Deciding on who I will vote for to be our nominee for US Senate has been one of the more difficult I have encountered in some time. While the readers of this blog know I have real problems with Gov. Gilmore's candidacy, you would think I would automatically support Marshall. Not so fast.
The very first post of this blog was "Anyone but Jim". I was hopefully such a call would lead to having a heavy weight get in the race and give us a fighting chance against Mark Warner. Bob Marshall is a principled and fine man but he is hardly the heavy weight I was hoping for.
Still I have many issues with Gilmore such as: high unfavorable ratings, favors abortions in the first 8 weeks, a car tax plan that shifted state tax revenue disporportionately to NOVA, and others I won't mention. I have a real problem with his abortion stand particularly when I was able to see my daughter's heartbeat at 6 weeks. It is hard to stomach that it is OK to end life at that point. That being said he has come through with a real winner of an issue: Energy.
Gilmore has the best energy policy of anyone running. His position is even better than our presidential candidate. I predict due to the pandering to the environmental left over the last several years the voters understand what it means not to have enough oil. They understand that we need to drill for more while we explore alternative sources. This is one issue that Joe sixpack will understand and I believe the fall's election could turn on.
I have been surprised that Marshall feels the Sierra Club and others are that important in order to win in the fall. He should understand that they will drop him like a hot rock for Mark Warner. My hope should he be our nominee that he would figure that out and adopt a policy much like Gilmore's.
When comparing resources both our guys are in bad shape. Gilmore has more money but has been spending almost all of it (80%) and will have little for the fall. A significant number of GOP givers are siding with Warner and that will make it more difficult. He will need more money than Marshall because he needs to create a more positive image of himself due to his high unfavorables. Marshall will need a lot of money just to let people know who he is. So far he hasn't shown such an ability but has waged a very efficient nomination battle and has a real chance of becoming the nominee.
The last consideration is how will our nominee effect our other candidates running. At least for the 6th District neither will slow down Goodlatte. Bob's opponent hasn't shown much and is not likely to put up the effort to be able to take him down. But the effect on our presidential nominee could be more important. Senator McCain will need help motivating social conservatives to turn out. Probably a slight edge in this area goes to Marshall. Marshall may have difficulty winning himself would turn out a more dedicated group that would help McCain. With Virginia in play nationally this can't be overlooked.
So---with all this back and forth---the envelope please. And the winner is-----------! Sorry I have decided to keep this one to myself. I wish whoever wins all the best but for once I plan to vote my conscience and come back home. I'm sure I'll have comments on Monday about how the weekend went.