Republicans will get their comeuppance in New Jersey, Virginia
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Virginia is the only state in the union that limits their governor to one term. They can not secede themselves. They can wait and then run again for the office.

Mills Godwin did just that. He was once elected as a Democrat and later being elected as a Republican.

This restriction and limitation does not apply to the lieutenant governor and state attorney general.

Along with New Jersey, Virginia holds its election for governor in odd-numbered years. These two states get a great deal of national attention since they are truly the only political contests of significance.

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Before I go to Virginia, a few words must be said about the departing governor of New Jersey.

 

At one time Chris Christie was flying high. He was seriously considered presidential timber. The tough talking former prosecutor was early in the 2016 presidential race viewed as a possible front runner.

But on the campaign trail he never clicked. He made an all out effort in New Hampshire. He thought his blunt, in-your-face approach would work. It didn't.

He soon dropped out and became an ardent supporter and cheerleader for Donald J. Trump.

Christie distinguished himself on various occasions as being a front row prop for Trump. Most notably he often could be seen nodding affirmatively at appropriate intervals while Trump was speaking at the lectern.

After Trump won the election, great things were supposedly in store for him.

He was named transition chair but soon after defrocked from that title.

He desired to be Trump's running mate or picked for attorney general. None of that happened.

Christie went back to New Jersey and we all know the rest of the story — almost indicted for Bridge-gate and the infamous and forever-to-be remembered July 4 beach excursion.

Suffice it to say that Christie is severely damaged goods. He is by far the most unpopular and reviled governor in the entire country.

His Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno seems doomed by Christie's demise and everybody bets on Democrat Phil Murphy to be the next governor of the Garden State.

Democrats feel positive and optimistic about their chances in Virginia. State-wide they have shown that they are in very good shape. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is a Democrat and fairly popular.

The two United State senators are Democrats. Both are former governors: Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerOvernight Defense: Pentagon says Trump canceled parade before cost briefing | Erik Prince renews push for contractors to run Afghan war | More officials join outcry over security clearances Dem senator introduces proposal to rein in Trump on security clearances Schumer blasts Trump over security clearances: This happens in dictatorships MORE and Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineSenators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases GOP Senate candidate photoshops Tim Kaine shaking hands with Stalin Senate GOP candidate Corey Stewart called kneeling football players ‘thugs’ MORE.

Kaine's stature was elevated by being chosen as Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton to headline trio of DNC fundraisers: report Allegations of ‘Trump TV’ distract from real issues at Broadcasting Board of Governors Chelsea Clinton: Politics a 'definite maybe' in the future MORE's running mate in 2016. The last three times in presidential elections (2008, 2012 and 2016) the state has gone for the Democrat.

The only southern state to be carried by Hillary Clinton was Virginia.

The Democratic candidate for governor is the present Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Northam has the advantage of being elected statewide once before, in 2013.

Northam is a pediatric surgeon from the Hampton Roads area. He is a down-to-earth low key pleasant fellow which has the entire Democratic Party behind him. (He beat former Congressman Tom Perriello in a Democratic primary in June.)

The Republican candidate is Ed Gillespie. Gillespie is a well known name with a charisma-deficient image. He surprised everybody in 2014 by almost beating the incumbent, the supposedly safe Mark Warner.

Gillespie was formerly the state chair of the party and previously the national chair of the RNC. To call him a political operative is to belabor the obvious.

Gillespie unlike Northam does not have his party securely behind him. He squeaked out a Republican primary victory.

His opponent Corey Stewart ran as a Trump clone: A Confederate loving, right winger.

Stewart is no way president of the Gillespie fan club. He says he will vote for him, but will not campaign for him. Gillespie needs all of Stewart’s supporters to come out for him in the November election.

Gillespie is not what one would describe as a candidate that incites passion or any degree of excitement. My grandmother would describe him accurately as "dull as dishwater."

In addition, Gillespie has done quite well financially as your typical Washington lobbyist.

Northam will be sure to tie Gillespie to some of what he will say are nefarious and sleazy clients.

Northam seeks to clean up in the Northern Virginia area. (It is 35 percent of the statewide vote.) Rack up and mobilize the African American population (20 percent) and the growing Asian and Latino vote.

Gillespie I believe is in trouble because he does not have a real base except for organization minded Republicans. He also has a problem with how to deal with Trump.

Some days he keeps his distance and other days he is somewhat favorable. I don't believe he will allow Trump to campaign in the state for him.

A recent poll showed the race close. I don't see it that way. Virginia is demonstrating it is not even purple, but increasingly blue. The demographics point to a comfortable northern Virginia victory.

Gillespie is neither fish nor fowl.

This murky identity along with an increasingly unpopular party label will doom him.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.


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