As we await the announcement if Kevin Conroy or Tom Barrett will be running as the major candidate on the Democrat side for Governor, there will be one thing that will be posing a big scare to either candidate is the results of the 2009 Virginia Governor’s election. James Wigderson does a nice job explaining that there could be the possibility the results in Virginia could scare Tom Barrett. Regardless if Conroy or Barrett run they will be dealt with the Virginia nightmare in seeing Creigh Deeds surrender the largest defeat of any Governor candidate ever in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
When looking at the two big states this year which are Virginia and New Jersey, Virginia is considered to be the biggest blow for the Democrats because they had put high hopes in flipping the state blue as Obama won Virginia by 7 points in 2008. Fast forward one year later and a twenty-five point swing happened in which Republican candidate Bob McDonnell won Virginia and set a new state record for most votes ever won by a winning Governor candidate. Despite Obama won Wisconsin by fourteen points last year by the margin of 56 to 42 percent, there could be the possibility of the same swing happening in favor of Scott Walker like Virginia Republicans had this year. A larger swing could happen in favor of Wisconsin Republicans that could exceed 30 points or more counting in last year’s result and a possible double digit victory for Scott Walker.
Despite no one in the Wisconsin Democrat leadership wants to admit that their party is in trouble, the Virginia factor will be the reason that either Tom Barrett or Kevin Conroy may have nightmares dealing with the devastating defeat Democrats had recently. Despite Kevin Conroy may have private sector experience, he will have to defend on behalf of his party a failed stimulus package for Wisconsin. This comes after a recent Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found that fudged up job counts were nothing but a smoke screen for Democrats defending the failed policy. For Tom Barrett, he will be dealt with intense scrutiny from Milwaukee civil rights groups on the MPS mayoral takeover and the major possibility of not winning endorsements from firefighting and law enforcement organizations for his handling of the law enforcement section of the new City of Milwaukee budget. The issue of furloughing cops would not sit well with any of the major law enforcement organizations in Wisconsin.
Either Democrat candidate in Wisconsin will have to deal with the number one issue that transcended the race in Virginia which is the economy. With the possibility of national unemployment rising to twelve percent next year, they will have to defend their party’s failed record on the economy. Either candidate must convince to the voters that they are not connected to Jim Doyle . This is evidenced by the outgoing Governor’s support with independent voters plummeting over the last year according to polls conducted by SurveyUSA. Independent voters in Virginia turned out for McDonnell on a two to one margin over his Democratic challenger Creigh Deeds. With many independent voters across the nation feeling buyer’s remorse towards the 2008 election, either Barrett or Conroy may have a very difficult time selling their platform to independents that are skeptical towards the Democrat agenda.
No matter how Wisconsin Democrat Party Chairman Mike Tate may go to the Creigh Deeds playbook for failure to attack Scott Walker, either Barrett or Conroy must deal with the fact that Mike Tate could be a big liability in this election. Tate may disregard what happened in Virginia this year in which their state party leadership used deceptive messaging in attempting to derail Bob McDonnell. The empty suit, slick talking Chairman through his rhetoric may have either Kevin Conroy or Tom Barrett be rendered as another Creigh Deeds in the making if Chairman Tate continues down that path. These reasons are why what happened in Virginia will come back to haunt any major Democrat candidate in 2010.