John Fredericks, a pro-Trump radio host who advocated for bringing the president to Virginia, said Trump’s absence left his supporters unenthused. A presidential rally, he said, wouldn’t have fired up the Trump opponents any more than they already were.
“Ralph Northam ran on one message: Trump sucks,” Fredericks said. “Many of us didn’t think that was enough in a governor’s race. But it proved to be the message that carried the day.”
Disclaimer: My legendary, world renowned and highly coveted political predictions – at 97 percent since 2012 – are based on the following not so scientific criteria: total hearsay, unconfirmed rumors, conspiracy theories, pure innuendo, personal insight, Trump White House leakers, DPV moles, Ben Tribbett, RINO’s, Bernie Sanders’ supporters, my high-voltage tin foil hat wired directly into the Tea Party mother ship (aluminum comes from Chi-Coms), William at the dry cleaners, Wayne from the Virginia Zoo, my postman, my radio show callers, the opposite of all CNU rigged polls, pure instinct…and my secret sauce.
It all adds up to a nearly flawless track record! I’m right a whopping 97 percent of the time.
Finally, my predictions do not necessarily reflect my endorsements or my preference as a voter. It’s just my cold, hard analysis.
Virginia Governor- Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Ed Gillespie over Ralph Northam
There is no way the Republicans should win the Virginia governorship in 2017. Every analytic trend in the last 30 years of Virginia politics screams for a landslide Democratic victory.
But Ralph Northam has snatched defeat from the jaws of sure victory.
While the Gillespie campaign is a conglomeration of website white papers and policy-wonk-a-mania, Northam’s campaign is so bad it makes Creigh Deeds look like JFK.
Somehow, Northam has failed to capitalize on Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s popularity, and instead has lost his entire narrative to Gillespie in the last 10 days of the campaign. As popular as McAuliffe is in Virginia, it is inconceivable that Northam didn’t wrap himself around the Governor’s record and run as a McAuliffe second term.
In addition, Northam flip flopped on sanctuary cities four times in four days with four different positions. He also lied about his campaign’s coordination on the Latino Victory Fund’s despicable pickup truck ad. Candidates who lie to their constituents a week before an election don’t fare very well.
Consultants have turned a really good man into Virginia’s Manchurian candidate. The first Democrat that Northam ever voted for was Ralph Northam. Now, Ralph Northam the state senator would not vote for Ralph Northam, candidate for governor.
Virginia Lt. Governor – Fairfax makes Henry Howell look like Barry Goldwater
Jill Vogel over Justin Fairfax
Wow. Jill Vogel is the face and embodiment of the new Republican Party in Virginia. She will lead the GOP ticket in raw votes, and is going to be Virginia’s 2021 governor regardless of the Gillespie-Northam outcome. This woman has run a great campaign and has become the heroine of Trump’s Virginia voters. She disagrees with President Trump on certain policies, but does it in a graceful way while embracing President Trump, his supporters, and his agenda. Her level of authenticity is refreshing and motivating.
Democrat Justin Fairfax seems to be running on Democratic Socialist Workers Party platform. He’d make Gus Hall proud. His positions are so radical he makes Howlin’ Henry Howell look like Barry Goldwater.
Extremists don’t win in Virginia. See Cuccinelli and Howell. Vogel romps.
Virginia Attorney General – Adams is closing like a bat out of hell
John Adams over Mark Herring
One month ago I wrote John Adams off as political road-kill. Mark Herring had run a brilliant centrist campaign, and was poised for a comfortable re-election effort.
Then Northam started to implode, Adams’ television and radio ads began to resonate, and Herring decided to play four corners Dean Smith stall ball. The Republican Attorney General Association (RAGA) just gave Adams $2.2 million in the last week of the campaign – as a challenger. That’s a game changer.
Adams is going to win this race.
First, he had zero chance of defeating Rob Bell in a convention. Then State Committeeman Ron Hedlund changed his vote, and we had a primary.
Second, Adams had about a 20 percent chance of beating Bell in a primary. Then Bell drops out, and he’s the nominee.
Third, Adams had virtually no chance to defeat Herring. Then the RAGA – who has a policy of not giving money to challengers running against incumbents – changes their longstanding game plan and gives several million dollars to Adams, revitalizing his campaign.
Fourth, Ralph Northam goes belly up in the last week, the racist LVF ad runs and Republicans get pissed for being called racist and now all hell breaks loose. If you wrote a script on this, it would probably be rejected by Hollywood as too bizarre. Adams wins.
