Friday, October 31, 2008

Goode Going Down?

It's looking increasingly like 5th District Congressman Virgil Goode is going down Tuesday. Goode's margins of victory in recent years have dwindled, though they still hovered at 59.1 percent in the 2006 win over Al Weed. Democrat Tom Perriello had raised more than $1.3 million for the race-same as Goode-through September and when I was in Rocky Mount for a photo shoot the other day, I saw what I considered at the time to be the unthinkable: a pickup truck covered with anti-Goode sentiment. A large sign on the tailgate said, "Virgil Goode-Unpatriotic."

A early October poll from WDBJ7 had Goode leading 55% to Perriello's 42%, a net gain of more than 20 points for Perriello since this poll was last conducted in August (64-30 in Goode's favor). Perriello's campaign estimates the difference is actually closer to 51-46 and shrinking.

A story in today's Salon online magazine lists Goode as one of nine congressman whose seat could hinge on a large turnout of African American voters. The 5th District is more than 22 percent Black. I think there's more to it than that, though. Goode's frantic, reactive ad campaign has been overwhelmingly negative and the truth of many of his claims is so obviously in question that his ads border on comedy. His latest suggests that the "New York lawyer" he's running against (Perriello worked as a lawyer helping the inner city poor for a couple of years, but he is a native Virginian) has ties to rag head A-rab factions that want to blow us up. Perriello has a scruffy beard in the accompanying picture. Perriello, who has worked exhaustively on religious missions in Africa (where one has little chance to shave), is presented as a gay-marriage-promoting, commie insurgent who'll send us all to hell soon as he gets to Washington.

Goode, whom the Washington Post once called "colossally stupid," has no real accomplishments in Congress and now the chickens may well have come home to roost.

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