33rd Senate Update
Mick Staton: $111,500 Raised, $97,381 On Hand
Mark Herring: $156,280 Raised, $121,654 On Hand
Since then Staton has received $6250 in donations, while Herring has received $35,000. Herring certainly has a decided fund advantage here, as well as the voting trend on his side. Staton does have the advantage of the Dick Black grassroots network, but that could be suspect since he lost last November. Democrats can smell blood here and want this seat bad.
This race is important for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is the "conservatives" vs. moderates situation. If Staton wins, the conservatives will have ammunition for '07 that being conservative is what it takes to win and could lead to more primary battles. If Herring wins, the democrats as well as moderate GOPs will have ammunition to say people are rejecting conservatives and want more moderate candidates.
The second thing is the budget battle. There are rumors that even the Senate may stop the passage of a proposed tax increase (or at least a lesser increase than Kaine has proposed), but I suspect the GOP will need all the votes they can get to achieve that worthy goal, especially a Senator like Staton who will undoubtably oppose tax increases. A Herring win would make that endeavor much, much harder.
A third worthy point is that a Herring win puts the democrats in a much better position to take back control of the Senate. With 4 NOVA GOP Senate seats, it seems they are the only possible pickups the dems can target. A win here in the special would make their life much, much easier in '07 (even though they still would need a 5th seat somewhere to get a majority, which is very unlikely).
I will have updates on the 97th tonight as soon as the results start to come in.