Did Virginia change the GOP power structure?

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Virginia is jockeying for position as the new bellwether in Presidential politics.  That’s hard to imagine given its history of reliable conservatism, but party drift and population growth around Washington has shifted the Old Dominion back to where it began:  The center of our political heart.

Republicans more than Democrats cared about the outcome of the Virginia 2013 Gubernatorial race.  The Tea Party had their best chance yet to prove their populist appeal and win a swing state election with an underlying Republican advantage, against a less than appealing Democratic candidate, while the nation was watching.  For many establishment Republicans, the guys that pay the bills and generally want to win elections in return, it was a chance to bury the Tea Party and weaken them in front of the 2014 primary season.

Happy Election Day!

For those watching / voting today we have three major races. The first two are gubernatorial races in the old dominion and the garden state, while the third is a primary all the way down in the heart of Dixie. The political implications for 2016 aren’t actually D versus R, but Tea versus T notes. The fight for the future of the Republican Party is out in the open this evening, and republicans around the country are watching tonight’s test of the Tea Party. By far the most important being in Virginia, where an establishment Democrat with a sordid history (Terry McAuliffe) runs against Virginia is for heterosexual lovers Ken Cuccinelli. A Christie blowout in blue NJ and a Cuccinelli loss in purple VA would strengthen GOP voices who believe there are two kinds of republicans: Those that want a moderate party that appeals to women and minorities, and those that want to lose.

The third race to watch is a special election run-off in deeeeeep red Alabama where the business establishment supported former-state Sen. Bradley Byrne runs against Tea Party darling Dean Young. When asked who their all-time political hero was, Byrne said Winston Churchill and Young picked Judge Roy Moore. That should tell you all you need to know.