Monday, May 27, 2013

The Virginia GOP's Ticket Problem

“Something happened that wasn’t supposed to,” [campaign strategist Kenny] Klinge said Tuesday. 
That “something” was the repudiation of what remains of Establishment Republicanism. 
Senior party officials and legislators were perceived by the grass roots — religious conservatives, gun-rights activists, tea partiers and home-schoolers — as intent on installing a mainstream candidate, presumably social-media millionaire Pete Snyder.
The first problem this ticket must solve: erase the impression that party leaders aren’t fully behind it. 
During the protracted balloting — it went four rounds before Jackson was declared the winner — backstairs talks began, aimed at stopping Jackson, according to operatives. The objective: force Corey Stewart, the immigrant-hostile Prince William County supervisor and tea-party favorite, to endorse Snyder. 
The talks included Republican senators for whom the stakes of the lieutenant governor election are especially high. The Virginia Senate is evenly divided — 20 Democrats, 20 Republicans. But a GOP lieutenant governor currently guarantees the party’s control. If Republicans lose for lieutenant governor; in effect, they lose the Senate. And that could cripple a Ken Cuccinelli governorship.

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