The Pendulum of Politics
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Becoming an informed voter encompasses several issues. Most people argue that an informed voter has the capacity to choose a political candidate by considering his or her political ideologies as opposed to individual feelings about the candidate. Other people argue that as much as the candidate’s ideologies are essential party affiliations are also essential in determining the best political candidate. However, party identification as a determinant of the best political candidate still emphasizes issues of political, economical, social and cultural among other ideologies of the candidate. It clearly shows where a particular candidate stands on certain issues.
The Second Congressional District of Virginia is a district that encompasses Virginia Beach, parts of Hampton and Norfolk and the Eastern Shore. The current political representative of the district is Scott Rigell who came into political leadership defeating of social democrat Glenn Nye in 2011. Scott Rigell is a republican politician (McPherson, 2009). The Second Congressional District has a historical voting trend leaning towards conservative democrats. It has a large population mostly comprising military people because of its proximity to some of the largest military camps in the United States of America. The district has the largest naval station. Its economy is run by military and related industrial activities. Veterans form Twenty percent of the electorate in this District. The district is rated as highly patriotic. Residents consider jet noise as sounds depicting freedom and representing the military might of the United States of America (McPherson, 2009).
The Second Congressional District of Virginia reflects one-party dominance in the elections. The district has a long tradition of supporting the Democratic Party. This trend has been going on for a long period. It is only in the early 1800s that the Federalist Party dominated in the elections. However, the Democratic Party took over and has dominated ever since. The other parties come into leadership occasionally. The District is conservative in terms of voting. It has a tendency to give congress representatives long serving tenures in Washington. For instance, only ten people have represented it since 1945 (Parkinson, 2011).
Scott Rigell is a millionaire businessman who deals in cars. He is the president and founder of Freedom Automotive Group. As a republican, he came into power when he defeated Glenn Nye in the November 2010 Congressional race and took office in January 2011. His experience in dealerships, business acumen and participation in church and community group activities gave him a strong foundation to compete against his political rival, democrat Glenn Nye (Parkinson, 2011). He is credited for giving support to both democrat and republican candidates who include George Allen, Bob McDonnell, Mark Warner, John McCain, Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney. His contributions add up to the tune of over four hundred thousand US dollars. He won in the June eighth republican primary in 2010 by garnering 39 percent of the votes. He spent over one million dollars of his money in the campaigns. His experience in Marine Corps Reserve and foreign mission helped him win the congressional race. His top priority was to reduce government spending and replacement of healthcare law through market-oriented reforms. His opposition to gay marriages, abortion, use of federal resources for parental plans, prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion and support of the path to prosperity budget by Paul Ryan were noteworthy in his campaigns (Jewell & Quirk, 2011).
Many of the interest groups in the politics of the United States of America including ADA, ACLU, CC and ACU have not given a recent rating of Scott Rigell. One notable interest group known as American Veterinary Medical Association Positions on Professional Advocacy gave Scott Rigell a rating of one hundred percent in 2011. Based on this rating, I would classify Scott Rigell, the congress representative of the Second Congressional District of Virginia as conservative. However, if he gets more ratings it will be easier to judge whether he is still conservative or liberal (Jewell & Quirk, 2011).
Virginia was established in 1607 in Jamestown. It was known as Colony and Dominion of Virginia in the colonial times. The current politics of Virginia shows a state that is becoming conflictive over its liberal northern parts and the traditionally conservative parts in the southern region. In the past, the state of Virginia has been divided with the northern part in support of liberal ideologies and the southern part giving support to conservative party (McPherson, 2009). In the mid twentieth century, white democrats established a one party state that has an almost unchallenged majority. Democrats dominated the state of Virginia up to the 1960s when republicans got limelight. Many conservatives in Virginia turned against the democrats and supported republicans. This change was mainly formed out of President Lyndon Johnsons` support for civil rights. At this period, south Virginia supported conservative republicans while GOP based its support on regional standards. From the early 1980s to 2005, democrats have been on the governor’s seat. Some of the democrat members who became governors in that period include Chuck Robb, Gerald Baliles, Douglas Wilder, and Mark Warner. Nevertheless, in 2009 republican Bob McDonnell became the Governor defeating Democrat Creigh Deeds. Since 1952, the state of Virginia has been voting for republicans in all presidential elections. It is only in 1964 and 2008 presidential elections that they voted for democrats (Kerrigan, 2010).
