Democratic Primary: What happens tomorrow?

8 Jun

whodemTomorrow Virginia Democrats (and a few assorted Republicans) will go to the polls to select the Democratic nominees for Governor and Lt. Governor.  Their Attorney General nomination is decided as Delegate Steve Shannon is unopposed.

As of this writing, polls show that Senator Creigh Deeds has a commanding lead over both former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe and former Delegate Brian Moran.  No doubt the endorsement from The Washington Post lit a fire under the comparatively underfunded Deeds campaign.  And, as many Republicans are prone to admit, Senator Creigh Deeds may offer the strongest challenge to Bob McDonnell.  Just four years ago, only a few hundred votes sent McDonnell to the Attorney General’s office and not Deeds.

So some of my friends on the right have been advocating a Virginia version of Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” from last year.  Since the primary tomorrow is an open primary, anyone can vote.  So the strategy has been to vote for Brian Moran who was seen as the least threatening.  After all McAuliffe had a seemingly bottomless bank account which is how he’s been on our televisions around the clock for months now.

After giving it some thought.  I just can’t do it.  I just can’t cross over and vote in the Democratic primary.  For one thing, I don’t want to be on the DPV mailing list.

But more importantly, it’s just not right.  Using the “but they do it to us all the time” argument just doesn’t wash.  I mean, if we presume to be the “better” party, the party of values, the party of morals, shouldn’t we act like it?

Are we so afraid that our candidates are so weak that we need to pray for the weakest opposition?  Personally I think that the ticket of Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli is the strongest the GOP has offered in some time.

Besides, haven’t we learned that demonizing your opponent is not the way to win an election?  Yes, you point our your opponents flaws and failed policies.  But at the same time you have to offer a compelling argument for your candidate.  If running a campaign of “this is why you shouldn’t vote for him” was all that effective, we’d be voting for the replacement to Governor Kilgore, not Governor Kaine.

Sorry, somebody needs to say it.

My prediction for tomorrow?  No numbers, but I believe the Democratic ticket will turn out to be Creigh Deeds, Jody Wagner and Steve Shannon.  I also could be wrong.  In about 24 hours we’ll know.

What are others saying?

Deeds continues to gain in poll
Pilot Online

State Sen. Creigh Deeds appears to be further separating himself from the other two contenders in the June 9 Democratic gubernatorial primary, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released two days before the election.
Read more.

Primary Hinges On Voter Turnout
Democrats Hoping To Be Governor Going Full Throttle
The Washington Post

With surveys showing remarkable volatility in the race’s final days and election officials predicting low turnout, all three campaigns have agreed that victory will come to the candidate whose supporters are energized enough to visit the polls on a muggy and possibly stormy June day.
Read more.

An Election pre-Mortem
Tertium Quids

If I ran a polling firm, I wouldn’t have my communications people out issuing pre-mortems. That’s playing with fire, not to mention one’s reputation.
Read more.

Overview of Dems Gov. Candidates
Virginia Virtucon

I don’t think Moran will be much of a factor tomorrow and the race will come down to being between McAuliffe and Deeds.  I think that McDonnell can beat either of them, but Deeds may be the more difficult of the two.
Read more.

Could Deeds Pull This Off?
Shaun Kenney

Virginia Republicans keep saying they were all chalked up to flukes, infighting, or macaca… but with McDonnell placing such a heavy price on unity coming out of the 2009 RPV Convention and the traditional bucking of the incumbent party in the White House, the Democrats may be facing one of the strongest challenges yet to their brief eight-year resurgence to power.
Read more.

Tuesday Prediction Thread
Too Conservative

As much as McAuliffe’s money and connections have excited some lib bloggers, I just don’t think he’s excited that many Virginians…
Read more

Democratic Primary Theory
The Virginia Conservative

Either way, the good news is, regardless of which Democratic candidate gets the nomination, polls presently indicate that Bob McDonnell should beat all of them.
Read more.

Republicans:  Vote McAuliffe
Bearing Drift

Conservatives don’t want a surging Deeds coming out of this primary, we want a plummeting McAuliffe.
Read more.


