Election 2008

Democrats, in selecting Kerry as their candidate for the last election, supposedly settled upon electability. How about they settle for real electability next time around?

Virginia Democrat Mark Warner has expressed an interest in making a run for President. While he is not well known (yet?) he would indeed be a formidable candidate. Will Democrats reap the harvest that is offered?

Mark Warner was elected Governor in dark red Virginia. Virginia has been in the habit of electing Republicans for Governor recently. Both Federal Senators are now Republicans since George Allen unseated long serving incumbent Democrat Chuck Robb. The state legislature is dominated by Republicans. What is more, polls within Virginia indicate that if Mark Warner set his sights a little lower, and decided to run for the Senate, he would defeat incumbent Republican George Allen (although I doubt he would fare as well running against the more moderate and longer serving incumbent Republican Senator John Warner). So Mark Warner could probably carry Virginia in a national election. If Kerry had carried Virginia he would be sitting in the Oval Office now. Mark Warner could also be competitive in any number of light red southern and midwestern states, forcing Republicans to spread thin the massive campaign chest they are apt to put together for 2008. Mark Warner potentially could even carry moderate (heavy emphasis on moderate) Democratic candidates for the House and Senate along with him on his coat tails in these same light red states.

Democrats can not afford to "only" split the moderate vote if they want to win a national election. Liberals poll twenty something. Conservatives poll thirty something. Moderates rule while polling Forty-five percent. However Democrats can not expect to win if they only evenly split the moderate vote.

Why not Hillary? Hillary probably has the nomination locked up if she wants it. But that is a shame. Why? Because while Hillary does indeed have name recognition that name recognition comes at a high cost. Many, when they hear the name Hillary, already have formed an extremely negative opinion of her and will not listen to anything she has to say as she stumps. Republicans need not resort to putting a moderate of their own up for election if they face Hillary. They probably can remain competitive with a candidate who serves up strong right wing credentials. I can hear it now, "I don't particularly like what's-his-name but I can't bring myself to vote for Hillary." Would I vote for Hillary? Maybe. She has been trying to position herself as a moderate while talking tough to NARAL and NOW. She also indicated fairly quickly that she was inclined to vote to approve Judge Roberts. My fears that all this is just that though. Positioning. According to the Washington Post at least one liberal advocacy group gives her a 95% favorable rating on her voting record. Not very moderate. Even if Hillary manages to snag my vote and the vote of others like me it might not be enough. I voted for Kerry after all and Kerry still lost.

If Democrats want to actually win an election for once, they might have to settle for the silver ring. Virginia Democrat Mark Warner might be "only" silver, but he might actually win an election. Something to think about isn't it?

But all bets are off if Republicans counter with a moderate of their own. If, for example, they can convince Colin Powell to run for office.... well let's just say Colin Powell would have the potential to turn dark blue states at least a pale shade of pink.


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