Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
One thing is for sure: If Barack Obama chooses Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as his running mate, it won't be a cynical attempt to capture Virginia's 13 electoral votes. From the Richmond Times-Dispatch :
Neither Gov. Timothy M. Kaine nor Rep. Eric I. Cantor, R-7th, would provide much help in Virginia to the presidential candidates if picked to run for vice president, a poll showed yesterday.
Among voters not affiliated with either party, 12 percent said adding Kaine would be a plus, while 24 percent said it would be a negative.
A few weeks ago, I made the case for why Kaine won't be an asset for Obama in Virginia:
Virginia state government is in turmoil right now. The biggest issue in the state is transportation funding, but a special session of the General Assembly just ended without any action. The stalemate isn't ending anytime soon.
Virginia's budget situation looks bleak. Kaine just froze state hiring and limited travel by state employees.
None of this is really the governor's fault. Virginia has actually weathered the economic downturn better than most states (Virginia's unemployment rate is only 4%) and the state is one of the nation's best managed. Still, are Virginians really going to react with enthusiasm when their moderately popular governor starts gallivanting around the country running for vice president instead of tending to the state?
Virginia matters quite a bit, seeing as how the last three polls in the state have been McCain +1, McCain +1 and dead even.
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