September 15, 2006

The U.S. Senate seat in Virginia is a toss-up?

Who would of thunk it. Chris Cilizza of the venerable election blog, The Fix, at the Washington Post is calling the race for George Allen's seat in the Senate up for grabs. Cilizza is seizing on a new independent poll that has Allen only four percent ahead of his challenger.Most pundits were saying that Allen's macaca moment would damage his chances for the presidential nomination in 2008 and not his chances for reelection to the senate in 2006. Now they're changing their tune. It is unclear whether the macaca comment is the cause, or that the flap generated intense media coverage of Allen's rather long history of racial insensitivity.Just last year, the nation saw Virginia elect a Democractic governor to succeed the hugely popular Democrat, Mark Warner. Now, Virginia might elect a Democratic senator? Allen's challenger, Jim Webb, still has an uphill battle, but one thing is clear: the demographics of the state, particularly in the northern suburbs, are changing, and with it, the partisan climate.