While Republican candidates for Virginia’s open Senate seat are gunning to beat the presumptive favorite, former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen, political experts said Allen’s target has always been Democratic opponent Tim Kaine.
“He’s really focused far more on Tim Kaine and Barack Obama than getting in a tit or tat fight with any of the challengers,” said CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth.
According to a recent Washington Post poll, Allen is the clear front-runner, with 62 percent support among Republican voters.
The poll shows Delegate Bob Marshall with 12 percent support, Jamie Radtke with 5 percent and E.W. Jackson with 3 percent.
However, according to Holsworth, Tea Party candidate Radtke has gained some recognition the past three weeks of her campaign.
“Jamie Radtke has run a very well-organized campaign,” said Holsworth. “But I’m not sure she has the resources or the name recognition to challenge someone as prominent as George Allen right now.”
Radtke argued she’s continuously challenged Allen on his deficit spending while in office.
“We’ve had a very clear message. If we don’t deal with spending, nothing else is going to matter,” Radtke said.
Delegate Bob Marshall, one of the legislature’s most socially conservative lawmakers, said he also believes he can upset Allen on Tuesday. In 2008, Marshall defeated Gov. Jim Gilmore for the GOP’s Senate nomination. His campaign later lost momentum.
“Frankly, I’ve been to every congressional district around here and George Allen does not have the intensity of support,” Marshall argued.
Three untelevised debates have also thrust Harvard Law School Graduate and Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson into the spotlight. Jackson calls himself a Washington outsider and the most formidable candidate to take on the democrats in the fall.
“I think people are desperately looking for authentic people who are not in view with Washington politics,” Jackson said. “I think people who have career convictions are willing to fight for those convictions, not people who have career ambitions and really fighting for their positions.”
In addition to the GOP Senate Primary, there are other key races:
There are both Democratic and Republican Primaries in the 4th District Congressional race.
In the 7th District Congressional Republican primary, Eric Cantor faces Floyd Bane.