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NDP House Race Ratings Update

by: Kenton Ngo

Fri Jun 05, 2009 at 10:59:14 AM EDT

Sure, everyone's tied up with the primary until Tuesday. It doesn't mean we at NDP aren't going to put up new house ratings. Ratings are done in order of likelihood of a party switch.

First Tier - Leans & Toss Ups
Rank Dist. Incumbent Challenger
1 52 Rafael Lopez (R) Mike Hodge (D)
Luke Torian (D)
(OPEN SEAT) Exit the Fredericks. Torian will win Tuesday's primary easily, and will coast to victory in November over Lopez, who seems to either not be even trying or abandoned by the party (perhaps both). It almost makes you wish Jeff Frederick would change his mind if it made this race any less boring.
2 42 Dave Albo* (R) Greg Werkheiser (D)
For an incumbent that's been there so long, he should avoid silly mistakes like handing out campaign lit at schools, or speaking ill of the opposition's mother.
3 93 Phil Hamilton* (R) Robin Abbott (D)
Abbott was off to a late start, pinch-hitting for former candidate Chris Rey--and then knocked it out of the park, vacuuming up $104,731 in six weeks, outraising Hamilton 2-1. As a reminder, Obama crushed McCain in the 93rd by 23 points--with Hamilton's cash on hand advantage nearly evaporated, he has only incumbency to fall back on. Abbott is the first Democratic challenger to Hamilton since 1995. So why isn't this race higher? The district is 31% black, which helped inflate Obama's margin--but will they come out in similar numbers for Abbott, who is white? Only eight years earlier, George Bush eked out a margin of a few hundred votes.
4 86 Tom Rust* (R) Stevens Miller (D)
Rust is doing much better than Albo, the other Fairfax Republican under fire.  Rust's district is also far more Democratic. It has yet to be seen whether Miller will gain traction outside of Loudoun County. Miller has so far been unable to change the 3:1 cash on hand advantage that Rust has.
5 34 Margi Vanderhye* (D) Barbara Comstock (R)
Republicans seem to be placing all their chips--big ones--on Barbara Comstock. Comstock took $1,000 from upstanding citizens like Karl Rove. Her biggest check last month was $5,000 from Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC. All that's missing is a check from Sarah Palin. Vanderhye's 191 donors were more concentrated inside the district than the heavy-hitting 166, heavy on Washington insiders, that poured cash into Comstock's campaign.
6 13 Bob Marshall* (R) John Bell (D)
Bob Marshall is an enigma behind a Nikon. After coming within a hair of defeating Jim Gilmore for the right to lose to Mark Warner, Marshall, already unpopular within his caucus, was shunned by a good portion of the Richmond establishment. Marshall, hero of the conservative wing, forced a politically untenable vote on autism benefits by using a rarely-heard motion to discharge. It seems that  the establishment abandoment has taken its toll on fundraising, as Marshall was outraised 2-1 in the last six weeks, pulling in only $18,000. With John Bell already amassing an $18,000 cash on hand advantage in a district that is slowly slipping from Republican grasp, Marshall's time may be up--but those who have watched him know he won't go down without a fight.
7 7 Dave Nutter* (R) Peggy Frank (D)
Frank outraised Nutter, a good sign for a candidate who came within hundreds of votes of knocking Nutter off in 2007. It might be tougher this year with statewide races at the top of the ticket--the 7th District naturally tilts Republican.
8 50 Jackson Miller* (R) Jeanette Rishell (D)
Third time's the charm for Rishell, perhaps, especially as she nears a 2-1 cash advantage. Rishell is below Peggy Frank because Frank's past performance in her first go-around was much, much closer.
9 14 Danny Marshall* (R) Seward Anderson (D)
House Democratic Caucus darling Seward Anderson has finally arisen and begun campaigning--a full 40% of Anderson's haul in the last reporting period was in-kinds from the Caucus. However, he still has yet to put up a website. Honestly, I really shouldn't have to remind everyone that Danville has internet! Apparently hates him, as his site isn't coming up at all. That's a problem in and of itself, but fixable. Regardless, Marshall's cash on hand advantage is only $6,000, and you can bet that the caucus will pour even more money into this race.

Full rankings after the flip.

