Kaine, Stewart square off in debate

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and his Republican challenger, Corey Stewart, speak during a Sept. 26, 2018. (Photo by Brian Trompeter)

When Corey Stewart, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, won the Republican primary in June, President Donald Trump tweeted congratulations.

“Don’t underestimate Corey, a major chance of winning!” Trump tweeted.

Since then, Stewart has campaigned on his record of “cracking down” on unauthorized immigrants in Prince William County, where he is at-large chair of the board of county supervisors.

More recently, he has attacked the Democratic Party as an “unhinged, angry mob.”

In his bid for re-election to a second six-year term, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine has campaigned on the notion of a Virginia that works for all, including access to jobs, education, healthcare and more.

During this midterm election season, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court became a decisive issue between Kaine and Stewart. Kavanaugh’s nomination was confirmed 50-48 by the Senate on Oct. 6. Kaine voted no on Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Stewart called the sexual assault accusation against the then-nominee “a bunch of crap.” On Oct. 6, Stewart tweeted “Kaine sides with mob, votes against Kavanaugh. Fire Kaine!”

Stewart is spending his final weeks on the campaign trail with a “Jobs Not Mobs” tour.

Attacking Democrats by calling them a “mob” is not a productive way to sway swing voters, said Stephen Farnsworth, a political science and international affairs professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg.

“The normal strategy for success in the wake of a divisive primary is to reposition yourself to be more appealing to a general election electorate that’s more moderate than the Republican primary voters,” Farnsworth said. “Corey Stewart hasn’t really done that.”

The 2017 Virginia governor’s race showed that centering a campaign around illegal immigration is “not a path for victory,” Farnsworth said, adding that Republican nominee Ed Gillespie ran a campaign focused on illegal immigration in his failed bid for governor last year.

“That was a key Republican message, and the Republican candidate lost...” Farnsworth said. “There’s not a lot to suggest that the political environment in 2018 is all that different than in 2017.”

Because Republicans are not unified behind Stewart, campaign donors have not looked at the race as a good investment, Farnsworth said. Kaine significantly outraised Stewart throughout the election cycle, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“If this race was started to be seen as viable for Republicans, you’d see a lot more money coming into this campaign,” Farnsworth said.

More viable, more complicated

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-10th District, who is seeking election to a third term, is running against state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-33rd District.

In seeking re-election, Comstock has to win Trump supporters, but at the same time not be so pro-Trump that she loses moderate voters, Farnsworth said.

“Comstock’s problem has been consistently that Donald Trump gets all the media attention,” Farnsworth said. “And it’s very hard for her to run well with suburban voters given how much hostility voters there have to Trump… It’s difficult to appeal to both of these constituencies in these contentious political times.”

In 2016, citizens were voting on what then-presidential candidate Donald Trump might do as president, Farnsworth said. Voters will head into the midterm elections this Nov. 6 after two years of the Trump presidency. Usually during midterm elections, the president’s party sees a backlash.

“Trump may be creating more intense reaction than some [past] presidents, but midterm elections are routinely dominated by voters who are angry about the president,” Farnsworth said. “Barbara Comstock would be in a much more comfortable political position if Hillary Clinton were president. Then the backlash would be against the Democrat.”  

 Whether having a Republican president will be enough to help Democratic candidates, “we’ll see,” Farnsworth said. “But no doubt about it, midterms are historically about punishing the party in the White House.”

Beyond personalities, current events will likely drive voter involvement on Nov. 6. The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, bomb threats against prominent Democrats, a caravan of asylum seekers marching toward the U.S. border, and the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Oct. 27 will motivate voters focused on issues like foreign affairs, hyper-partisanship, immigration and gun control.

"You have a wide variety of issues on the agenda,” Farnsworth said. “If you can’t find an issue that interests you in 2018, you’re not paying attention.”

(13) comments

Harry Morant

woodbridgeresident Nov 5, 2018 1:22pm
Someone on the LEFT is worried about lying, now THAT is rich!


At the heart of democracy lies the ballot box. Help stop the madness. If you are sick, tired, and afraid of trump and his Republican enablers then please vote BLUE on November 6.

Harry Wiggins

Ah, ah, CCW, "90 points", lol, that would mean the 'experts' predicted Clinton would win 90-10, receiving 115,941,821 and Trump receiving 12,882,825, with Clinton winning by 103,000,000 votes., what expert predicted that? Anyway, Corey Stewart, chum of white supremacists, neo-hitlerites, and endorser of a pedophile, has simply turned off nearly all independents and many Republicans. His rhetoric directed against the diversity that is Prince William County will show tomorrow. He will win the usual red counties (most of which have a few thousand votes) but will get destroyed in the vote rich counties. Let's see how he does in Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, his home county (no, not the one in Minnesota) Prince William, Loudoun, Henrico, Chesterfield, Roanoke City, Charlottesville, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Virginia Beach, Richmond City. The absentee vote which was huge based on historical standards in PWC went 60% Democrat, 40% Republican based on past voting history which spells problems for Stewart. His victory party at Harbor View should be a real joyous affair.


Harry your reading comprehension was clearly diminished by your zeal to pounce on my comment with the very same litany of smear Trump hatred verbiage my comment paraphrased.