He should buy a Powerball ticket!
I’ll be on CNN Monday night with Don Lemon to make these same predictions on national TV!
HOUSE OF DELEGATES PREDICTIONS COMING MONDAY NIGHT!
GUEST CONTRIBUTOR JOHN FREDERICKS
John Fredericks is a CNN contributor and a Salem Radio Network syndicated morning radio talk show host heard in Washington D.C., Virginia, Coastal Carolina and Maryland. Fredericks show can be heard weekdays 6-10 a.m. on Salem’s AM 1260 The Answer in D.C. and NOVA, WNTW AM 820; 97.7 FM NEWS-TALK in Richmond, WHKT AM 1650; 92.5 FM News-Talk in Hampton Roads, WBRG SuperTalk AM 1050 and 105.1 FM in Lynchburg and Roanoke.
Martha Boneta, a Paris farm owner and popular figure in conservative Republican circles, announced on a radio show last week she will run to fill the unexpired state Senate term of Jill Holtzman Vogel if Vogel is elected lieutenant governor on Nov. 7.
Should Vogel lose, Boneta said she won’t run against Vogel in the 2019 election if she is seeks re-election to a full four-year term because “she is doing a fine job” representing the people in the 27th District.
Boneta’s comments were made during an interview Friday on the John Fredericks Show, a radio program.
She told Fredericks and his audience that it was “absolutely true” she will run for the state Senate seat if it becomes vacant.
“I love Virginia will all my heart. It’s where I was raised and where my friends raised their families. To have the opportunity to serve the people of Virginia in the 27th is something I would be honored and privileged to do. It would be a privilege to wake up and serve,” Boneta said.
Fredericks said that he was giving a “100 percent full-throated endorsement” of Boneta, should she run. He noted that she is a member of the Citizens for the Republic, an organization formed by Ronald Reagan before he became president. The organization’s website lists her as executive president. The group’s purpose is to “revitalize the conservative movement” and support the tenets of limited government, maximum personal freedom and “peace through strength.”
Fredericks said Boneta has made a name for herself in “fighting big government and eminent domain.”
Boneta hosted then vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Virginia Republican candidates on the ballot at an event on her farm in September 2016.
Boneta said the head of President Trump’s election operation in Virginia is advising her nascent campaign.
The 27th Senate District consists of all of Fauquier, Clarke and Frederick counties, all of the city of Winchester, and parts of Culpeper, Loudoun and Stafford counties.
Read the full report from the Fauquier Times.
Except Gillespie wasn’t there, irking some Trump supporters who say the Republican has been too standoffish toward the president. But Corey Stewart, a Trump acolyte who nearly beat Gillespie in the June gubernatorial primary, was front and center and gave the crowd the blunt, populist rhetoric it craved.
“We are in a war, a cultural battle,” boomed Stewart, who is running for the GOP nomination to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine (D) in 2018. “And we have to stand up and fight, fight the criminals, communists, crackheads and the weirdos — those are your Democrats.”
He urged the crowd to “take back Virginia!”
Two-thirds of the Republican ticket — state Sen. Jill Vogel, who’s running for lieutenant governor, and lawyer John Adams, candidate for attorney general — traveled to Virginia Beach for the event, although Adams had to leave before it began because his father fell ill.
Gillespie was about 200 miles away, in Arlington, appearing with Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
Forces loyal to Trump are trying to pull Gillespie over the finish line Nov. 7 in what polls say is a tight race against Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). They fear that a GOP loss in the nation’s only competitive governor’s race would be widely read as a rebuke to Trump — a potentially damaging narrative heading into 2018’s congressional midterms.
Trump allies, including Bikers for Trump founder Chris Cox, have decided such a situation warrants doing for Gillespie what he won’t do for himself. And on Sunday, that meant delivering red-meat speeches to people who helped put Trump in the White House. Cox plans to hold another rally this weekend in Roanoke.
A former Republican National Committee chairman, Washington lobbyist and adviser to President George W. Bush, Gillespie has struggled to strike the right posture toward Trump. In a purple state that gave Hillary Clinton her only Southern victory last year, Gillespie needs to excite rural Trump supporters without turning off moderates and inflaming Democrats in the state’s deep-blue population centers.
He has tried to avoid weighing in on Trump’s policies and tweets. When Trump surprised Gillespie with a tweeted endorsement Oct. 6, Gillespie did not even retweet it. But in the final weeks of the campaign, Gillespie has been running hard-edge ads against illegal immigration and in favor of Confederate statues.
