What happened to the lock?
It never existed, except in the minds of Republican propagandists trying to discourage competition.
Meanwhile, Allen is the same affable, go-along-to-get-along rightwing senator he’s been all along. Yet, with the Bush administration spinning out of control, Allen’s role as a Bush/Cheney cheerleader probably won’t be much of a plus with most Virginia voters. Yes, with bad vibes all around him, Allen is likely to be campaigning this time around on his own personality and record, for what that’s worth.
Looking back on it, in a way he's never been tested. In statewide elections Allen defeated Mary Sue Terry and Chuck Robb; in both instances he benefited from having opponents whose political careers had peaked and begun to ebb. Allen was the fresher face. This election year that won't be the case. With two candidates new to most voters vying for the chance to unseat the incumbent having emerged -- James Webb and Harris Miller -- Virginia Democrats, on the heels of Gov. Tim Kaine's convincing victory, are beginning to lick their chops at the prospect of facing Allen in the fall.
The advantages Allen seemed to have not so long ago are shriveling. But, as we've all seen, in politics a lot can happen in a matter of a few months.