Sabato's Crystal Ball

Virginia (11) House 2010

Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidate: Gerald Connolly, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Keith Fimian, owner and founder of U.S. Inspect, LLC

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 6, 2010

Rep. Gerald Connolly’s win in 2008 picked up a crucial seat for Democrats that was for a long-time held by Republican Tom Davis, who retired that year. The takeover signified a shift for Democrats in what was long considered a strong Republican outpost in the very affluent Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Contending against Connolly is challenger Keith Fimian, who lost to Connolly by 12 points in 2008. Republicans decided to put Fimian back into the mix this year in part because of his conservative credentials but also his strong support from Tea Party activitst. Though in 2008, Fimian was more of a social conservative, now with increased governmental spending, Fimian is branding himself as more of a fiscal conservative which is characteristic of this district.

Taxes and spending are the major issues in this fiscally-conservative district and for that reason Connolly is against President Obama’s desire to let the Bush-era tax cuts expire for America’s highest income earners. On the one hand, though, the district has a strong Republican base who can mobilize against Connolly, but on the other hand, a conservative, anti-government stance can backfire in a district made up of thousands of government workers and dependent heavily on government largesse.

This district is Leans Democratic.