Vote Will Provide Answers to Key Political Questions

By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 25, 2007

RICHMOND With the Nov. 6 election less than two weeks away, here are some questions raised by the races throughout the state. Answers will appear in the next Virginia Notebook, which will be published Nov. 15.

Q. Can a Republican still win inside the Beltway?

Retiring Del. Vincent F. Callahan Jr. (R-Fairfax) is the last Republican elected official representing a district that is mainly inside the Capital Beltway. Republican Dave Hunt and Democrat Margaret G. Vanderhye are vying to replace Callahan. If Vanderhye wins, it will complete the Democrats' 30-year effort to purge Alexandria, Arlington County and inner Fairfax County of Republican officeholders.

Will 177,000 people who signed a petition against the abusive-driver fees show up and vote?

During the height of the uproar over the fees on bad drivers, more than 1,000 people an hour signed an online petition pledging: "We will not vote for any state delegate or state senator who voted for" the fees. But it remains to be seen whether the signatories will follow through on their promise.

Is Corey A. Stewart the savior of the Republican Party in Prince William County?

For most of the year, Democrats were hoping to make big gains in Prince William, which Sen. James Webb (D) carried in last year's U.S. Senate race. But Stewart has been trying to rile up voters by focusing attention on Republican efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, which could stunt Democrats' efforts to turn Prince William blue.

Can Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) translate his popularity into votes for Democrats ?

Kaine is making an aggressive push to help Democrats win the four seats needed to retake the Senate and some of the 11 needed to regain the House. Kaine's approval rating stands at 67 percent among likely voters, according to a Washington Post poll conducted this month.

Can a candidate in Virginia win if he or she once advocated an end to public education?

Tricia Stall, a Republican candidate for the Senate in the Tidewater area, once signed a petition expressing support for "ending government involvement in education." Stall is running in an overwhelmingly Republican district, but she faces a stiff challenge from Democrat John Miller.

Will future state legislative candidates in Northern Virginia air commercials on network television?

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