Have there been any repercussions for Republicans supporting Warner?

One year ago I made a forecast about the Virginia U.S. Senate race:

Warner will enjoy support from some key Virginia Republicans. Some will support him in obvious ways, such as endorsing him or hosting events for him. Many others will support him in quieter ways, by failing to support the Republican nominee and encouraging other Republicans to do likewise.


Warner will win, and the current narrative will then seem inevitable fact: Democrats are retaking Virginia, and there’s nothing Republicans can do about it.

Though the election is a few weeks away, I suspect we can agree that this much is correct: Warner is enjoying overt support from key Virginia Republicans (he employs Ken Stolle’s former LA), he’s ahead 26 points in the polls, and his coattails are surely helping Barack Obama maintain his ten point lead in Virginia, causing the entire nation to wonder if Virginia is about to go Democratic. So that half of the thesis is correct.

But the other half of my forecast is tough for me to verify. As a Democrat, I’m not in a great position to determine how well this has panned out:

The RPV will be furious. If all of this has any effect on the Republican nominee, it will be that the process will result in an even more conservative nominee than would otherwise have resulted. There will be calls for party purification and declarations of war on the incumbents supporting Warner. It will be enormously ugly. As they always, always do, Virginia Republicans will manage to drive the most sensible, electable Republicans out of the party, leaving them with an ever-shrinking group of ideologues who are still willing to sign whatever pledge is necessary to show that they’ll toe the party line.

Many of my Republican friends are simply supporting Warner. They’re not fussing about it, they’re just not supporting Gilmore and that’s that. That’s just the sort of passive opposition to Gilmore that I expected. (With Gilmore at 31%, apparently a lot of Republicans feel that way.) But if any party chairs are up in arms about this, I haven’t heard a thing about it.

So here’s my question for you, Dear Readers: Have you seen any evidence of Republican reprisals against Warner supporters? (Or seen evidence to the contrary: that Republicans are being given a pass on this election?) Post a comment or, if you’d rather, e-mail me if you’ve seen this sort of thing.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

4 replies on “Have there been any repercussions for Republicans supporting Warner?”

  1. Not that I’ve seen, and I’m a GOPer.

    Then again, I’m of the belief that businessmen who have been successful on a large scale have much better economic acumen than lawyers, career politicians, and the like.

    Which is a reason why I liked Mitt Romney, too…might as well go with those who know how to handle money.

  2. In my recent trips up and down 29, I haven’t seen one single road sign supporting Gilmore. To the point where a week ago, I couldn’t remember his name. Warner signs in amongst the giant “VA is McCAIN Country” banners.

    So one hypothesis is that it’s hard for the VA Republicans to get their ire up simply because they don’t believe in their candidate.

    Another hypothesis is that there are so many other races that the Republicans -do- care about that they’re having a hard time caring about Warner v. Gilmore. There’s only so much fury to go around, perhaps, so they focus it on races they can win. Or races that are at least somewhat close.

    Or perhaps it’s just too soon; the VA Republicans who are likely to be furious may be waiting until November. Once the results are in, and the power has shifted around however it’s likely to shift, then they can focus their fury on the appropriate targets. Pointless to purify the party right before the election; heads may roll by Thanksgiving.

  3. I went for a long bike ride yesterday around Nelson and Albemarle. I saw only 1 Gilmore for Senate sign. I even saw a Warner sign next to a Goode sign, although Goode and Gilmore seem to come from the same mold. Maybe they just like supporting whoever is leading the polls.

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