Political Economist Talks About How Economy Affects Campaigns


HARRISONBURG, Va. -- General revenues in Virginia have increased when compared to May 2012.

Political analyst with James Madison University Bob Roberts is explaining what that means for campaign season in the Commonwealth.

Dr. Roberts said this changes the dynamics of the race.

The report puts Virginia ahead of its budgeted forecast 11 months through the fiscal year.

The revenue increase is thanks to a surge in income tax collections.

Economists projected the sequester and furloughs would impact the Commonwealth.

Dr. Roberts said there won't be a battle over the state budget during the campaign, because the economy is much stronger than expected.

Instead, there may be talk about what to do with a budget surplus if there is one at the end of June.

Dr. Roberts said more income tax receipts mean more people are working right now and unemployment is going down.

"And it's going to impact the election because this would have been a debate over this in the election, it's not going to be. So most likely what's going to happen is because clearly taxes will be an issue because Cuccinelli will want to turn this into a referendum on taxes, but Democrats will want to turn it into a referendum on social issues," said Dr. Roberts.

None of the federal agencies have furloughed yet, and notices have gone out that any furloughs will start July 1st.

Dr. Roberts said it's a waiting game and it's not likely to show effects by election time in November.

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