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Posted at 3:15 PM ET, 11/ 2/2010

This year's Florida? It's Rick Boucher in Virginia

By Paige Winfield Cunningham

Tim Russert created an unforgettable moment when he wrote "Florida, Florida, Florida" on his white board during the 2000 presidential election.

If I were commentating on TV right now, I'd write "Boucher, Boucher, Boucher" on my board.

Virginia likes to be known as the bellwether of how elections will go in the rest of the United States, and perhaps no race fits that category more than the one Democratic Rep. Rick Boucher is fighting.

Republican wins in Virginia's other three competitive congressional races will evidence this year's mood of frustration with the Democrats. All three Democrats are serving their first term after seizing the seats in the 2008 anti-George Bush-and-GOP tidal wave. What the wins wouldn't really do is indicate that the voters' issues with the Democrats transcend the predictable shifts in political sentiment.

Take the 11th District in Northern Virginia. The seat was in the GOP hands of Rep. Tom Davis for seven terms prior to Rep. Gerry Connolly's win last election.

And before Rep. Glenn Nye's win in the 2nd District, the seat was held by Republicans from 1969 to 1987 and then again from 2001 until 2009.

The 5th District is a little different, because it only moved over to the GOP when Rep. Virgil Goode switched parties in 2002, just three terms before he was ousted by current Rep. Tom Perriello in 2008. Still, there would be nothing shocking about a Republican win in the largely conservative district.

But if Boucher's 27-year House career comes to an end tonight, the hearts of Democrats west of the Appalachians will sink. Fortunately for Boucher, Virginia's own Tim Russert -- Larry Sabato -- says that's not going to happen. His prediction: Boucher and Connolly will hold onto their seats, while Nye and Perriello are going down.

It's unfortunate when you have to fight for your longtime seat just because your party is momentarily unpopular. It's even more unfortunate when that unpopularity turns into a tsunami that renders irrelevant years of experience. So good luck, Rep. Boucher.

Paige Winfield Cunningham is an investigative reporter and managing editor at Old Dominion Watchdog. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

By Paige Winfield Cunningham  | November 2, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Local blog network, Va. Politics  
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Poor Paige:

Based on your incoherent logic that just because Ricky has been in the house for too long, he must be reelected. Cap and trade did this fool in, and rightly so. Enjoy retirement Boucher!

Signed, " a democrat west of the Appalachians NOT shaking in my boots!"

Posted by: djohnson027 | November 2, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Why is it "unfortunate you have to fight for your longtime seat" under any circumstances? I would rather have incumbents who believe their seat is always threatened, so that they remember who elected them.

Posted by: Grumpy11 | November 3, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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