The comment, which used percentage points examples not mathematical points simply made a few comparisons about the remarkable expert predictions similarities of then, 2016 and now again in 2018. Regardless of how you choose to rehash it Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in a huge upset that stunned the entire world. But, since you seem fond of math should they have really been surprised? Not if they had been paying attention to the massive crowds going to Trump's rallies then. Those massive rallies in 2016 are not as big as what Trump's rallies have been like for the 2018 election campaigns. Sound familiar? Apparently a whole bunch of Americans are very happy with what President Trump is doing for America.

No mention was made about Corey Stewart nor about which way Virginia will go day
after tomorrow. This was no accident because it is the liberal mainstream media and Democrat leaders that have made President Trump the primary reason of this election nationwide.

Had they not chosen to do that, instead let the states candidates make their cases locally I would have agreed with you somewhat about Corey Stewart because I think he is a jerk. However I would not have smeared him with stuff that normally belongs in toilets like you did and there is no doubt in my mind that nothing about Corey Stewart would override my support of Donald Trump.

As far as your Commonwealth of Virginia predictions goes I wrote Virginia off as a lost cause long ago. Nothing that people who hate America, our Constitution, God and anything else that is decent will do can surprise this man now. Do I care? Of course. Will I keep on trying and preaching? Yes. Am I optimistic about our state's future? Not nearly as much as I would like to be. Do the math Harry.

Ed Pa

The stock market is back where we were a year ago, inflation has wiped out any income gains and he's using irrational fear of foreigners to scare his base into voting.

Harry Morant

I am not scared of foreigners, I simple do not think they have any right to come here and demand anything. They should stay in their own country and work to make it better.

Ed Pa

So how did your ancestors get in? Are European immigrants ok or should I be booking a return flight?


Kaine has done next to NOTHING while in the senate. He was an ineffective governor, too. Kaine was willing to be Hillary's water-boy. That's all I need to know.

Brad London

By any objective, factual analysis, Trump has done a great job for America as evidenced by low unemployment, especially with minorities, and the record high stock market. Yet, the democrats with Trump Derangement Syndrome don't understand facts and data.


This doesn't really pertain to trump at all..it pertains to history. If you look at the all of the mid terms since the 1920's you'll see that MOST midterms are against the current WH. Its that simple..no blue wave, no deep referendum...simply history.


Bawahaha Nov 5, 2018 9:31am
Help stop the Insane Madness of the twisted, lying "by any means necessary" delusional LEFT.
Trump has lied or mislead more than 5,000 times since being elected. Who's the lying party?

We will KEEP our FREEDOM of Speech, FREEDOM of Thought & The RIGHT to defend our Property and Lives.
No one is taking that away from you, Right or Left.


In 2016 the “experts” predicted an election night slaughter of the Republicans by Hillary Clinton. They had her winning by 90+ percentage points almost right on up to midnight on election day.

Since that night the liberal mainstream media and the Democrat's leadership have subjected our nation to a non-stop, around the clock hate Donald Trump campaign that progressively increases with intensity and viciousness each day.

Debate all of the reasons for this all you want to, but here is where we are at on the eve of the 2018 elections. Once again the same “experts” are predicting an election night slaughter of the Republicans tomorrow.

They are certain that the American people's hatred of Donald Trump is so great that they are willing to sacrifice everything they have or ever will have in order to get rid of him.

For the greater good of the country they will give up the pay raises, bonuses and grade increases they've received in the last two years. They have no problem with the Democrats increasing their local, state and federal taxes. They know that the booming economy, highest black and Hispanic employment rates in our nation's history are simply Donald Trump aberrational flukes or dirty tricks. There is more, much more but we the people are ready to give it all up tomorrow.

And as they did in 2016 the “experts” say, “Look at the huge early voters”. Especially those in the border states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona the states that Donald Trump's racist wall is grinding away at all of those innocent women and children in the caravans. Those voters are rushing their ballots in because they want those 4,000 to 15,000 migrants to overrun and impale their cities with as much economic, social and health paralysis as possible. Plus they want the Democrats to increase this migration ten fold when they take over control of Congress just as soon as they impeach Trump and Kavanaugh.

Tear down that wall, get rid of Trump, take the government' money back from the 1% Trump's tax cut he gave them, return the blacks that have strayed back to where they belong in the Democrat Party, same thing for the Hispanics. No one gave them permission to leave. They were fooled by an evil racist.

And as they did in 2016 the “experts” are certain that the American people agree with them. When a Hillary Clinton rally could not fill a typical high school gymnasium's seats while tens of thousands of Donald Trump's supporters stood outside in lines that were miles long because there wasn't any room left in huge stadiums. A few days ago Barrack Obama and Joe Biden eked out about 200 supporters at same time Donald Trump's rallies amassed enormous crowds compared to what happened in 2016. This has been the case throughout our country for election 2018.

And finally as it was in 2016 so it is today in 2018. The liberal Democrat's election day blue wave tsunami will totally wipe the Republican Party out and according to the “experts” Hillary Clinton still stands to be the Democrat Party's best chance of winning the 2020 Presidential Election.

Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

Harry Morant

Let the Red Tide Roll! Help stop the Insane Madness of the twisted, lying "by any means necessary" delusional LEFT. We will KEEP our FREEDOM of Speech, FREEDOM of Thought & The RIGHT to defend our Property and Lives. VOTE Republican and watch their heads start to explode! MAGA!

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