Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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

Monday, June 13, 2005

A look back at 1997 and 2001

Hope this gets you through Monday and into election day!

GOP Primary 168,671 (1997- Attorney General Only)
DEM Primary 163,957 (2001- Lt. Gov and Attorney General)

What's interesting about the dynamics of this primary is how much the 2005 Republican Primary is similar to the 01 Democratic primary, and how much the 2005 Democratic primary is similar to the 1997 GOP Primary.

Lower Turnout- Highly Driven Voters- 2005 Democratic Primary

In 1997 the Republicans only had the Attorney General's race on their ticket. There was also no one single issue that caught voters attention. As such the nomination was decided by turnout that the candidates themselves could generate. Regional voting was critical. Mark Earley's highly targeted campaign to party activists gave him pockets of conservative support statewide. He routed Ken Stolle in their shared base of Hampton Roads, and won. Jerry Kilgore streaked to second place by pulling decent numbers in Richmond where none of the candidates were from, and by pulling amazing numbers out of Southwest Virginia (like 96% in Scott County). Gil Davis never quite became a factor outside of Northern Virginia.

This years Democratic primary is very similar. Leslie Byrne is like Mark Earley, in that she will rout her regional opponent (Chap Petersen) in their shared base of Northern Virginia. Outside of Northern Virginia she is running a very targeted campaign to liberal activists likely to vote. Either Viola Baskerville or Phil Puckett could be competitive with Byrne by pulling large numbers from their base (African Americans for Viola or rural voters for Phil). Chap Petersen seems to be running a campaign like Ken Stolle, very much like a general election campaign. We'll have to see if that works better in a Democratic primary then it did for Stolle in 1997.

7 House Districts have Democratic Primaries. Here's who benefits on the statewide ticket:

37th: No benefit to any candidate. This is Petersen's home district and an area Leslie Byrne has represented for over a decade. The voters who are voting are coming out for Chap vs. Leslie, so Bulova-Oleszek will have very little statewide impact.

45th: Marian Van Landingham's open seat.Liberal enclaves inside the beltway. Large turnout benefits Leslie Byrne.

57th: Charlottesville turnout will benefit all the candidates except Phil Puckett. Byrne will win some of the strong liberal voters, Petersen some of the conservative Democrats and Viola will take her share. Overall, a wash, no major impact on the statewide race.

71st: Baskerville's open seat. Extra turnout benefits Baskerville most, but most Baskerville people would have been voting anyway. So the biggest shift may go to Leslie Byrne with her late endorsement from the Richmond Crusade for voters.

74th: This is the McEachin-Miles race. Extra turnout here will benefit Viola Baskerville the most. Leslie Byrne gets the next best benefit, again with her Crusade endorsement, and close ties to McEachin.

75th: Councill's open seat. Biggest benefit with large turnout here is Leslie Byrne who has the most important local endorsement (Louise Lucas). Second biggest benefit here is to Phil Puckett who will win some of the more conservative voters brought out by Councill Jr. and Flowers.

90th: Algie Howell's seat. Turnout here will be sparse, so not a big benefit to anyone. Should there be a larger turnout the biggest benefit is to Viola Baskerville, with the second largest benefit to Chap Petersen who has spent a lot of time in Hampton Roads.

Each race impacting the others- statewide issues- 2005 Republican Primary

In 2001 Tim Kaine and Donald McEachin were the only major candidates from Richmond. The voters Tim pushed to the polls for himself voted overwhelmingly for McEachin for AG, and the voters Don pushed the polls from the Richmond area voted overwhelmingly for Tim. In the Attorney General's race, John Edwards and Whitt Clement pushed a large vote from western Virginia that Kaine won over. Jerrauld Jones pushed a large African American turnout in Hampton Roads, which McEachin won over for Attorney General. In short, both Tim and Donald used other people's turnout to take their primaries.

The 2005 Republican primary is the same situation on a larger scale, with all 3 statewide primaries going on. Here's what each campaign is hoping for:

Governor

Jerry Kilgore: A large turnout. Kilgore needs more votes for himself then what voted in total for the Democratic primary. Anyone who pushes turnout downballot helps him.

George Fitch: 20%.

Lt. Governor

The Richmond area will likely outvote Northern Virginia in this primary. Advantage: Bill Bolling. Sean Connaughton needs Hampton Roads and Southwest. McDonnell's turnout in Hampton Roads will be conservative (Bolling), but with a lot of military (Connaughton). If Connaughton's campaign has worked on keeping the issue differences out of voters minds here he could pull off Hampton Roads, but if we had to guess Bolling is the favorite here. In the great southwest Connaughton is counting on a strategic vote to help Kilgore. Bolling is counting on southwest Republicans to be as conservative as they have been in the past. Advantage to Bolling here again, but Connaughton's argument is plausible. Bolling has to be the favorite here, but a Connaughton upset is far from out of the question.

Attorney General

Bob McDonnell should win Hampton Roads by a large margin. The Richmond area will be very interesting. Steve Baril should do best here, but Bolling's voters may not be the same as Baril's. In addition McDonnell has Jim Gilmore from Henrico County. Baril must win the Richmond area big to have any chance. In Northern Virginia Connaughton will be moving moderate Republicans to the polls. That should benefit Baril, except again McDonnell has set himself up well with an endorsement from Tom Davis, who is basically the brains behind the Connaughton campaign. Going into Southwest Baril may be in trouble, and it only gets worse there. Southwest voters are strongly conservative, and McDonnell has the key endorsements (Terry Kilgore) there as well. It's hard to see Baril winning on primary night without taking one of these regions by a very strong margin to offset Hampton Roads.

