We’re at the time of year where every little decision is interpreted as a significant indicator of what will happen on Election Night. But Politico should have known better than to run a story with the screaming headline, GILLESPIE OFF THE AIR THIS WEEK, only to note . . .
Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie has gone dark on Virginia television, three sources tracking the airwaves told POLITICO. An adviser to his campaign says they plan to go back up on Saturday.
Eric Wilson of the Gillespie campaign stated, “Since we went up on TV, we always switch off TV for a day or two between rotating new messages in.” You can argue whether that’s wise or not, but it’s not exactly unheard of — and how likely is it that the deciding factor in this race will be whether Gillespie is running ads on a Thursday night and a Friday night in mid-October? Tomorrow night the hipsters are out, and the families are at high-school football games.
And Gillespie’s campaign manager Tweets:
.@edforsenate campaign raised $1.8M in Q3. Lots of gas in the tank. Stay tuned.
— Chris Leavitt (@LeavittCS) October 16, 2014
For a long stretch, Ed Gillespie trailed by a lot (20 points or so) and this race wasn’t competitive. Now the Republican is down only about 10 points, and now we learn Warner may have offered a job to a lawmaker’s child in an effort to influence a state legislator:
Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said Monday that while he “brainstormed” with a son of former state senator Phillip P. Puckett about “possibilities that his sister might want to pursue,” he did not and would not offer a job to the daughter of a state lawmaker.
As the Post reported Friday, Puckett’s son told federal investigators that Warner discussed the possibility of several jobs, including a federal judgeship, for Martha Puckett Ketron in an effort to dissuade her father from quitting the evenly divided state Senate.
Those allegations don’t mesh well with his “I’m a good guy who puts Virginia first” messaging. Also remember that Republicans can overperform their final polls here — last year, Ken Cuccinelli finished five percentage points ahead of his final RCP average.
Ed Gillespie is still an underdog, but this is a race to keep an eye on in the final weeks.