Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Democrat Primary Results

Today was the Democrat primary for governor, but you might not have noticed. Last gubernatorial primary the combined Republican and Democrat turnout was slightly above 6%. This year while the turnout was much higher today than the 2.6% the Democrats accomplished last cycle, a lot of attention was focused on the low turnout. Throughout the day reports came in from Roanoke, Harrisonburg, the Shenandoah Valley, Loudon, NOVA, all over Virginia, and other anecdotal reports of low voter turnout.

The low voter turnout statewide prompted Terry McAuliffe to send an e-mail to his supporters reminding them to vote and remindign them how big a difference their one vote could make. The interesting thing is he had to resort to an internal poll of 200 people to find hope of a victory.

While the Democrats eventually hit a voter turnout of a hair over 6.4%, one thing became painfully obvious, the Democrat ground operation left much to be wanted. Along with the reports of low voter turnout, most of these reports reported included comments of weak Democrat presence at the polls. Many people reported no Democrat poll workers, and few signs. Often their were more McDonnell poll workers and signs at the polls than Democrat workers. This picture from Loudon sums it up well. The BulletProof Monk had some interesting annalysis of the lack of Democrat poll presence.
What struck me is....with the primary so important to the Dems (their decision today may mean a win or a loss, entirely based on who they choose) Loudoun (and probably many other counties) are exhibiting little or no grassroots volunteers to man the polls or even muster enough gumption to put a sign or two up on the way to work.

I attribute this to the fact that when I went to Purcellville last November, I didn't see a single person I knew there manning the Dem's tent. It was all handled (like most of the county)by Obamanauts.... I mean, the Loudoun Dem's didn't have to raise a finger last November.

While the Republicans were engaging in a "drill" and rolling out an impressive machine (with a six point reward over our sister counties for the effort)on what became a "dry run", the Dems didn't bother building a local mechanism.It was done for them.(anybody else smell the irony of that sentence?)
Hopefully he is right and this trend carries through to the general election.

When the votes were counted, it was Creigh Deeds surge was very real. The Virginia voters rebelled against Terry McAuliffe's smear tactics and Deeds took almost 50% in a competitve three way race. Creigh Deeds won every single congressional district except the 3rd district which he lost by 2%. He was particularly strong in the south western part of the state where he won the 5th, 6th, and 9th districts by atleast 68% each.

It seems that while Terry McAuliffe was e-mailing his supporters encouraging them to vote, he knew he was going to lose the primary he had invested so much money into. One report indicates he was calling his donors and warning them he would lose last night. To his credit in a show of party unity his e-mail to supporters tonight encouraged them to support Creigh Deeds and even had a link for them to donate to Deeds.

It is interesting that the two parties chose gubernatorial candidates who play well to their parties weakest demographics. Deeds has a strng base in south western Virginia, and McDonnell will do well in NOVA. It will be interesting to see how this fact plays out. The other good news for McDonnell is that his poll numbers continue to climb.

Let's campaign hard, and let the best man win in November.

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