State Sen. George L. Barker (D-Fairfax), who is in danger of losing his seat, said Republicans who supported him in 2007 have told him they will not vote for him because of Obama.
“Clearly, I’m going to lose some Republicans who would have otherwise voted for me,’’ he said.
In 2007, President George W. Bush’s unpopularity was blamed in part on the GOP losing the state Senate in Virginia’s off-year elections.
Next year, when Obama is at the top of the ticket, many Democrats will have to embrace him, knowing their fates are intertwined. But that’s not necessarily the case 13 months in advance.
Sen. Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell), who faces a tough reelection battle in Southwest against Republican Adam Light, became the first Democratic legislator in the state to say he would not be supporting Obama in 2012.
Puckett made his comments last month after Republicans put up billboards in his rural district showing him campaigning for Obama in 2008.
“It’s very clear to me that the administration does not support the coal industry in a way that’s beneficial to our area,’’ he said in a taped TV interview. “So, I don’t plan to support President Obama for reelection.’’
In an interview with The Washington Post, Armstrong declined to say whether he would support Obama next year.
“I am who I am and I am for what I stand for,’’ he said. “I am interested in being the best delegate that I can be in Richmond. I’m about a race that’s going on in 2011; 2012 will be 2012.”
Sen. William Roscoe Reynolds (D-Franklin), Sen. R. Edward Houck (D- Spotsylvania), Barker and Puller also declined to say if they would vote for Obama next year.
“I’m going to let the president run his campaign and I’m going to run mine,’' said Houck, who faces Republican Bryce Reeves in the Frederickburg area.
Republican Bill Stanley, who lost his Senate seat to redistricting and moved to challenge Reynolds, has tried to push Reynolds on the subject.
“In three years we haven’t seen anything to turn the economy around,’’ he said. “The real question is does Roscoe Reynolds support the policies of Barack Obama?”
Reynolds said it’s too early to talk about Obama’s reelection campaign, and that he doesn’t know what impact Republicans’ efforts will have on his race.
“Who knows?” he said.