Virginia holds its own elections in odd years, away from the federal races. While Democrats are waging a spirited and well-financed three-way primary battle, the virtually unopposed Republican is also getting some attention.
There is always danger in a primary, especially one that is hard-fought – members of the same party can sometimes do so much damage to one another that they test lines of attack for the opposing party’s candidate, drain campaign cash that could be saved for the general election, and generally weaken the primary particpants in numerous ways.
According to TheHill.com, the three candidates in the Democratic field – Terry McAuliffe, Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran are all well-funded and are said to be injecting an increasing amount of bitterness into the battle.
Meanwhile, Republican Bob McDonnell has the support of his party all but locked up and can sit back and watch the Democrats battle, all the while taking notes for his own use in the general.
But he has been dragged into the fray by a third party that is anything but neutral, when it comes to Republicans. The Democratic Governors Association is not taking sides in the primary, but it is more than happy to come into the state and spend some money attacking McDonnell, over $550K worth. Stations in the Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke-Lynchburg and Washington DC markets will be part of DGA’s buy.
RBR/TVBR observation: A primary is often bad news for the party forced to host it, but it’s great news for ad-starved media. Stations in Virginia are lucky to have a strong political category every year, not just the even-numbered ones.