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Growing Speculation over Perriello Candidacy

by: FreeDem

Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 18:40:59 PM EST

When I first heard the news that Tom Perriello was considering running for Governor next year, I was, like many here in the community, was skeptical. I have been a strong supporter of Tom throughout his campaign and would love to see him run for Governor, I simply was surprised by the news and at first believed it too good to be true. I've heard some dismiss the rumors as being put out by simply one blogger, although a very well connected and respected blogger. But the media coverage is increasing and seems closer to Tom himself now. Today there was a new Perriello speculation story out, this time from Buzzfeed, showcasing Obama's visit to campaign for Perriello in 2010.

And now Nate Cohen of The New Republic brings a dash of reality to the idea that Terry should be seen as a frontrunner, even if Tom gets in, and tears down several arguments regarding Terry's supposed appeal.

Ultimately, McAuliffe enters the '13 contest without any proven base of support. That's not surprising, since McAuliffe has never held public office and candidates seeking a higher office often attract lasting support from voters in their home districts. Still, in a low-turnout primary familiarity and past loyalty can make a difference and McAulifffe doesn't have either. Indeed, a recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 65 percent of Democratic voters had no opinion of McAuliffe.


So far, most speculation about a possible challenger centers on Tom Perriello, a former representative from Virginia’s 5th congressional district and the president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Recent reports indicate that Perriello is mulling a bid and it’s not hard to see why. Perriello has solid liberal credentials and earned the support of activists for his insistence on defending the Obama administration’s policies during his failed reelection bid in a relatively conservative congressional district. Perriello's narrow defeat in the 2010 midterm is considered one of the more impressive electoral performances of the cycle.


If Perriello challenged McAuliffe, the former DNC chairman would be in a difficult position. While McAuliffe's financial resources and support from the Clintonistas make him a more formidable candidate than his polling numbers, those same assets were only worth 26 percent of the vote four years ago. McAuliffe remains vulnerable, and Perriello, who has a reputation for authenticity and knows how to deploy a populist message, seems well-suited to capitalize. Perriello's appeal with liberal activists would be an asset, since they make-up the core of the Democratic primary electorate in a low-turnout election. With McAuliffe potentially weak in northern Virginia and Perriello strong in western Virginia (he hails from Charlottesville, and his old district in west-central Virginia represents 8 percent of the primary electorate), McAuliffe's ability to perform well among black voters in eastern Virginia might be the decisive question. But there's plenty of footage of Obama praising Perriello, and little reason to assume that Perriello would be weak in the eastern part of the state.
I don't need to explain here Perriello's progressive bona fides. The growing media coverage does make me believe that there is more to this speculation that simple rumor. Today, the blogger that seems to have started all this pointed out a hereto overlooked advantage of a Perriello candidacy.
What's happening in Danville is actually very similar to what is happening in Henrico County near Richmond, and Prince William County in Northern Virginia as well as many other localities in Virginia. For the last two decades the minority population in those areas has had a dramatically higher birth rate than the white population. What that creates is a "demographic tidal wave" as Sean Connaughton once called it. You can see it from looking at demographic stats of these school systems versus the senior populations in these localities. The babies from twenty years ago are now voters, and are starting to have their own kids that will be creating an even larger tidal wave in coming years.


It's worth noting that Democrats have yet to be successful in turning out those voters in many elections that were non-Presidential so far- with the exception of Tom Perriello in 2010 who got large turnout in Danville and was able to win a 16.3% margin of victory over Robert Hurt here even in the awful political environment of 2010 for Democrats. Compare that to the federal midterm from 2006- when George Allen narrowly defeated Jim Webb in Danville even with a strong national Democratic wind at Webb's back. With Perriello considering a run for Governor this year, Danny Marshall has got to be pulling for Democrats to stick with Terry McAuliffe for Governor- as this district could flip with Perriello on top of the ticket.
Danville isn't the only community that is part of the "demographic wave" that reelected Barack Obama. Perriello has shown that he knows the importance of mobilizing these new members of the Democratic coalition. In addition to his progressive politics, can Perriello also offer a people powered campaign that would help down ticket candidates?
FreeDem :: Growing Speculation over Perriello Candidacy
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The Establishment........ (4.00 / 1)
has lined up with McAuliffe pretty much statewide but to be honest, they really don't have any clout in a primary.  And lets face it, they are acting like lemmings rushing to the sea, lining up with McAuliffe even though the evidence from 2009 suggests that McAuliffe will lead them over the cliff to their political deaths.

