November 2009 marks the halfway point from Jim Webb's victory in November 2006 to his next election in November 2012.
Communications, Constituent Services and his Political operations have been incredibly weak.
But on policy matters with the GI Bill, his leadership on prison reform and the international expertise that he has brought to the Senate this might be one of the most successful first terms for any U.S. Senator in recent memory.
How do those weaknesses balance with the strengths for 2012? It's still too early to tell.
Old Rating: Leans Democratic New Rating: Slight-Lean Democratic
The 34th District which is centered inMcLean and Great Falls was represented since the Ice Age by Vince Callahan before he retired in 2007. In a close battle, Margi Vanderhye won a 51-49 victory over Dave Hunt here to capture Vince's open seat.
But this is not yet Democratic territory. The 34th District was one of the few in Northern Virginia to give Barack Obama a smaller share of the vote than Jim Webb. The reason is demographics- this district includes some of the richest people in the United States. High income precincts across Northern Virginia were where Obama performed the worst versus recent election results (it's as simple as they knew what he was proposing policy-wise and didn't want to pay for it)
These same demographics of high income white voters are also what has been moving the quickest to Bob McDonnell in his campaign against Creigh Deeds for Governor. Creigh's natural strengths do not seem to be translating to the type of demographics that live in McLean and Great Falls. The up-ballot influence is going to drive this election- and changes the calculation for this district.
At this point, Margi remains the favorite for re-election slightly because of her incumbency but with less than 100 days to go Barbara Comstock has caught a lucky break from shifts in the statewide electorate and is now within an eyelash of making this a "Toss Up".
UPDATE: According to the comments here- it is actually THREE government jobs that Hamilton has. Whatever happened to the Speaker finding "waste, fraud and abuse" in government to help fund transportation? It looks like it was sitting in front of him on the floor!
Hopefully after November Phil will be down to two government jobs.
It's a big mistake to keep this girl as the Campaign Manager at this point. Republicans aren't going to drop this issue and I don't see anything great the campaign is doing that makes this distraction worth the trade off.
UPDATE: The campaign is challenging the video on Youtube, claiming the five second clip of Jeanette (or the picture of the used condom in the toilet) did not constitute fair use. That's total insanity, so I have unloaded the video here for you to see and decide for yourself.