Democrats defy odds of GOP momentum, show strength in Virginia’s swing districts
A picture taken on August 16, 2013 shows Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with his wife Mary Ann in the kitchen of their home in McLean. (Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)
(CNN) – Republican candidates for governor are gaining momentum in Virginia, in the polls and on their respective bases.
Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling has consistently been a top-tier candidate, while the former attorney general and current secretary of state was a top choice for former Gov. Bob McDonnell and businessman Ed Gillespie. In this year’s primary, however, the GOP is hoping to win the lieutenant governor’s race.
Polls are showing the state leaning blue. This includes the first poll of the year by The Washington Post/The Associated Press and Rasmussen Reports, which showed Bolling with a comfortable lead over Lt. Gov.-elect John Adams, the former chairman of the state Republican Party. A poll by The Rothenberg Political Report shows Bolling with a similar 15-point lead, with Adams in second place at 15% and Lt. Gov.-elect Brian Moran at 11%.
Bolling, a former chief of staff to Gov. and U.S. Rep. Mark Warner, is seen by many as the best choice to lead a party that has been in the minority for more than a decade. Even with his strong name recognition, he has not won a House seat statewide, with an exception being the 2008 House primary he won in Virginia Beach. The Republican has won four out of five elections to the state Senate and the position of lieutenant governor. He is also a former head of the CIA and Navy SEAL and is regarded as a strong national security advocate.
“I am confident, in terms of the state, the general election and the race against Ed Gillespie, that Bill Bolling is the best choice for Governor,” Adams said.
Gillespie’s campaign was not interested in campaigning in the state on Wednesday, when the primary is slated to take place. The Trump campaign, which has been criticized for its late campaign push, will be in the state throughout the campaign and has been sending field staff. In recent days, however, they have been holding a series of events in Virginia to help the Republican nominee’s chances of winning the state.
“Our focus is on winning. I hope