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November 09, 2005

TIME.com: How the Dems Won Virginia -- Page 1

Yeah, but does it always have to be about religion?

Link: TIME.com: How the Dems Won Virginia -- Page 1.

Democrat Timothy M. Kaine's quick and convincing victory in the Virginia Governor's race Tuesday night gave his party a huge morale edge and fund-raising boost heading into next year's midterm congressional elections, and perhaps a lesson for the next Presidential race of '08: Democrats can talk about religion too.

The first ad that Kaine bought in his quest for the statehouse in Richmond was on a Christian radio station in rural Virginia. His first television spot of the fall told about his experience with Catholic missionaries, when he took a one-year leave from Harvard Law School to service as principal of a vocational school teaching carpentry and welding to teenagers in Honduras. Red, white and blue "Catholics for Kaine" bumper stickers proliferated in the Old Dominion. David Eichenbaum, Kaine's media strategist, tells TIME that he sees a recipe for national Democrats in Kaine's victory in Virginia, a GOP stronghold that President Bush won by 8 points in 2000 and 9 points in 2004. "Talking about his faith gave people a comfort level that he wasn't a big, scary liberal," Eichenbaum said. "We're trying to show voters that God isn't a Republican." Kaine echoed that in his acceptance speech: "We proved that faith in God is a value for all, and that we can all share, regardless of our partisan label."

It was a discouraging night for the White House. The other marquee contest was for Governor of New Jersey, where Sen. Jon S. Corzine, a Democrat, drubbed Republican benefits-management executive Doug Forrester. Across the Hudson, Republican Michael Bloomberg was easily reelected Mayor of New York City in a blowout of Democrat Fernando Ferrer.

Posted at 11:49 AM


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