6 Responses to “Democratic Primary: What happens tomorrow?”

  1. Kyle June 9, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    Just curious, What are your thoughts on how the Republicans chose their candidates through back room dealing instead of a primary?

    I’m not saying it is a serious problem, but it seems to value the appearance of unity over democracy.

  2. Michael June 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm #

    C’mon Kyle,

    11,000 Republicans in the Richmond Coliseum, covered by 30+ bloggers and every major news outlet is hardly “backroom.”

    Every GOP unit chair in the Commonwealth was required to issue a public call. Any citizen in the Commonwealth could respond to that call and participate in the process. And, while they didn’t this year, the Democrats have often used the convention method in the past.

    Personally, I’d like to see party registration in the Commonwealth. That way you’d pretty much eliminate crossover voting in the primaries.

    But the bottom line is these are party nominations. If you really want to have a say in who the Republicans offer as their candidates, join the party.

    It’s that simple.

  3. Kyle June 10, 2009 at 7:14 am #

    We all know that the slate of candidates was decided well before the convention. Even if I was a member of the VA GOP I would not have had the chance of determining the candidates.

    I think our democracy is stronger when more people are able to participate. The GOP slate was decided by a handful of people. The convention only rubber stamped that decision. It is not that I want a say in the decision, I want to see more candidates and more ideas. Just like the free market our politics are better with competition.

    I think open primaries get a bad rap that they don’t deserve. The number of crossover voters trying to elect the weakest candidate is insignificantly small and the don’t affect the outcome. If you need proof look back to the VA Presidential Primary last year. Prominent national Republicans were calling for Republicans to vote for Hillary, and Obama still won in a landslide.

  4. Michael June 10, 2009 at 6:18 pm #

    First Kyle, let me correct the numbers above. The GOP Convention had between 8,000-10,000 attendees. I don’t have the specific numbers. Still the principles outlined above hold.

    I really don’t get your problem with having the party choose their nominees. It has always been that way.

    And I’m sorry, the slate was not decided by a “handful of people.” A lot went into McDonnell and Bolling being where they are on the ticket. And really, what’s the problem with the GOP running their two top office holders for the two top spots? Plus, the Attorney General’s race was highly competitive and no one knew for certain the outcome until that Saturday.

    As for last year, did you forget that the GOP also had a primary? And for the reasons I outlined in the initial post, many of us chose not to vote for Hillary.

    Finally, can you tell me who ran against Tim Kaine for the nomination in 2005? How about Mark Warner in 2001?

    Fact is, that up until this year, the Democrats haven’t had a competitive race for the top of their ticket since 1977. Seems like you should be equally as disturbed with their process.

  5. Kyle June 10, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    Who decided that McDonnell should run for Governor and Bolling for Lt Gov? That was a back room decision that was made at least 6 months ago.

    Yes, the GOP had a presidential primary last year but McCain had mathematically won the nomination and thus freed up GOP voters to vote in the Democratic primary.

  6. Michael June 10, 2009 at 9:45 pm #

    Actually Bill Bolling decided he would not run for Governor so that there wouldn’t be a divisive, and expensive primary. The candidates decided.

    Nothing prevented someone else from filing. Why didn’t someone file against Tim Kaine in 2005? Against Mark Warner in 2001? Against Don Beyer in 1987? Against Mary Sue Terry in 1993? Against Doug Wilder in 1989? Against Jerry Baliles in 1985? Against Chuck Robb in 1981?

    NO, you have to go back to 1977 with Henry Howell and Andrew Miller to get a competitive race.

    I didn’t design the system Kyle. But it’s an open system. If someone wanted to challenge McDonnell, they could have. Someone DID challenge Bolling.

    And, nothing stopped an independent from filing. As far as I know no one has.

    Look, believe what you want. You always do even when I point out that you’re in error. But it’s an open process. You can be involved up to the point you choose to be involved.

    The Republicans are happy with how they chose their nominees. If you’re not a Republican, you have no real right to complain. Join the party if you want to be part of the process. I’m not a member. Didn’t file for the convention. Didn’t go as a delegate. Yet I have no problem with the process.

    If you don’t want to be a Republican, pick another party and help them nominate a candidate.

    Or you can come here every night and complain while being unwilling to work for change.

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