Gilmore Endorses McDonnell

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore has endorsed Attorney General hopeful Bob McDonnell of Virginia Beach in his contest with Richmonder Steve Baril. Sayeth the Roanoke Times:

In a press conference outside the Henrico County courthouse, Gilmore called McDonnell “uniquely qualified” to hold the office that Gilmore himself occupied from 1994 to 1997. Gilmore served as governor from 1998 to 2002. “I’ve thought about it very carefully for a long time,” Gilmore said. “I’m absolutely convinced that Bob McDonnell is the man I want to endorse for attorney general.”

Baril’s response: The former governor “is repaying his political debts. … “Bob McDonnell is the career politician and is building his campaign on lots of endorsements.”

As a practical matter, do endorsements like these make a difference? Conceivably, there are voters out there who don’t know much about either McDonnell or Baril, but they know and trust Gilmore, so they’ll take his word for it. On the other hand, there are other people–yes, even Republicans–who don’t like Gilmore. Wouldn’t an endorsement of McDonnell sway them to vote for Baril? Are gathering endorsements really worth the trouble?

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  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    If you don’t have endorsements, opponents claim you don’t have a base of support. If you do have endorsements, the endorsers are attacked.

    All in all, I think endorsements are better than the alternative, but the connection between an endorsement and a vote is probably pretty tenuous. It’s just noise to be tuned out at the punchcard booth.

  2. Doug W. Avatar
    Doug W.

    McDonnell supporters are more socially conservative, more active in GOP affairs, more intense, and more likely to turn out than Baril supporters. Gilmore’s endorsement adds fuel to the intensity fire.

  3. I can’t wait until Gilmore runs again. If Las Vegas odds makers had to predict his chances of winning, it would be about 50-1.

    The question is: Which seat does Gilmore lose for the Republicans? Governor? Or Senator? I wish he could run in both races and lose in both…but we can’t always get what we want.

  4. Steven Avatar

    No surprise about the Gilmore endorsement of Bob McDonnell.

    But err, Paul…

    Better double your bets at the Las Vegas table because it’s looking more and more like a US Senate candidacy for anti-car tax icon, Big Jim ‘deficit’ Gilmore.

    Dry Throat said, “With all that congressional door knocking in D.C. — a potential candidacy is more than obvious.”

    Dry Throat works in DC as a lobbyist and occasionally bumps into VA ‘Pubs in the halls.

    ~ the blue dog

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    Let’s draw some lines here for the uninitiated. There is a direct line between Jim Gilmore and the consultants for Steve Baril (Ray Allen, et. al.) The same direct line was visible between Bolling and Gilmore’s political operatives, and that resulted in a Gilmore endorsement for Bolling. Now despite the ties of political affinity, the endorsement goes against the consultants and to McDonnell. I can think of only one reason: Like everybody else in this game, Gilmore wants to be on the winner’s bandwagon. It seems to me it was a giant signal.

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