Sabato's Crystal Ball

Virginia (09) House 2010


Crystal Ball Outlook: Leans D

Democratic candidates: Rick Boucher, Incumbent

Republican candidates: Morgan Griffith, Majority Leader in the State House of Delegates

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Updates: October 6, 2010

Political analysts agree that Morgan Griffith is giving 14-term Democratic incumbent Rick Boucher a serious run for his money this November. In a culturally conservative district that has voted Democrat in part due to tradition for much of its existence, Boucher is a conservative Democrat who holds key positions in the House, most notably as a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. This is especially helpful in a district comprised of a number of coal mines and refineries.

Morgan Griffith is no novice to politics either. Currently serving as Majority Leader in the State House of Delegates, Griffith has a proven record of being a conservative Republican. In fact, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has named Griffith one of its “Young Guns” for 2010. Though Griffith is not new to politics, Boucher does have a sizable advantage over him in fundraising. To date, Boucher has slightly over $2 million on hand while Griffith has just under $300,000.

Perhaps the most serious issue discussed between the candidates has been the cap-and-trade legislation passed this past session. Griffith has attacked Boucher on his vote stating that this reduction on greenhouse gas emissions hurts coal industries, a huge part of the 9th district’s demographics. Boucher in return has gone on the record to state that he secured pro-coal provisions in the bill making any concessions non-existent.

Overall, this race is a strong indication for Democrats that no seat is safe. Though Boucher has a sizable fundraising advantage and holds key positions on important Congressional committees, state Majority Leader Griffith is giving him a serious run for his money. This district is Leans Democratic.