Stewart, who is chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and who ran Trump’s Virginia campaign for much of last year’s race, declined to endorse Gillespie after their bitter primary battle.
Stewart recently tried to patch things up at the urging of former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, David N. Bossie.
Gillespie rebuffed Stewart’s offer to rally with him, so Stewart decided to hold an event without him. He also hosted Vogel as the special guest of his annual fall family fundraiser at his Prince William home Saturday.
Before a crowd of about 200 people at Rock Church in Virginia Beach on Sunday, Stewart called Kaine a “far-left-wing lunatic.” He called state Attorney General Mark Herring (D) a “schmuck” and a “scumbag,” eliciting cheers from the crowd.
Stewart noted that state Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) has a transgender opponent, Danica Roem.
“He was Dan Roem. Now it’s Danica Roem. Not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he said to laughs.
Stewart ridiculed plans by elected leaders in the District to raise a statue to former mayor Marion Barry.
“That’s who the Democrats honor: crackheads,” he said. “Who do we honor? Robert E. Lee. Stonewall Jackson. Jeb Stuart. George Washington. Thomas Jefferson.”
He devoted one line in his speech to Gillespie, calling him a “good, strong Republican.”
Kevin Donohoe, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Virginia, said afterward that Stewart is “one of the most toxic and extreme politicians in Virginia — and the bigoted attack he launched today against Danica Roem is just the latest example. . . . If they have any sense of morality left, the Republican ticket — starting with Ed Gillespie — will immediately denounce Bob Marshall and Corey Stewart’s bigotry.”
“Finally, let’s be clear,” Donohoe continued. “By campaigning with Stewart, Jill Vogel has aligned herself with his toxic politics and ugly rhetoric — and proved that she’s nothing more than an extremist who will do anything to win power.”
Vogel, a former chief counsel to the Republican National Committee, gave a spirited speech in defense of Confederate monuments, smaller government and lower taxes. She faces former federal prosector Justin Fairfax (D).
Adams is challenging Herring, who is running for reelection.
Gillespie’s absence went unmentioned, but it was fodder for political talk radio during the lead-up.
“Once again, if Trump’s name is on something, Ed Gillespie — nowhere to be found,” conservative radio host John Fredericks said in an interview with Cox a few days before the rally.
Cox initially suggested he was working with the Gillespie camp to geographically “divide and conquer,” with the bikers’ event in Virginia Beach freeing Gillespie to round up votes in other parts of the state.
But when Fredericks dismissed that as a “politically correct” response, Cox conceded. “Quite frankly, I’m here for my president,” he said. “Unfortunately, Ed has stepped away, and it’s not going to help him, in my opinion, the stepping away from these Trump supporters. . . . All we can do is keep our eye on the ball. We’ve got to stay positive. If we start criticizing things and not feeling good about the situation, it may hurt the voter turnout.
The rally is only the latest effort by prominent Trump allies to give Gillespie a boost, whether he welcomes it or not.
The website Breitbart, which Bannon leads, championed Gillespie as a “culture warrior” this month for saying he thinks Confederate monuments ought to remain in place. Northam has said they belong in museums. Both men concede that in most cases, local officials appear to have authority over monuments.
Meanwhile, dozens of Trump’s 2016 campaign aides are working to get disaffected blue-collar rural Virginians to vote in the race — an effort seen as a trial run for a national push in next year’s congressional midterms. Look Ahead America is targeting 12,000 registered voters who have not been to the polls since 2009, the last year Republicans won statewide elections in Virginia.
The group is conservative but officially nonpartisan, so it cannot directly urge voters to choose Gillespie.
Read the full report from The Washington Post.
Jill Vogel was just getting her legal career off the ground — still a “baby lawyer,” as a friend tells it — when she went to work for the Republican National Committee.
Before long, she was chief counsel. Then a top lawyer for President George W. Bush’s Energy Department. From there, she built one of the nation’s most prominent GOP elections law firms and won a seat in the state Senate.
Now Vogel, 47, is running for lieutenant governor of Virginia — in the drain-the-swamp style of President Trump.
“We are going to take back Virginia the way this president is going to take back this country!” Vogel declared at an August rally in tiny Marion, in southwest Virginia.
If it takes a certain chutzpah for a longtime GOP insider to adopt the president’s anti-establishment mantra, Vogel has it. That’s especially notable because the man at the top of her ticket does not.
