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Freshmen Virginia Democrats Safe?

Amy Gardner

Well, one of them is. Or two. But probably not all three. So says the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato in the latest edition of his Crystal Ball report, also known as The Web's Most Accurate Political Analysis.

Sabato's report is titled "Red Dawn: GOP Revival For 2010 House?" and projects that Republicans will pick up between 20 and 30 seats in next year's midterm elections. However, only one of the three seats Democrats picked up in Virginia last year is likely to be among them, Sabato predicts.

"While this is nothing to sneeze at, especially given that it would be the largest gain for congressional Republicans since 1994, it still puts them short of the 40 seat pick-up they need to take back the House," Sabato writes.

U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly of Fairfax County, who won an open seat vacated by Republican Tom Davis, is a "likely" winner next year, Sabato says. Rep. Glenn Nye of Virginia Beach, who unseated Republican Thelma Drake, "leans" toward prevailing. And Tom Perriello, the Democrat who narrowly upset Virgil Goode in Virginia's 5th Congressional District, is a "toss-up," the Crystal Ball says.

VA-05 "was the closest race in the country in 2008 and has a chance to repeat that distinction this cycle," the Crystal Ball says. "The district is a conservative one, with the notable exception of liberal, college town Charlottesville. The natural inclination of its voters is to back a Republican, but Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello has spent his August recess combating that urge, holding the most town hall meetings (21) of any congressman in the county. It is that type of effort that he, and the other members on this list, will have to undertake to hold their seats in 2010."

In sum: "Seventy Democratic-held seats are competitive, while only 34 Republican seats are as endangered. Bear in mind that races will be added to our competitive categories as new candidates jump in and incumbents jump out of each race over the next few months. Politics, like life, is full of changes and nobody can now predict what tomorrow will bring."

By Amy Gardner  |  September 10, 2009; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2010  
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Just curious: why is it "Tom" Davis and "Gerald" Connolly in this story? Shouldn't you use formal first names or actual nicknames for both, rather than this mix?

The two men are both popular in Fairfax and people often refer to them as "Tom and Gerry," a tribute to the power of ancient Hollywood cat-and-mouse cartoons. Moreover, Gerry Connolly has never been called Gerald by anyone in my entire experience.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | September 11, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

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