Senate Race

By: Shane Symolon
By: Shane Symolon

Registrars around the Valley are tallying the number of voters who beat the deadline in order to vote in the November election.

Turnout to register to vote was about average for the last few weeks. According to the State Registrar’s Office there will be about 4.5 million potential voters turning out this year, which is about the same as last year.

Political expert Bob Roberts says the challenge for the candidates in this final month will be to motivate those voters to go to the polls. Roberts says with only a month until election day, both Democrat Jim Webb and Republican George Allen will have to campaign aggressively.

"In Virginia we have a very stable electorate. In other words, it doesn't change that much year to year, and therefore you’re fighting over the same people who vote year after year after year," said Roberts. "The campaigns are designed that way to go after existing voters instead of new voters."

Since the state isn't seeing many new voters, Roberts says the candidates will have to motivate their supporters.

George Allen is already making his move.

"Apparently they're going to make a move to their right by focusing on taxes and immigration, and that is significant in terms of the Allen campaign," said Allen.

Webb will likely continue to call for a change in leadership. The impact of this race goes far beyond Virginia.

"It looks like across the country that they have a fairly good situation for five Senate seats, but five Senate seats does not get them control of the Senate. They need one more, so it looks like Virginia's becoming top priority," said Roberts.

Reports say Jim Webb will be receiving $1 million from the Democratic Senate Committee to run political ads.

Bob Roberts says the same should be expected from Republican candidates.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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