instrumental? I heard she came in bellowing it. Wearing red for solidarity with her other friends in China.

Seriously, that was a funny post. I would love to see when candidates stumble across this site, what they think about everything being said about them.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

News from the 45th - looks like David Englin is winning the war of signs in Alexandria. There's so little else to go on, honestly...I see many more Englin signs than anyone else when I drive through Del Ray or Old Town

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Here's an interesting question: Is the 45th more or less liberal than the 57th? We've got oodles of hippie-type liberals in Charlottesville - why is Alexandria so liberal? And what kind of liberals are they? Answer that, and you may have some answers to the "who will win" question. Or not.

Right now it's looking like Toscano in Cville. A Meridith Richards or Maurice Cox (on academic leave and not in Cville) or someone like that could have probably challenged him. Any different perspectives from anyone?

At 6:05 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Haha. Reston has the same liberals as Charlottesville. Alexandria has the federal liberals, very different.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Reston has liberals? Hippie liberals?

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Ok I'm not really even sure where Reston is. Somewhere in the mess that is NOVA.

At 7:06 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Reston is actually surrounded by more conservative communities liek Vienna, Oakton, Herndon, Great Falls etc. It probably is home to more of the hippie liberals then even Charlottesville. A lot of them moved to Reston when it was first built. Ken Plum is the Delegate, and his very liberal record represents that area well. It's very different from Sterling, a few miles up Rt. 7 that is represented by Delegate Dick Black.

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Google "Dick Black" and see what he stands for.

At 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You folks are forgetting that there is a Libertarian candidate in the race - Scott McPherson. His web site may be found here.

At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does Scott McPherson live

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous CityDem said...

Democrats lost this seat when Sharell Houston didn't run. Her leadership in the community would have made for an easy victory over John "Not George" Mason


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