- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 13, 2005

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry W. Kilgore lost four of Virginia’s congressional districts that President Bush won a year ago, according to an analysis of Tuesday’s poll results.

Democrat Timothy M. Kaine, who was elected governor, won six of the state’s 11 congressional districts, two of which are Republican strongholds in Northern Virginia. Mr. Kaine received 52 percent to Mr. Kilgore’s 46 percent.

In November 2004, Mr. Bush beat Sen. John Kerry by nine points in the state, claiming victory in nine of the state’s congressional districts.

The turnover in the two Northern Virginia districts could spell trouble for Republican incumbents Reps. Frank R. Wolf and Thomas M. Davis III, whose districts voted for Mr. Kaine on Tuesday, even though voters there chose Mr. Bush in 2004.

The other districts that switched from Mr. Bush in 2004 to Mr. Kaine this year were the 2nd District that includes Virginia Beach and the 5th District that includes Southside Virginia.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is analyzing the results and working on recruiting candidates to challenge Mr. Wolf and Mr. Davis, said committee spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg.

“We’re actively talking to folks in those districts,” she said. “The American people are pretty sick and tired of a status quo Congress that is not moving in the right direction for the country. … They are ready for a change.”

Virginia has three Democrats and eight Republicans in the state’s delegation to Congress and two Republicans in the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Davis and Mr. Wolf successfully fought off challenges in the 2004 elections, but Democrats are hoping the 2006 races will knock out the incumbents.

Last year, Mr. Wolf beat his Democratic opponent, James Socas, with 64 percent of the vote. Mr. Wolf, who is serving his 13th term, represents the 10th District, which includes Clarke, Loudoun, Frederick and Warren counties, the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester and parts of Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William counties.

Mr. Davis, who is serving his sixth term, beat his challenger, Democrat Ken Longmyer, with 60 percent of the vote.

Mr. Davis, who is chairman of the Committee on Government Reform, represents the 11th District, which includes parts of Fairfax and Prince William counties, and Fairfax City.

Mr. Kaine said Wednesday that many Democrats had ignored the outer suburbs of Northern Virginia and that he reached out to voters there by talking to them about smart growth and homeowner tax relief.

“We worked” the outer suburbs, Mr. Kaine told reporters. “A lot of Democrats have ignored Prince William and Loudoun. I recognized, as did some good staffers, that they would be very important areas for us.”

In the 2nd District, Rep. Thelma Drake, a Republican, was elected last year to a first term in Congress after Rep. Edward L. Schrock retired. A former state delegate, Mrs. Drake beat her Democratic opponent, 55 percent to 45 percent.

In the 5th District, Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr., a Republican, defeated his challenger last year with more than 65 percent of the vote.

Mr. Kaine said the open discussion of his Catholic faith helped him win regions such as Virginia Beach, which usually is a reliable Republican stronghold. The Rev. Pat Robertson, an outspoken Christian broadcaster, lives there.

“Virginia Beach is the home of a lot of people who take their faith seriously, and I do, too. And I think that may also have been a reason we did well in Virginia Beach,” Mr. Kaine said.

The analysis also suggests that many Bush voters either switched and voted for Mr. Kaine or did not go to the polls on Election Day.

“I know people stayed home,” said Chris LaCivita, a longtime Republican strategist who ran George Allen’s successful Senate campaign in 2000.

Only 45 percent of the state’s 4.4 million voters cast ballots Tuesday.

The Republican candidates for lieutenant governor and attorney general both outpolled Mr. Kilgore, the candidate at the top of the GOP ticket.

Many observers think Republican Party loyalists voted for Republicans William T. Bolling and Robert F. McDonnell for those spots but not for Mr. Kilgore, because they were turned off by Mr. Kilgore’s ads that attacked Mr. Kaine on the death penalty.

Mr. Kilgore received 912,048 votes. Mr. Bolling, who won his race for lieutenant governor over Democrat Leslie L. Byrne, received 979,014 votes.

Mr. McDonnell, who ran against Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, received 970,635 votes.

The attorney general’s race is being recounted because the two candidates are about 400 votes apart, according to unofficial results posted last night on the Virginia State Board of Elections’ Web site (sbe.vipnet.org/index.htm).

Mr. Bolling and Mr. McDonnell won the 2nd and 5th districts by large margins, but narrowly beat the Democrats in the 10th District.

Mrs. Byrne and Mr. Deeds won the 11th District.

Democrats are looking for a candidate to challenge Mr. Allen’s re-election bid next year.

Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat with more than 70 percent approval ratings, has decided not to run against Mr. Allen.

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