Is backing Periello taking a big chance - yes!  But the risk to reward ratio suggests it is a risk worth taking.  We all know if turnout is similar to the general election in 2009, there is no way a McAuliffe candidacy will prevail.  But perhaps Periello can excite base Demoncratic voters - college students, young people, minority voters, etc., and boost turnout.  

The bottom line is that it was proven in 2009 that Terry just does not have the right stuff.  And it's up to us to save the party from itself by backing Periello.  

What Establishment? (0.00 / 0)
Terry's lining up more elected support than last time, but it's still incredibly thin. Look at National Journal's report:

So far, Connolly is the only one of the state's congressional Democrats backing him. Sens. Mark Warner and Jim Webb, Sen.-elect Tim Kaine, and Reps. Bobby Scott and Jim Moran have not plugged the party's presumed nominee yet. Neither have former Reps. Rick Boucher and Glenn Nye, who lost along with Perriello during the GOP wave in 2010.

Also absent are any former congressmen and governors. This suggests that such Democrats either plan to stay neutral prior to the 2013 primary or are sending a message that there is still room for another candidate to enter the race.

[ Parent ]
Yea that whole playing golf (Mcaulliff )with Clinton and Obama two days ago (0.00 / 0)
Should be a sign that Obama supports Perillio!  
Seriously, Obama campaigned for Tom in 2010 so it's a done deal?
Look I get the internal politics of it all, I.e. Warner pushing Tom, heres the skinny, Warner doesn't like terry, and he wants to be the Viriginia dem king maker so much so that he is willing to screw with the process and drag us out in a primary, thus once again setting up the crazy republican to go unchallenged for six months.

Terry has worked hard on the base, the voters who would decide a primary.  Tom not so much.  That doesn't mean that there is not a great political future in VA for Tom, it just means he will have a really hard time going against mcauliffe this year.  
In addition, what bonfides does Tom have versus terry?  A one term congressman that won on obamas 2008 coat  tails and could not be reelected in his own district, how in the world does that remotely translate to being able to carry in a statewide top of the ticket race?

Periello....... (4.00 / 1)
at least has been elected to public office and starts out with a base in the 5th Congressional District.  

Terry's one race was for Governor in the 2009 Democratic primary.  Terry raised eight million dollars in that race, outspent his opponents by more than 2 to 1 and what did he get for it?  Terry lost to Deeds by a whopping 23 percentage points, garnering a mere 26% of the vote.  Based on the number of votes Terry received, Terry spent a whopping $68.25 per vote versus $14.49 for Deeds.

Another worrisome sign for Dems is Terry's unpopularity in Northern Virginia during the 2009 primary.  Northern Virgina composed 36% of the primary vote in the 2009 Democratic primary and some would argue he performed poorly there due to the presence of Brian Moran.  But polling suggests that it was MacAuliffe's personal unpopularity that that lead to his shllacking in NOVA.  According to PPP in five polls they took in 2009 from March through June, NOVA primary voters in the 703 and 571 area codes showed McAuliffe with net-negative favorability ratings averaging an unimpressive minus-9 rating.

If Terry is the nominee, it will be a repeat of the 2009 general election, except we'll get stuck with Cooch, who makes Bob McDonnell look like a MoveOn.Org member.


[ Parent ]
Repeating 2009 is a danger, but not a certainty, unless we let it be one (0.00 / 0)
Look, both candidates - the declared and the rumored - have strengths and weaknesses. I personally intend to work just as hard in November for either of them, whomever I end up supporting before. It's just too important not to, since I agree that Cooch as Governor would be beyond a disaster.

The important thing to remember is that we are active participants in this, not passive observers. No outcome is inevitable, unless Democratic activists chose to sit 2013 out. Then we will get Cooch. So can we all agree not to let that happen?  

[ Parent ]

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