Ed Gillespie, the former Bush aide and RNC chairman running for governor, can look uncomfortable with any association with Trump. When the president endorsed Gillespie via Twitter last Thursday, the candidate did not promote it or even acknowledge it until asked by reporters the following day.
But Vogel is all in. Gillespie squirmed when news leaked that he had hired a Trump operative to help him round up rural votes. Vogel hired two of them — and trumpeted the second in a news release.
Hers could be a risky strategy in the only Southern state that Trump lost, a place where the president is deeply unpopular. Her Democratic rival, former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax, played up her ties to Trump as a negative during their debate last week .
But some Republicans praise Vogel’s gutsy style and predict she will lead the GOP ticket.
“She is fearless,” said John Fredericks, a conservative radio host who helped run Trump’s Virginia campaign and criticized Gillespie’s response to the president’s endorsement. “She takes positions immediately. She’s not going through a focus group. . . . She’s a shot of oxygen in a room occupied with stale air.”
The latest stories and details on the 2017 Virginia general election and race for governor.
That is not to say Vogel is all Trump, all the time.
In a TV commercial, Vogel is shown soaking up the great Fauquier County outdoors with her husband and their gaggle of beautiful children. It could be an ad for L.L. Bean. Or the return of Camelot. Indeed, the Vogels live on part of the Upperville estate once owned by Listerine heiress Bunny Mellon, who entertained her friend Jackie Kennedy there.
Read the full report from The Washington Post.
President Trump has been a presence in Virginia’s contest for governor since before the candidates were even set, but he has now roiled the race by jumping in directly and attacking the Democratic nominee through his preferred method: a nighttime tweet.
“Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie!” Trump tweeted to his 40 million followers at 9:58 p.m. Thursday.
Virginia’s Republican nominee for governor Ed Gillespie is keeping President Trump at arm’s length, suggesting he views him as a liability in his campaign against Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.
Trump, in an unexpected Thursday evening tweet, urged Virginians to vote for Gillespie on Nov. 7, while charging that Northam was soft on gang violence. Gillespie welcomed the president’s get-tough-on-crime message, but didn’t have much to say about Trump himself.
Ed Gillespie has raised considerably less money than other recent contenders for Virginia governor, despite his extraordinarily deep ties to the Republican donor class.
With a long history in national politics and a bond with an ex-president, Gillespie was expected to be the GOP version of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman and Bill Clinton buddy who broke fundraising records with his bid four years ago.
A decision by Carly Fiorina, the former GOP presidential hopeful, not to run for U.S. Senate from Virginia next year leaves Corey Stewart, the bombastic Prince William supervisor, as the sole declared candidate for the GOP nomination.
Stewart, who came close to winning the party nomination for governor this year after running on a platform dedicated to protecting Confederate statues, said Fiorina’s absence from the Senate race clears the way for him to challenge Sen. Tim Kaine (D).
Several political observers agreed.
Upon hearing of Fiorina’s announcement, Tom Davis, a former Republican congressman from northern Virginia who is known as a moderate, said: “That makes Corey the undisputed frontrunner at this point. That wraps it up.”
“I do think he’ll be tough to beat in a primary or a convention,” Davis added. “The Republican Party has moved from the country club to the country.”
John Fredericks, host of a conservative radio show and co-chair of Trump’s Virginia campaign after Stewart was dismissed from that role, called Stewart the “prohibitive favorite” barring a “political earthquake.”
Other potential hopefuls may be hesitant to “go through the Corey Stewart buzz saw and take on a somewhat popular incumbent,” Fredericks said.
The general election, however, may turn on whether Republicans can beat Democrats in statewide elections this year. All five of the statewide offices are currently held by Democrats. If Ed Gillespie can reverse the trend and win the governor’s race, more Republicans may enter next year’s race for Senate.
Kaine downplayed Fiorina’s decision.
“Republicans may still have a primary – and it would be competitive – so we will let that play out,” campaign spokesman Ian Sams said in a statement.
Kaine, a popular former governor and Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate in 2016, is seeking a second term in the Senate. A February poll found him with a double-digit lead over potential Republican challengers, but that was before Stewart declared his candidacy.
Read full report from The Washington Post.
Labor Day weekend traditionally kicks off high season for the Virginia governor’s race, but tradition is under siege this year, and both major-party candidates have already been taking shots at each other.
The heightened political environment of the Trump administration, supercharged by the racial violence in Charlottesville, finds Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam in full battle mode.
Pushed by the same political divisions that are rending the nation, both men have taken positions that stray from their records.
