Friday, November 16, 2007

The thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat

In Virginia if the margin of victory in an election is within .5%, the loser may request a recount.

Over the past three years Virginia has had three races that have fallen within the .5% margin of victory.


Initial reults reported Bob McDonnell defeated Creigh Deeds in the race for Attorney General's race by 323 votes.


Jim Webb defeated incumbent senator, George Allen, by 9,000 votes out of over 2 million votes cast, a margin of victory of about .45 %


After the canvassing was completed in the race for Virginia's 37th senate district, Ken Cuccinelli was still leading Janet Olsezek by 92 votes, a margin of .2%.

So what's the point of all these boring numbers? I just want to take a moment to point out who it was that called for recounts. Only the Democrats can't handle being defeated. Creigh Deeds dragged the state through a recount, and spent thousands of taxpayers dollars to make sure we counted everyone's vote. When the recount finally ended in the middle of December, Bob McDonnell's margin of victory actually increased by thirty seven votes. In 2006 with control of the senate hanging on t outcome of his senate race, George Allen chose not to drag the state, and the country, through a recount. He waited to see the results of the canvass, and then stepped out in front of the cameras, thanked his supporters for all their work, thanked teh state for electing him before, and then conceeded. Now in 2007 after the canvass was completed, Janet Olsezek, or was it her campaign manager, has called for a recount in one of the closest VA state senate races ever.

But why would Janet pull the people she wants through a recount and spend thousands of taxpayers dollars on this? Is there anything to indicate that the recount could change the outcome of the election? No. The canvassing changed nothing, and the provisional ballots actually gave Ken one more vote. No concrete accusation of voter fraud have been leveled. So why cal for a recount unless you simply can't stand losing?

While many things can be learned from George Allen's senate race, one lesson is when you have lost, be willing to concede. The only to call for a recount would be if there are serious instances of voting fraud, like more votes cast in a county than its registered voters. Virginia has never had major voter fraud, and there has never been a real reason to call for a recount. Anyone that loses a close race should have the courae to concede.

Memo to Democrat candidates: While defeat is agonizing, don't be too shocked if you lose while running against the rising conservative stars in Virginia.

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