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Opposition to Trump making DC suburbs finally turn blue

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HAYMARKET, VA - OCTOBER 20: Democratic U.S. House candidate and Virginia State Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-33rd District) participates in the annual Haymarket Day parade October 20, 2018 in Haymarket, Virginia. Wexton is challenging incumbent Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) for the House seat that has been in Republican hands since 1981. Wexton is currently leading Comstock in the polls. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Alex
Wong/Getty Images


  • Virginia State Sen. Jennifer Wexton is trying to unseat
    incumbent Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th
    Congressional District.
  • The district, which is just outside of Washington, DC,
    has long been poised to turn blue, despite remaining Republican
    for decades with Comstock weathering tough races in the
    past.

STERLING, Virginia — Republicans have maintained their hold on
the immediate suburbs of Washington, D.C. in Virginia for
decades.

Despite the GOP lead dwindling every election cycle, Republican
Rep. Barbara Comstock has held on to Virginia’s 10th
Congressional District. That is likely to come to an end on
November 6.

Every
major poll
of the district shows Democratic challenger and
Virginia State Sen. Jennifer Wexton holding a sizable lead over
Comstock. A significant factor — the mood of the district’s large
portion of federal employees.

The Trump administration has not received stellar approvals among
government workers during its first two years. While polling has
been sporadic, it has also not been kind to President Donald
Trump. Early into his administration, a majority of federal
employees
disapproved
of the job he was doing.

Wexton told Business Insider an interview at a canvass launch on
Saturday that “federal workers have been under attack from
this administration and congressional Republicans like Barbara
Comstock have not been standing up for them.”

“One of the things that is also helping is that in the post-Trump
era, I think a lot of people realized just how fragile our
democracy is and they realize that it’s important that they get
out and vote and make their voices known,” she added. “People
recognize that they can’t just sit on the sidelines and assume
everything’s going to be OK.”

Wexton has courted high-profile backers from past government
service to support her campaign, like former FBI Director James
Comey, who
donated the legal maximum
to her political action committee
in his first ever financial boost to a Democrat.

And Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state,
attended Wexton’s canvassing event on Saturday, telling the crowd
of campaign staffers and volunteers, “it’s Article One time”
in a nod to Democrats hoping to enact significant oversight of
the Trump administration.

Albright, who lives in Virginia’s 10th District, acknowledged the
area’s shifting demographics and increasingly left-leaning voter
turnout.

“T
he kinds of things that Congresswoman Wexton
will represent is really very important in terms of an incredible
county that has really changed in so many ways since I first came
here in 1972,” she said. “

A one that is really
vibrant and interested and really moving ahead on all the
important issues.”

“The only regret that I’ve had in my life is that I never ran for
office,” Albright added. “And so I’m really honored to be here
for somebody who is and should be running for office.”

Republicans are still fighting to keep hold of the
district

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is
still pouring cash into the district in hopes of saving
Comstock’s seat, shelling out
nearly $5 million
in ad buys.

Comstock has hammered Wexton for what she says will raise
taxes, contribute to a culture of “resistance,” and make House
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi the next speaker of the
House.

But Wexton was not as concrete about potential support for
Pelosi, telling Business Insider she would make an assessment
based on who decides to run for party leader if Democrats retake
the House.

“I don’t even know who’s running, so I look forward to somebody
presenting a pitch to me for a change about what their vision is
for the Democratic Party and for the caucus going forward,” she
said. “I think that we do need fresh eyes and leadership that is
going to unite and inspire the caucus going forward. So I look
forward to seeing who — I look forward to number one, taking the
majority — and number two, finding out who those voices are and
hearing from them about why they have the best vision moving
forward.”

Still, the heavy lifting, which has included visits to the
district from House Speaker Paul Ryan, has largely failed to
bolster Comstock.

A Washington Post
poll
released last week showed Wexton leading Comstock by 13
points. A New York Times-Siena College poll
showed a seven-point gap, with Wexton still ahead of the
incumbent.

Comstock, who won her district despite it also going for
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016,
dismissed concerns that federal employees do not like Trump and
those closely associated with his agenda, telling Fox News in an
interview
earlier this month that “the federal employees I’ve worked with
for decades and you have national security folks, FBI, the CIA is
in my district. We have a lot of support there.”

She also dismissed polling showing her trailing Wexton,
telling Fox’s Ed Henry, “Those poll numbers you showed are not
accurate. Because we’ve been in the field, we are narrowly ahead.
I have always over performed our polls — always over-performed in
these races — and we are out fighting hard.”

“Two years ago right now, of course everybody thought it was
going to be Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine,” she added. “And they
were saying I was going to lose by five points. I won by six.”

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