Friday, November 6, 2009

Are Nye, Perriello, and Connolly Vulnerable?

In the wake of McDonnell’s big win on Tuesday I have to wonder if members of Virginia’s congressional delegation have taken note? Specifically three freshman Democrats, Gerry Connolly, Glen Nye, and Tom Perriello, whose districts McDonnell carried. And with a health care vote scheduled this week I doubt they can afford to vote with Pelosi and Hoyer.

Rep. Glenn Nye who last year won Virginia's 2nd congressional district, which includes Hampton Roads and Norfolk, by beating Thelma Drake in a close race. No doubt Nye benefited from a great Democrat year, which he saw Obama carry the district with 50.5% of the vote. Since his election Nye has tried to distance himself from his fellow Democrats by expressing opposition to defense cuts, which of course won’t play well in Norfolk, he also voted against cap and trade. However, McDonnell carried the district by a 24-points, so Nye may not be able to vote with the Democrats on something as big as healthcare.

Freshman Rep. Tom Perriello won Virginia's fifth congressional district by a mere 727 votes. He benefited from a great Democrat year, but ordinarily the 5th district is pretty conservative - McDonnell carried the district with 61.4 percent of the vote. The district is suffering from high unemployment and Periiello helped make matters worse with his vote in favor of the liberal cap-and-trade bill. I doubt he can afford to vote for the Democrat health care takeover. Perriello has to be worried that it looks like he will have a tough opponent next year, veteran state Sen. Robert Hurt, a district native, is already raising money.

Gerry Connolly is another one to watch. Last year he won the 11th congressional district, which includes much of Fairfax County. The 11th has been trending blue for several years and Obama easily carried the district with 57% of the vote. So far it seems Connolly has been voting like he is in a deep blue district, voting with the Democrat leadership on all major issues, starting with the stimulus package and expressing support for cap and trade and health care. However, on Tuesday Connolly watched his left leaning district elect McDonnell with 55% of the vote, and with a well funded challenger in Keith Fimian, Connolly has got to be getting a little nervous.

I doubt these Virginia Democrats can afford to vote with Pelosi and Hoyer very often, if they do they will more than likely be defeated next November.

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