Virginia House of Delegates 2005 Elections

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

87th District (#4 on the Dirty Dozen)

Old Outlook: Toss Up
New Outlook: Leans Democratic

After a great special election in December which Paula Miller won by less than 100 votes over Michael Ball, this race has slowly climbed down our top races list. Without both parties running the campaigns, both Miller and Ball are off to very slow starts. Very slow fundraising for both of them through June 1st. Sources in Norfolk in both parties are complaining about their candidate not really wanting it. It all seems to be a factor of fatigue from the crazy election here in December.

Slow starts benefit incumbents. If Ball could get going this could be a great race, especially with the GOP advantage in Hampton Roads with Bob McDonnell on the ticket. We'll see on the July 15th finance report if Ball is really serious about trying to win this seat back for the GOP.


At 3:17 PM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

Most of the bloggers are from NOVA...there not interested in races

At 3:28 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

For the last time (I hope).

Speculate on who NLS is in any of the threads that are not about a particular campaign. We are not going to kill the threads on campaigns with that discussion.

I'm starting to think the people posting the guesses have an agenda themselves and are trying to slow our discussions by doing it.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

Finally, you've found a real toss-up. I'm giving the edge to Miller here based on her past as a TV reporter, but it could go either way in the general. The last election she won was extremely low turnout, and it's easy to exaggerate results with no coattails to worry about. With Kilgore on the ticket, Miller ought to be really afraid.

At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was one crappy analysis. I think "not Paul Goldman" is right.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-I hope that your comment was not directed at me. I don't care who you (all) are..this is fun. NMR-unless you tell me that Miller's district has some serious portions of VA Beach, I disagree with the notiion that Kilgore is effective here. I need to check NLS' numbers. But dont Drake's predecessor was a Democrat. This is an urban based district. Miller will be fine

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

NPG, No it was not directed to you. I had to delete anonymous comments trying to highjack the conversation. Your comments are fine, and always have been.

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Cogashall, a local norfolk independent democratic activisit is running. This could hurt Miller. big time. especially with such a close margin.

Nothing like a present from the local D's.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Not Mark Rozell said...

NPG, I still give Miller the edge based on her name ID. My concern is overall coattails if Kilgore wins Hampton Roads. I have to check my numbers, but I believe Drake's district was strengthened in redistricting in 01.

At 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

give it up NLS, you are caught

At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that this race is still going to be very close. Bush carried this district in the last general election and Kilgore will carry it in November, and McDonnell will be on the ballot. Dec.'s win by Miller was a statistical tie with very low turnout right before Christmas. While I agree with you that she now has a slight advantage being the incumbent, she will still have to get enough crossover Kilgore voters in order to win. This is complicated by the fact that Norfolk Democratic activist John Coggeshall is running as an Independent. This is something that you did not address in your analysis, and I am curious to know what impact (if any) that he will have on the race. Personally, I feel that this is a help for Ball, the only question is how much. In short, I still feel this race is a tossup, and even if it is leaning one way or the other, I would have held off until after the July 15 reports are released before making this rating change.

At 10:07 PM, Anonymous rural not stupid said...

It will help ball, but i hear the guy is a well known lunatic. I doubt he gets enough money have to have a real impact. Don't see Ball pulling it out though.

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

A few points on this race:
As pointed out in a previous post, this district was held by a Democrat, now-Councilman Don "Landslide" Williams, back before the last round of GOP-led redistricting. Williams won his first election by 11 votes in what was perhaps the most competitive district in Virginia. However, it was then redrawn to entrench now-Congresswoman Thelma Drake and is now the most right-leaning of all the House districts that include Norfolk.

(Sidebar: Punishing the city for former Speaker Tom Moss's tactics during earlier redistricting fights, as well as the bitter feud over power-sharing in the house, the subsequent redistricting efforts carved up Norfolk in such as way that no white Norfolk Democrat could ever be elected to the House. Miller proved an unlikely exception when she prevailed in the December special election in a district that was supposed to stay reliably Republican.)

Now that many of the downtown political elite see a chance to hold this seat for the Democrats, you will see a great deal of interest closer to Election Day. Also, recall Miller's endorsement by Councilman Randy Wright who represents this area. Wright is a bit of a political maverick who is very well known and liked in this district. If he remains as active in the general election as he was in the special, this creates a significant advantage for Miller.

The demographics of this district are likely to be favorable to McDonnell, especially considering he is the only Hampton Roads candidate running statewide. Recall also McDonnell's strong ties to Regent University, where candidate Mike Ball works in development.

Keep an eye on this race.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous TJDavis said...

First of all, this third party candidate is going to torpedo Paula Miller either way.
Secondly, her brief legislative record has proven her to be a LIAR. She claimed to have a "bipartisan majority" and then failed to get any Republican co-patrons on her bills. And the only bill that she got through was a license plate bill.
I give voters credit to not make the same mistake twice.

At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Native Norfolkian said...

Not to confuse topics, but I'd be curious to hear if any of the downstate pundits with ears to the ground in this area have a hypothesis regarding the high-profile race for City Treasurer, featuring incumbent Tom Moss running as an Independent (he did so to avoid losing to an African American candidate in the Primary). Moss initially ran in order to bump up his state pension payout (calculated based on the salary of the last few years of state service, totaling 39 years as of 2005). He also followed VB's lead and phased out the use of Norfolk city registration windshield decals - a popular move.

Will this racial feud have an effect on the 87th, a predominantly white district?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Not Larry Sabato said...

I posted on the Moss situation a while ago. Has Miller taken a position yet?

At 4:13 PM, Blogger not paul goldman said...

NLS-I have not heard anything about Miller's position in the Moss race. However, with an AA running as the Democratic nominee for Treasurer, what can she do. She is ethically bound to support the party nominee. Moreover if she fails to do so there could be nasty payback from the African American Community.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Poli Amateur said...

Great analysis, but I beg to differ. Ball wins because of McDonnell and because of lessons learned from the special election campaign last year. That being said, the latest campaign finance reports don't indicate much in the Ball camp. COH: edge nearly 2-1 Miller.

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