The Virginia State Central Committee Republicans voted on November 20, 2010 in favor of a state primary instead of a state convention in 2012 for choosing a U.S. Senate candidate to run against Senator Jim Webb. The date is not yet set. Conservatives tend to prefer conventions because they draw party loyalists and activists. Virginia has an open primary so Independents and Democrats are allowed to vote. Some believe a primary favors former Senator George Allen, who is expected to run again and has strong name recognition in the state and lost to Sen. Webb in 2006. According to a Washington Examiner.com article on Nov. 20, 2010, “Democrats have preferred primaries for years over conventions to select their conventions. In 2008, the Democratic presidential primary drew a record turnout for a nominating contest, with Barack Obama alone winning more than 1 million votes. That fall, Obama became the first Democrat since 1964 to carry Virginia in a presidential race. Republicans, however, have generally resisted primaries, claiming that Virginia’s open primary law and the lack of voter registration by political party has allowed Democrats to meddle in their nomination processes by voting in GOP primaries.” In the same article, conservative Delegate Robert Marshall, R-Prince William, says he supports a primary because of his own bad experience for U.S. Senate at a state convention in 2008, saying that primaries “are tougher for the insiders to manipulate.” Stay tuned!