Tom Perriello is gaining traction in the closing days of his campaign to defeat GOP Congressman and Xenophobe Virgil Goode. Today CQ Politics upgraded its rating in the Perriello-Goode race in Tom’s favor. CQ Politics also highlights that today, the Danville Register & Bee endorsed Tom, the first Democrat they’ve endorse for Congress since the endorsed Virgil Goode in 1996, when he was a Democrat.
CQ Politics writes:
Virginia’s 5th District (New Rating: Leans Republican. Previous Rating: Republican Favored)
Conservative six-term Rep. Virgil H. Goode Jr. has been a fixture in this south-central Virginia district even as he shifted away from his former ties to the Democratic Party, running first as an independent in 2000 and then as a Republican since his 2002 election. But Democrat Tom Perriello, who has worked for international nonprofit organizations and founded faith-based groups, has run a determined effort to unseat Goode this year in a district, Virginia’s largest in land area, that bridges a political gap between liberal-leaning Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia, in the north, and conservative Danville in the south.
Perriello raised $1.5 million as of Oct. 15, about $20,000 more than the receipts reported by Goode — and more than twice the $600,000 that was raised by the Democrat who lost to Goode by 59 percent to 40 percent in 2006. There is no doubt that Goode’s 2008 race is closer, and that Perriello possibly could pull off an upset.
The editorial page of the Danville Register & Bee, which had backed Goode in his previous campaigns for Congress, gave its nod to Perriello, saying Friday that Goode “appears to be either unwilling or unable to work with the growing Democratic majority in the House of Representatives.”
CQ Politics also is making the rating change because of the involvement of the DCCC, which has aired a television ad criticizing Goode. The advertisement cites a half-dozen votes by Goode, including his support for the Bush administration’s 2001 and 2003 tax cut measures and a 2005 overhaul of energy laws (though the latter measure was favored by 75 House Democrats as well as Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, in the Senate).
Also, Perriello could get some lift on a Democratic ticket headed by Obama, who has a slight lead over John McCain in Virginia polls. The 5th District backed President Bush in 2004 by 56 percent to 43 percent, and the margin this year should be closer in a district where African-Americans make up one-fourth of the population — the third-highest black percentage among Virginia’s 11 congressional districts.