Cook: VA-02 upgraded to Toss up, VA-05 to Lean

The Cook Political Report updated the race in the 2nd Congressional District Tuesday from Lean Republican to Toss Up. The race in VA-05 has been upgraded from Likely Republican to Lean Republican. The photo to the left reflects these changes (click to enlarge).

More on the races below the fold.

GOP Rep. Thelma Drake has hammered Democratic former diplomat Glenn Nye on his residence, pointing to a homestead exemption for a house he and his brother own in Washington, DC. But she has been unable to establish any sort of significant lead, and the Norfolk Virginian Pilot gave Nye a significant endorsement. After endorsing Drake in 2006, the newspaper criticized her as “among the most doctrinaire conservatives in Congress” this time.

Democratic Senate candidate Mark Warner’s coattails are spooking Tidewater Republicans who worry that Drake has never really firmed up her base in the largest component of the district, Virginia Beach. This race should be considered a tossup once again.

So they got the name of the paper wrong but as one of the most respected political analysts out there, I guess we’ll give them a pass 😉.

Cook had this to say about VA-05:

Goode is a revered figure in his Southside Virginia base, and Democratic attorney Tom Perriello has spent too much time outside the district working for considerably left-of-center causes to be considered anywhere near a top-tier candidate. But the Southside portions of the 5th CD are in economic shambles and Perriello is the first candidate who has ever advertised substantially against Goode. Perriello claims in his ads that Goode supports a 23 percent across-the-board sales tax, while Goode has taken to the air to lambast Perriello on illegal immigration and gay marriage.

To the extent that Obama wins Virginia by a large margin, his biggest gains over normal Democratic performance will be in suburbs and exurbs outside this district’s boundaries. But Perriello is counting on a huge turnout on the part of African-Americans in Southside and college students in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, the only areas within the district Obama will win by an overwhelming margin.

Even if this district were tied at the presidential level, Goode could probably count on the support of more than a handful of Obama supporters in Southside. But Goode’s old-school campaign tactics are causing some Republicans concern, and the DCCC is giving Perriello modest late help.

Things are looking up in Virginia!

6 thoughts on “Cook: VA-02 upgraded to Toss up, VA-05 to Lean

  1. Glenn Nye has turned out to be a much more potent candidate that I originally thought he was going to be. Truthfully, back when Phil Kellam announced he wouldn’t run again I was in favor of holding candle light vigils outside his house in order to get him to change his mind. I didn’t think Glenn Nye was going to stand a chance.

    I am grateful Glenn Nye has proven me wrong, and I am grateful the Dems nominated such a fine candidate.

  2. LittleDavid-
    As a strong Nye supporter I copmpletely agree.
    He gave an excellent speech last night at Harbor Park and has really come so far.
    I’m excited for Tuesday- I think Cook is right- it’s a “toss-up” and hopefully turnout can swing it to Glenn!!!

  3. anyone who voted for the billions of dollars to wall sreet, on the tax payer back should be kicked out on there you know what, vote for drake you are joking right this is from a christian hardcore GOP man, enjoy your victory see you in 2 years.

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