Tim Kaine credits women for poll advantage in crucial Va. Senate race

Updated
By Quinn Wonderling

As Romney/Ryan slip in the polls, pundits are turning their attention to races for the Senate, which is up for control in November and could hinge on the decisions of just a few swing states. On Friday’s Hardball, Chris Matthews spoke with Tim Kaine, a Democratic Senate candidate in Virginia and Patrick Murphy, a Democratic Congressional candidate in Florida. Both face extremely conservative opponents.

Matthews asked Kaine, Virginia’s former governor, about his race against George Allen – four polls have Kaine up by 5 points, with The Washington Post reporting he’s leading 51% to Allen’s 43%. 

Kaine credited the Republican agenda on women’s issues for his substantial lead:

“Virginia was sort of the epicenter this year of a lot of bills that really went after women’s healthcare - invasive ultrasound procedures promoted by our governor, and my opponent George Allen stood silent and didn’t condemn them. Personhood legislation that would criminalize abortion and potentially criminalize FDA-approved birth control that George Allen wants to take to the US Senate. And then you go to additional areas like my opponent not being in support of paycheck equity, having a history of voting against the Family and Medical Leave Act, wanting to support the Blunt Amendment to roll back contraceptive protection. These issues have all come up at the same time. Some deal with healthcare choices, some deal with paycheck equity, and women in Virginia are feeling like they don’t have a lot of friends on the other side.” 

Matthews then chatted with Patrick Murphy, the Congressional candidate looking to unseat Allen West, whom Murphy calls “the most extreme member of Congress.”

In April, West commented that approximately 80 of his Democratic congressional colleagues were communists. And earlier this month, he followed up by declaring President Obama’s “Forward” campaign slogan a “Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme.” 

August polls showed Murphy and West tied in the polls, but Murphy is confident that Floridians, including Republicans, are tired of the extremism: 

“We’re getting calls from Republicans coming out saying, ‘Look, Patrick, I’m a Republican, I’ve been a Republican my whole life and I’m going to support you because what Allen West is doing is dividing the country and creating gridlock in our Congress. It’s scary he ever got elected, but we have a great chance to defeat him.”

West has agreed to a debate Murphy on Oct 19.

Allen West

Tim Kaine credits women for poll advantage in crucial Va. Senate race

Updated