Kenton Ngo :: NDP House Race Ratings Update
Second Tier - Likely Holds
10 17 William Cleaveland  (R)
Chris Head (R)
Josh Johnson (R)
Melvin Williams (R)
Mike Wray (R)
Gwen Mason (D)
(OPEN SEAT) Democrats needed a good candidate to stand a chance in this Republican-tilting open seat, and they seem to have found one in Gwen Mason, who now has $53,000 on hand.
11 64 Bill Barlow* (D) Stan Clark (R)
Isle of Wight Supervisor Clark was nominated May 9 at a party caucus. Both candidates had relatively dismal quarters, beginning with even cash. Now that Clark has the caucus out of the way, he can begin fundraising in earnest.
12 23 Shannon Valentine* (D) Scott Garrett(R)
Jeff Hegelson (R)
Valentine's war chest now stands at $171,199. The battered and bankrupt city councilman that emerges from Tuesday's party-run primary won't have an easy path ahead. Before Democrats get too confident, let us not forget that Lynchburg has Liberty University, which just put the kibosh on the heathen Young Democrats club.
13 82 Glenn Oder* (R) Gary West (D)
West outraised Oder by $15,000.
14 60 James Edmunds II (R) Dave Guill (D)
(OPEN SEAT) You'd think an open seat would be off to a faster start. Edmunds is sitting on $17,000 while Dave Guill seems to not yet have started the campaign with only $2340 in the bank. This isn't a district that Democrats should give up so easily on (after voting for McCain by less than a point), but they'll have to put some effort in.
15 83 Joe Bouchard* (D) Chris Stolle (R)
Stolle's fundraising was so pathetic that he had to get a $10,000 loan from his older brother Ken Stolle's campaign for Virginia Beach Sheriff, in addition to a $2,500 check. With less than $20,000 in the bank, Stolle is giving Bouchard a comfortable ride to a second term.
16 21 Bobby Matheison* (D) Ronald Villanueva (R)
Virginia Beach councilman Ronald Villanueva starts out the underdog, but it's too early to declare Matheison safe yet. Villanueva nearly matched Mathieson on fundraising, but lags with half the cash on hand due to the late start.
17 73 John O'Bannon (R) Tom Shields (D)
O'Bannon's war chest has passed $150,000. Shields is gamely making an effort, sitting on an otherwise respectable--if he wasn't running against O'Bannon--$35,000. If this race becomes targeted it will require a much more significant investment than other districts in order to keep pace with O'Bannon's money. It remains to be seen whether House Democrats are willing to front the cash.
18 51 Paul Nichols* (D) Richard Anderson (R)
Nichols finally passes Anderson in cash on hand.
19 67 Chuck Caputo* (D) James LeMunyon* (R)
Caputo has yet to do anything to anger his district, and it's moving in a Democratic direction.

Third Tier
20 44 Kris Amundson* (D) Jay McConville (R)
McConville is viable enough to keep Kris busy, but not to win. Relatively strong fundraising won't make this double-digit blue district turn red.
21 58 Rob Bell* (R) Cynthia Neff (D)
22 3 Dan Bowling* (D) James Morefield (R)
Bowling's Southwest district has been bleeding red since Bowling got elected. McCain won here by 20 points.
23 26 Matt Lohr* (R) Gene Hart (D)
24 25 Ben Cline* (R) Jeff Price (D)
25 24 Chris Saxman* (R) Erik Curren (D)
26 82 Bob Purkey* (R) Peter Schmidt (D)
27 35 Roy Baldwin (D)
John Carroll (D)
Mark Keam (D)
Esam Omeish (D)
James Hyland (R)
(OPEN SEAT) Hyland burned over $25,000 on consultants, leaving him only $12,000 in the bank.
28 41 Dave Marsden* (D) Kerry Bolognese (R)
29 32 David Poisson* (D) Tag Greason (R)
Tag Greason went fron $24,177 on hand (borderline viable) to $8,895 (dead).
30 58 Todd Gilbert (R) John Lesinski (D)
31 39 Mark Sickles* (D) Tim Nank (R)
32 24 Steve Landes* (R) Greg Marrow (D)
Jim Noel (D)
33 56 Bill Janis* (R) James Towey (D)
34 6 Annie Crockett-Stark (R) Carole Pratt (D)
35 99 Al Pollard* (D) Catherine Crabhill (R)
36 36 Ken Plum* (D) Mark Whited (R)
37 39 Vivian Watts* (D) Joseph Bury (R)
38 91 Tom Gear* (R)
Gordon Helsel (R)
Sam Eure (D)
39 53 Jim Scott* (D) Christopher Merola (R)
40 90 Algie Howell* (D) Jason Call (R)
41 46 Charniele Herring* (D) Sasha Gong (R)
42 11 Onzlee Ware * (D)
Martin Jeffrey (D)
Troy Bird (R)
43 74 Joe Morrissey* (D) Michael Gage (R)
44 90 Lacey Putney* (I) Lewis Medlin (D)

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in the 23rd
It's Jeff Helgeson.
The YD sponsor and I canvassed together Tuesday for Shannon. They still haven't responded to Jerry Junior's call for an apology.

Cynthia Neff
Cynthia Neff raised the 2nd most of any House of Delegates candidate last quarter, and the 58th District has been trending Democratic over the past few years.  Perriello won in a blowout, and Obama lost by less than half a percent.  She's got a business background, and now with Creigh at the top of the ticket, look for a heavy Democratic turnout in the district come November.

Don't sleep on this one.

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1. 52 OPEN (R)
2. 42 Albo (R)
3. 93 Hamilton (R)
4. 86 Rust (R)
5. 34 Vanderhye (D)
Full rankings
Updated: June 6


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