An Interesting Test

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Even if the Democrats had had a strong two years, there’s little doubt that one of the most endangered freshman Democrats would have been Virginia’s Tom Perriello. He’s a fairly progressive Rep down in Southside Virginia — VA-5. It was an eyepopper when he beat Virgil Goode in 2008 in the midst of the flood tide. So you’d figure someone like that would already be roadkill in 2010. But he’s not quite there. The odds are definitely against Perriello on Tuesday. He’s been closing the gap over the month, but he’s still by at least a few points. Nate Silver gives him just over 10% shot at winning. But just to give you a sense of how Nate’s percentages work, that’s almost exactly the odds he’s giving Joe Sestak.

What’s striking though is that Perriello’s in what should be an incredibly tough district for Dems this year but he’s actually doing better than a lot of Dems who are running on friendlier territory. And the key is that he’s remained pretty steadfast in hissupport of the president’s agenda all the way through. Indeed, tonight, he has President Obama in his district for a big blow out rally to rev up Perriello’s supporters.

If Perriello somehow manages to pull it out on Tuesday or just gives rival Richard Hurt a serious single digit run for his money, it will show there was a different way for Dems to come at this very difficult year.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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