The State of the Race–one week out

For our Fifth District…

The recent polling still puts the Cockburn-Riggleman race as a toss-up, although a poll conducted by the New York Times and Siena College puts Cockburn up by 1%. All the more reason that we must get out the vote. Turnout will win this.

For Virginia…

• Tim Kaine has a commanding lead over the hapless Corey Stewart, meanwhile there are three other women, besides Leslie Cockburn, running in Virginia for national office that could contribute to the Democrats capturing the House:

• In the 7th (Richmond area), Abagail Spanberger has had, at times, a lead over GOP’s Dave Brat, but that race has narrowed and is now a toss-up.

• Jennifer Wexton in Virginia’s 10th has a decent lead over Republican Barbara Comstock.

• Elaine Luria is trailing Scott Taylor in polls regarding the Second District, but is within striking distance.

Again, it’s all about turnout.

For the Nation…

Nate Silver’s high-regarded 538 gives the Democrats a 5 in 6 chance of capturing the House. Reverse that chance and it looks like the Republicans will keep the Senate, but…

There are many signs that there will be tremendous turnout this election, perhaps surpassing the 50 percent mark which hasn’t occurred since 1916. Early voting has surged and as of Oct. 23rd, eleven million citizens have voted early.

Sadly, …

Trump and the Republicans know they are in trouble and here is how they are reacting.

First and foremost, with stoking fear.

The “October Surprise” for the them is the Central American Caravan winding its way through Mexico. You can expect them to keep it in the news until election day.

Second. with voter suppression.

“Claims of voter suppression have multiplied during the 2018 midterm-election cycle. Gerrymanders dilute black and Latino votes. Voter-ID laws in some states disproportionately affect people of color. Polling-place changes, lines, and irregularities still characterize the voting experiences of many communities of color.

“In Georgia, for example, the Republican candidate for governor—the state’s secretary of state, Brian Kemp—is facing a lawsuit over allegedly racially biased voter purges.

American democracy finds itself at a crossroads, and a future where more suppression is the norm seems like a strong possibility.” from an article in The Atlantic.

How we got here

The Republicans are suffering from a “gender gap.”

“In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, women say they would prefer a Democratic Congress 57-32.” –From the New York Times.

So here we are on the eve of an historic election. Fear is being stoked, bombs are being sent, Trump admires a candidate who body slams a journalist and he warns of voter fraud. It’s no wonder citizens are anxious. But, the prescription for all that anxiety is to vote.

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Louis Harpster