Will Virginians Support Gilmore in '08?

By: Lindsey Ward Email
By: Lindsey Ward Email

January 14, 2007

“Gilmore came into office with a lot of energy a lot of anticipation,” said Matt Smyth, of the UVa Center for Politics.

Gilmore served as Virginia’s governor from 1998-2002 and is best known for his campaign platform, no car tax.

“Probably was the single issue that carried him into office,” said Smyth.

However, many experts believe the elimination of the tax lead to a major budget deficit.

“It became clear that the budget deficit was a lot bigger that most people had thought not just the governor’s administration himself, but everyone around Virginia,” Smyth said.

Can Virginian’s forget the way he left office and support Gilmore in 2008?

“Oh I definitely am, definitely,” said a young voter.

“He basically screwed the commonwealth of Virginia out of a lot of needed tax dollars,” said one local.

What about outside the state lines?

“We moved here about six months ago and I’ve seen him on TV talking about his candidacy, but prior to that I’m from the Philadelphia area and I had never really heard of him,” said one man.

“There isn't a soul that knows him outside of the state of Virginia and not many people in the state of Virginia remember him any more,” said a Prince George man.

But that doesn't mean all doom and gloom Smyth said name recognition can play a role in raising money.

“But on the other hand we still have a fairly personal component to presidential politics with the primary in New Hampshire and the caucuses in Iowa, the early contests in other states where candidates can visit, meet the voters and really have an impact,” added Smyth

An impact we'll have to wait to see if Virginians will follow.

“I think ultimately Virginians would probably support a Virginian running for the presidency,” said a Virginian.

Just last week, Jim Gilmore filed papers with the Federal Elections Committee to form an official Presidential Exploratory Committee.

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