According to a disclosure form filed back about 7 years ago, Ed Gillespie had accumulated a fortune of between $7 and $19 million from his high-profile consulting business. Senator Mark Warner went about accumulating his $200 million and rising net worth the honest Washington DC way – he used his beltway contacts and his interest in telecommunications to start a venture capital firm, Columbia Capital, which was an early investor in technology companies. Like Nextel, for example. So you could say that the Democratic Senator From Virginia is a man of substance. Unfortunately for Warner, so is Gillespie. That is, if by substance you mean policy. As in being one of the drafters of the Contract With America back in 94, for example, and as a firm critic of Obamacare.

In a fascinating piece in Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende uses regression analysis to show that over the last 12 years, voter trends have regressed to the mean, or the fundamentals, as election night draws near. What he means by that is that the fundamentals – as measured by the sitting president’s job approval ratings – tend to set a base line around which candidates of the president’s party whose polling was above the approval rating had stagnant numbers going into the last month or so, while those below the approval rating tended to rise towards the job approval ratings. That means that given Obama’s low job approval rating,, GOP candidates may be much more likely to pick up undecided voters between now and November 4th, while Democrats have already picked up most of the voters they can. That brings us back to Ed Gillespie and the race for Senator in Virginia and his critique of Obamacare. There is no doubt that Mark Warner is a successful businessman and is popular in his home state. But there is now an interesting chance that even in a race like Virginia, where Ed Gillespie is closing what was a 20 point gap, the final results could surprise. It may be that if Ed Gillespie keeps focused on policy issues like Health Care, Defense, and Energy – he is a supporter of Keystone – he may just swing enough undecideds and upset Mark Warner, Virginia’s 200 million dollar man. The final count in the Senate, come November 5th, is still very much undecided, and it may surprise on the upside for the GOP. Among the other key senate races, spare a thought for Virginia on election night.

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