Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

Keeping You up to date on the status of Virginia's 2005 Delegate races!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Update on the 52nd District (2nd Hottest)

52nd District, incumbent Jeff Frederick (R) vs. Hilda Barg (D)
Previous Outlook: Toss Up
New Outlook: Toss Up

Money is important in politics, there's no question about that. But how it's spent is even more important. Candidates are given a lot of tempting things that will "win them the election" if they only write a check. In the end, a plan that maximizes the $ spent on voter contact is more improtant that the # raised.

VPAP breaks spending into 3 groups. Direct Mail/TV (100% of which is voter contact), staff/consultants (0% of which is voter contact) and "Other" (which includes things like parties (0 % voter contact) and printing (100% voter contact). All in all "other" averages about 50% voter contact.

So now we have our formula to see who is spending their money towards winning the election.

Take for example when Chap Petersen won his House seat in 2001. A quick check of VPAP shows he was outspent 282,000-172,000, by the incumbent. But take a look at the data culled from VPAP

------------------------------ Petersen ------------Rust
Spent Overall----------------- 172,000----------- 282,000

$ on Mail/TV -----------------106,000 -----------34,000
1/2 of $ spent on "other"------- 20,000----------- 52,000

Total Spent on Voter Contact-- 126,000------------ 86,000

Total NOT spent on VC---------- 46,000----------- 196,000

There you have it. Rust outspent Petersen 4-1 in areas other than voter contact. Petersen spent more on contacting voters. Guess who won?

So back to 2005:

It looks like Jeff Frederick is heading down that road of incumbent defeat. He has raised 162,000 and only has 56,000 left! Only about 50% of that money spent appears to be on voter contact. So if you donated to Jeff Frederick- 1/2 of your money has been pissed down the drain for nothing (already!).

Hilda Barg jumped in late in this filing period. She raised 92,000 including a transfer, and has 86,000 left. Her only major expense so far was her announcment party.

Frederick wasting his money won't matter if Barg does the same thing. We will keep the outlook on this race as a "Toss Up" until the next reporting period to see how things come along in this district. But for now the ball seems to be in Hilda's court, with a lean and smart campaign she can take a major advantage in this toss up.

19 Comments:

At 9:45 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

I think the voter contact point is a good one - but sometimes campaigns that start early use the money to build the infrastructure to contact voters - like computers, call centers, office supplies, fliers, etc. You have to really dig deep on these reports (as you've done) to tell whether people are wasting money.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

This one was easy. Lots of consultants. I hear the one in LA is telling him to wear earthtones.

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

HAHA. Consultants. Why hire one when you can get free advise from 1000 obnoxious activists?

One point on consultants though: Some people who pretty much serve as field coordinators like to list themselves as "consultants" on the filing report/their resume. It sounds better on a resume, and helps them get that next crappy thankless campaign job.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Excellent Point. I watch for that. Also, they call them consultants because campaigns are cheap and don't want to pay their share of taxes. Funny when it is a "Pro-Worker" Democrat.

 
At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lose the hardon for the petersen01 campaign. there is such a thing as blind luck.

 
At 5:34 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

Anonymous - blind luck? Wahuh? You want to give some evidence for that? It seems to me that elections are decided by thousands of voters going to the polls and making a decision. Did it rain that day in 2001? Is that what happened? Did all of the Republicans (ahem, the ones that didn't vote for Chap) have toothaches on election day?

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Once again I agree with Wahoo.

 
At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frederick has got to be praying for a Connoughton win in the primary to save his ass in November.

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger James Young said...

You Socialist Democrats just can't recognize the true reason a Republican would lose. Jack Rust lost in 2001 because the voters in his district were smart enough to realize that, if they were going to get someone who voted like a Democrat on taxes and profligate government spending anyway, they might as well vote for Peterson. It's no more complicated than that.

And BTW, as someone who lives in Frederick's district, you'd better check your sources. Hilda doesn't have a chance in Hell.

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

James:

Wait I'm not sure I'm following you. To sum up your argument -
1. Democrats are socialists.

2. Some Republicans are also socialists.

3. Democrats can only win in districts where the Republicans are also socialists.

I think I'm beginning to get it.

I'll take this information to Richmond to the state party on the fastest steed I can find. Hi ho, silver!

 
At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A right-winger in Frederick's district doesn't think the Democrat will win. Somebody alert the newspapers - we've got a story on our hands.

 
At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Delegate Frederick said...

Can someone help me tie my shoes? I haven't learned yet.

 
At 11:12 AM, Blogger James Young said...

You're right. You're not following me.
Perhaps I should have been a little more specific. Certainly I didn't say all Democrats are Socialists, any more than all Republicans are not. Both parties have their Socialist crosses to bear.
And I don't have any particular hard-on for Chap Peterson. In fact, he's one of the less offensive Dems in the General Assembly. If he wins the Dem nomination and Connaughton wins the GOP nomination, I'm gonna have to sit down and think about it. For now, the only good reason to vote for Sean is so that he wouldn't be setting our PWC tax rates.
But it's entirely probable that one reason Peterson was able to beat a long-time Republican incumbent in what, as I recall, was considered a fairly safe district, was the fact that the incumbent was voting like a Democrat anyway. It's the same reason why I respect Democrats and Republicans alike who campaign on stark differences, rather than those who try to run popularity contests and conceal the differences (kinda like the Boyish Governor did in 2001).
And BTW, a Connaughton victory does nothing for Frederick. It is doubtful that motivated Frederick supporters will vote for Connaughton in the GOP primary.

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Wahoo Dan said...

But...isn't that what Chap's been doing? Isn't Chap taking a page directly out of the Warner playbook and trying to out republican the republicans?

I like Chap. I'm probably voting for him in the primary. But I don't see your point...

I'm also not entirely comfortable with anyone being called a "socialist" - unless you're joking. Then go right ahead. It's a bit silly.

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually stunned that Hilda decided to make this run. She likes being a big fish in a little pond. The GA offers her nothing. (Note that the homeless shelter is named after her - and it was named as such while she was a sitting supervisor in the district in which it is located.)

People in Hilda's district love her because she promises them the world - and for her friends, she delivers. To everyone else, forget about it.

She's a nice lady, but not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Innovative ideas are not her forte. Note, that she still has no website for her campaign for delegate. She has also never had a functioning website in all the years she has been a supervisor. In contrast, check out the website of savvy Maureen Caddigan, a supervisor who district abuts Hilda's and who is just a wee bit younger than Hilda. No contest.

On the other hand, I can't bear that Jeff Frederick either... so it's a good thing I don't live in this district.

 
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