Gillespie, long a proponent of a comprehensive immigration overhaul, is talking about the need to protect communities from dangerous undocumented criminals.
Northam, the lieutenant governor and legislator who built a reputation as an aw-shucks Southern gentleman, now says the president of the United States is dangerous and possibly mentally ill.
And the pair find themselves in the middle of a heated war over Confederate statues, with Gillespie urged by his base to defend them and Northam by his to call for their removal.
David Ramadan, a former Republican delegate from Northern Virginia, faults both sides for heeding the advice of political strategists that in a low-turnout, off-year election they must play to the extremes.
“Both sides are playing with fire,” he said. “Political strategists are counting on you not voting. . . . So Democrats are headed back to the far left and Republicans are headed to the far right. It’s a shame.”
In a sense, neither candidate can quite shed the ghost of his primary opponent. Republican Corey Stewart nearly took the nomination from Gillespie by stirring up the right wing of the party, and Democrat Tom Perriello drew big national dollars in his challenge to Northam by running hard against President Trump.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way this year. Virginia’s last gubernatorial race, between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, was ideologically polarized in a way that seemed unusual for the state. McAuliffe, who won, was the glad-handing soul mate of former president Bill Clinton running against a thunderously conservative Cuccinelli. The parties seemed to gravitate back toward middle ground with their presumed nominees for 2017 — Northam and Gillespie were both centrists with vanilla personalities.
But after Trump’s surprising election, and the unexpectedly hard-fought primary races this spring, the landscape has changed. “In this political climate right now, there’s not much room for moderation,” said Del. Marcus B. Simon (D-Fairfax). That was illustrated dramatically after last month’s violent clash in Charlottesville between white supremacists and counterprotesters around a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. As the nation debated what to do about Confederate statues, Northam surprised even some fellow Democrats by coming out forcefully in favor of moving public monuments into museums.
Although Northam also says localities should decide the issue for themselves, his posture is a tricky one in Virginia, which has more Civil War monuments than any other state and where polls show a slim majority of residents want the statues to remain in place.
“He probably got out farther than he would have if Charlottesville hadn’t happened,” said state Sen. Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington).
“But I think Charlottesville moved a large number of people who at one point were in the middle.”
Gillespie also found himself on dangerous terrain when Trump drew widespread anger by initially saying the violence in Charlottesville could be blamed on “many sides” instead of condemning the white supremacists.
Northam pushed his opponent to disavow Trump’s comments, but Gillespie — who last year was slow to embrace Trump’s candidacy — has generally avoided mentioning the president. He has denounced white supremacists but defended the statues and thinks they should stay put.
In the weeks since, Gillespie went on the offensive and aired the first attack ad of the campaign, slamming Northam for allegedly supporting “sanctuary cities” that allow undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes to take refuge from federal agents. There’s a complicated backstory there — Virginia has no sanctuary cities, but Republicans in the state Senate used a parliamentary maneuver to get Northam to cast a vote on the topic.
The result is that as September begins, Northam is suggesting that Gillespie won’t disavow racists, while Gillespie hints that Northam coddles undocumented immigrants.
“It has been a little more negative before Labor Day than I would have expected,” said Del. David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville), the House minority leader. He blamed the negative turn on “Republicans’ concern about the state of the race,” but others say the tone of the race flows directly out of Washington.
Many people bemoan the polarization and speak wistfully of the bygone — if not entirely imagined — era of collegial bipartisanship known as “the Virginia way.”
John Fredericks is not among them.
The conservative radio host, who helped lead Trump’s Virginia campaign, wants Gillespie move closer to the president in substance and style. Gillespie recently hired the blunt-spoken operative who helped Trump round up votes in Southwest Virginia, a man who contends on Facebook that communists are behind the push to remove Confederate statues.
Fredericks thinks monuments could be the issue that puts Gillespie over the top.
“I think it’s a winning issue for him,” Fredericks said. “We’ve teed it up. He just has to hit the ball and leave nothing for interpretation or ambiguity.”
Democrats didn’t anticipate Confederate monuments as a lasting issue in this year’s governor’s race. Northam now says he thinks the topic will linger into the fall, and he’s trying to steer the conversation to other issues.
“There are a lot more monuments we need to discuss in Virginia that aren’t built in bronze, and those are the inequities we have, such as inequities in income . . . in access to education, in access to health care and voting rights,” Northam said in an interview.
Those roads lead, inevitably, back to Trump.
Read the full report from The Washington Post.