12 House Districts have Republican Primaries. Here's who benefits on the statewide ticket:

24th: Preston Bryant's big win may give a boost to moderates Connaughton and Baril.

30th: Any large turnout from conservative Culpeper and Madison will help Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell.

33rd: In Western Loundon Joe May's turnout will be a help to Sean Connaughton. I don't see either candidate for Attorney General getting a huge boost here, but a slight one to McDonnell.

35th: Not many voters will be pushed out here that were not already going to vote in the GOP primary. Should there be a wave here, benefit to Connaughton, but we don't see that happening.
37th: John Mason will be trying to pull Fairfax City voters into the Republican primary. If he is successful, big benefit to Sean Connaughton. Wide open on who it helps for Attorney General.

41st: Michael Golden has an upperhand here, and his voters are very conservative. That may cancel out the homefield advantage for Connaughton and leave the additional turnout here as a wash. Wide open on who it helps for Attorney General.

50th: Harry Parrish's vote is also Connaughton's, so they will play tag team here. This may benefit Baril, but more likely won't be a big impact in the Attorney General's race.

54th: Kenney v. Orrock is getting a lot of attention. Overlapping and adjoining Bill Bolling's Senate district, a large turnout here is a big plus for Bolling. Could also be helpful to Baril, but again it's more likely that it won't have a big impact on the Attorney General's race.

55th: Frank Hargrove being contested and helping bring out Bolling's base in Hanover is a big help to Bolling. Can McDonnell come into the other side of Richmond from Baril and steal this conservative turnout?

67th: Gary Reese is targeting Democrats to cross over in the 67th. If he succeeds they will vote almost 100% for Connaughton.

82nd and 83rd: The two Virginia Beach primaries are both going to have turnout pushed by McConnell. Anything they add on top of that will benefit Bob. Their turnout could help show a trend in the Bolling-Connaughton race, this is exactly the kind of area Connaughton must win in order to take the primary.

All in all, with the statewide tax issue getting voters attention and the larger number of highly contested primaries, Republicans should have much higher turnout. We'll guess 350,000 for the GOP and 200,000 for the Democrats.

Please don't forget to come here tomorrow as soon as you vote with your precinct turnout numbers!!!

15 Comments:

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voting Update. Dulles Precinct in Fairfax County. So far at 11:00 am

0 Republicans
0 Democrats

I couldn't even find my poll workers!

 
At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Just Jack said...

Did some door knocking for Janet Oleszek 3 nights last week...still a number of non-commits out there but not alot willing to declare in public for Bulova. Janet folks are strong Janets. Everyone reached knew about race and planned to vote. Should be interesting.

 
At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You would be surprised (I was) at the number of people in Northern Virginia who are openly supporting Baskerville. Leslie Byrne is well-placed politically, but not at all well-liked. It will be an interesting day.

 
At 12:07 PM, Anonymous bruce said...

The fact that there are very competitive races in the 35th and the 37th will help Connaughton. Both are Davis territroy and I think Kaplan, Mason, Hyland and Robinson will all help drive out turn out of likely Connaughton voters.

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 11:12 am

Maybe you could not find anyone becasue election day is tomrrow...when I read yur post I alomost ran to the polls...until I thought wait a minute...its the 13! Primary day is the 14th!...

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baskerville and Byrne will destroy the Republican field this year. People don't want Republican-lite - they want true liberals who stand up for their values.

Baskerville and Byrne will win. Big time. Then it's on to the Governor's house for one of them in 09.

Nominating Baskerville or Byrne will help the Democratic party by building a strong base that can win a Governor's race in the future. It's a great idea.

Everyone should vote for either Baskerville or Byrne. They are really strong candidates.

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous bruce said...

Dual endorsements are not really that helpful. :)

Byrne and Baskerville can not BOTH win. And if you encourage people to vote for either, you only encourage their likely voters to split and let a third candidate who is not splitting a base walk in.

I won't be supporting either of them - but you do your candidate a disservice by not picking ONE.

 
At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was being sarcastic.

 
At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there any line standers at polling places yet?

 
At 6:25 PM, Anonymous Not Melvin Law said...

High turnout in the 71st could actually hurt Viola Baskerville, because she endorsed against Melvin Law and his folks have let people know they aren't happy with her and should not vote for her.

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLS - Excellent and interesting analysis, as always. I do question one thing: In the 67th, you believe that nearly 100% of the Democrats crossing over to vote for Reese will vote for Connaughton. Why would they do that, when Bolling would make a weaker running mate for Kilgore?

 
At 9:15 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

Because if they were voting for a weaker candidate they would be for Craddock and Bolling.

 
At 11:14 PM, Anonymous Deuce said...

Not Melvin Law

Thanx for your instant analysis. Somehow, I'd prefer to take the word of Not Larry Sabato. Like it or not, Viola is going to be at least somewhat popular in her own former district.

 
At 9:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fairfax County, Mason District, Columbia Precinct at 8:00 AM

11 Republicans
12 Democrats

The R's had signs for Kilgore, Connaughton and McDonnell.

The D's had no candidate signs. Just a "vote in the Democratic Primary" sign. The only sample ballot was for Leslie Byrne for Lt. Gov.

 
At 11:17 AM, Blogger kleinoooo said...

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