Virginia Foxx's comments this week have some folks vowing to defeat her in 2010. Is that a realistic wish?
I can pretty much tell you there's no way she'll lose a general election contest to a Democrat in a district that John McCain won 61-38.
I doubt she'd lose in a Republican primary either. A poll we conducted last summer showed 69% of GOP voters approving of her job performance, more than likely good enough to get her through. And a lot of the ultra conservative voters who participate in low turnout primaries might even laud what she said.
I actually think the best hope- if folks really want to take her out- would be an independent candidate.
Unaffiliated voters in the 5th District have no love for Foxx at all. That same poll showed her with just a 30% approval rating among them and 47% disapproving. But a lot of them aren't particularly inclined to vote for a Democrat either- just 38% in that poll supported Barack Obama.
While Foxx's 69% approval from Republicans voters is probably strong enough to win a primary, the 31% who don't like her or don't have an opinion about her is actually pretty substantial. So take those folks, combine them with some of the independents and Democrats, and who knows?
Of course an independent candidacy is a difficult thing. It's always hard to fundraiser outside the two party system, and people would have to really be willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to their anger at Foxx. Also, the 5th District is pretty darn conservative so whoever stepped up would probably have to be at least partially to the right of moderate to be able to peel off enough Republicans, conservative Democrats, and independents. But the opportunity to vote for 'a conservative who won't embarrass us' would likely to appeal to many folks in the 5th District.
It's a long shot scenario but if folks want to send Foxx home it's the best path I see.