Donkeys and Elephants Down to the Wire

Clayton Roberts, with the Virginia Foundation for Research and Economic Education, provides as concise a summary of the 2007 elections as anything I’ve read in the newspapers. I can add little insight, so I reproduce verbatim some of his comments made in an e-mail distribution today.

Partisan control of the state Senate is up for grabs with at least eight races now polling within the margin of error. Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take control of the Senate for the first time since 1995. Privately, some Republicans concede they would do well to manage a 20-20 tie in the 40-member Senate, although the GOP has gained recent momentum in several races, largely on the strength of the immigration issue. One thing seems certain: control of the Senate will be by the narrowest of margins. Given a tie, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling would probably give his party the organizational edge to control committees and the floor.

Republicans will retain control of the House, although stalwarts on both sides of the aisle agree it’s likely the Democrats will pick up a few seats. Estimates vary from a net gain of two to six seats for House Democrats, who hope to come within striking distance of a majority in two years. Substantive gains by the minority party could have some in the House leadership looking over their shoulders and counting votes to secure their posts when the new Assembly convenes in January.

Campaign spending in this election cycle is spiraling upward. Candidates are spending nearly twice as much as they did four years ago and total legislative campaign war chests now exceed $55 million. That is a staggering sum of money when you consider that no more than 30 seats are really in play.

At least a dozen candidates will raise more than $1 million each for their efforts. In at least two marquee Senate races, total spending will approach $3 million, far surpassing all previous records.

In the final days, candidates are battling as if in hand-to-hand combat, marshalling their precinct captains and voter turnout troops in the final push to the finish line. In the end, the key races likely will be decided by which candidates do a better job of getting their voters to the polls on November 6.

Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


One response to “Donkeys and Elephants Down to the Wire”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Interesting statistic – a poll conducted by IQ Research & Consulting — A Qorvis Company — pretty good, ask Doug — found that the number 2 issue in NoVA at 22% was illegal immigration, second only to transportation and well above education. I wonder how that will factor in NoVA voting. The poll was conducted for the Dulles Corridor Rail Association and showed strong support for rail’s extension, but did not ask any questions about costs.


Leave a Reply