‘Moderate Mark’ Needs a Makeover (Roanoke Times)

Virginia Flag By Stephen J. Farnsworth, Stephen P. Hanna and Benjamin Hermerding

The “Moderate Mark” of Virginia politics may need an ideological makeover.

Thirteen years ago, Democrat Mark Warner was elected governor of a very different state than the one that divided roughly 50/50 on his re-election to the Senate this year.

Warner’s moderate politics and his aggressive 2001 outreach efforts in rural corners of the state — including sponsoring a race car and a bluegrass campaign song — were hailed at the time as political savvy ways to connect with the state’s rural voters.

That approach paid off, back then. Warner’s 2001 wooing of rural voters won him the support of more than a dozen counties in Southwest and Southside Virginia that normally rejected Democrats. But this year, Warner’s moderate politics almost cost him his re-election.

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