In the state of Virginia, the electorate does not register on party basis. It conducts open primaries that allow voters to vote for either of the parties. The state does not indicate the party identification of local candidates on the ballot during the general elections. The state of Virginia has two dominant parties, which include the republican and democratic parties. Other parties include green party, independent greens party and libertarian party. Despite the fact that the state of Virginia has a long history of supporting republican presidential aspirants and its conservative nature, the 1980s marked a massive change in the voting trend of the state. Voters started voting for democratic candidates, which helped them maintain majorities in the general assembly houses (Parkinson, 2011).
The state is known for its regional differences in terms of voter party preferences. Northern Virginia supported republican candidates for the most of the 1900s. However, in recent elections this trend has changed and seen democratic candidates coming to power. In Virginia Beach, the largest city in the state, voters prefer republican candidates to democrats. This is also evident in southwest parts of Virginia State.
Senator Mark Robert Warner is a businessman and politician born in 1954. He is a democrat from the commonwealth of Virginia. Senator Mark Warner entered the U.S. Senate in November 2008 after being elected in Virginia. He has a B.A in political science from George Washington University and J.D from Harvard Law School. Warner achieved success and popularity because of his outstanding record of bipartisan politics, fiscal management skills and centrist stances. He campaigned as a moderate democrat. His came into power as governor in 2001 because of his adept fiscal managerial knowledge. In his time as a governor, he brought a tax reform that changed a budget with a six million dollar deficit into surplus. At the end of his term, Virginia had the best rating as the most well managed state in the United States of America (Jewell & Quirk, 2011). During his time as a governor, he strengthened public education, extended broadband availability across seven hundred miles and created approximately one hundred and fifty thousand jobs especially in the technological sector. Warner got the endorsement of most democrats nationally when he announced his contention for senate in 2007. His record as a governor and the wide support he got nationally gave him advantage over his opponent Jim Gilmore who was also a former governor of Virginia. For the entire campaign period, Warner dominated in the race. In the November 2008 elections, Warner defeated Jim Gilmore by garnering 65 percent of the total vote. He won in all counties except four, which include Augusta, Hanover and Rockingham. His victory meant that Virginia would have two senators. This was the first since Harry Byrd’s time (Jewell & Quirk, 2011).
Senator Mark Robert Warner has received many ratings by interest groups. These ratings encompass a wide range of issues including abortion, agriculture, animal rights and wildlife, budget, spending and taxes, business and consumers, civil rights and liberties, conservative, education, environment, family and children, foreign policy and aid, government reform and federal, state and local relations among other issues (Kerrigan, 2010). He has received conservative ratings from interest groups, such as ACU, Eagle Forum, National Journal, CWA, CWF, CCA, RLC and the club for growth among others. The highest he has scored in these ratings is 54 percent. The lowest rating is 0 percent. Based on these ratings, Senator Warner could be classified as liberal because he has scored mostly lower than fifty percent. He has scored relatively fifty percent on scores, such as liberal composite, liberal foreign policy and liberal social policy (Kerrigan, 2010).
In conclusion, the Second Congressional District of Virginia reflects a voting characteristic of the entire state. It has had an observable trend of voting style historically. The state of Virginia has also had a voting trend where voters vote for candidates depending on their party affiliations. They vote for candidates based on their ideologies rarely. This has seen the electorate from the Second District of Virginia and the Entire Virginia state vote for a single party for long periods.
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