Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hokies Still in the Hunt

According to Stewart Mandel at CNNSI.com, the Hokies can still get into the Rose Bowl. The article takes a look at all the scenarios of the BCS if USC, Texas or both lose this weekend. All VT has to do is beat FSU in the ACC Championship Game and then watch USC, Texas, and LSU all lose their games this weekend. That would put us against Penn State for the title. I was just glad to see someone point out it could happen. Of course, we could lose to FSU and all bets are off.
They predict that we will play Notre Dame in the Orange if either Texas or USC loses and we would probably play Texas in the Orange if both USC and Texas lose (we will play Penn State in the Orange if they both win).
I will be happy if we beat FSU Saturday night and get the ACC title.
Just some food for thought.

Clemency Granted

As most of you all know, Gov. Warner granted clemency yesterday to Robin Lovitt who was to be the 1,000th execution in America since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Many have accused Gov. Warner of doing this for political reasons. It has been said that it was done to pave the way for Kaine commuting all death sentences, it was done to prevent Virginia from getting the recognition of executing the 1,000th person, or perhaps for Gov. Warner to pander to the dems for his presidential bid.
Folks, you will never find a stronger proponent of the death penalty than me. I think it is a very worthy institution that should be allowed. That being said, we need to do everything we can to make sure we do not execute innocent people.
If you want someone to blame for this clemency, blame the Arlington County Clerk for destroying the scissors used in the murder. I am personally not sure that was enough evidence to stop the execution, but I understand where Gov. Warner was coming from. I am sure some of the political reasons played a role in this clemency, but former AG Mark Earley as well as Ken Starr (Lovitt's lawyer) were in favor of clemency in this situation.
I would encourage GOPs (and some dems I guess) to not point all the blame on Gov. Warner, not yet anyway. Until we find this was done for solely politcal reasons (which we never will), place the blame on the Arlington County Clerk.
I hope we can all be reasonable about this.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What We Learned

I want to apologize if I have given the idea that I am bailing on Kilgore thinking he would have never made a good governor. I have always supported him for that post and still continue to believe that he would have done a better job than Tim Kaine will. Even so, I have been pointing out his missteps and weaknesses to make sure the GOP knows what to avoid next time around. I don't want to see a good man like Jerry lose a race b/c he has a bad campaign or does dumb things along the way. I have done the same thing for Delegates Marrs and Black as well as Chris Craddock. I hope the GOP will learn from our mistakes and pick people to run next time who do a better job with these problems.
I apologize for not clarifying that before now.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

"Non-Partisan Redistricting"

Chad Dotson has a post about non-partisan redistricting policies. This subject has come up quite a bit lately, especially with this year's delegate elections where only about 12 of 100 were competitive and 60 delegates went unchallenged. This begs the question, do we need a new system for redistricting?
I do have a few questions. One is, when folks say "non-partisan" do they mean they want 50-50 districts, or do they want districts that pay no attention to politics but more so to common interests? The second is, with lots of people complaining about money ruining politics, why do we want a system where money will control more than it does now?

What does everyone think? Should we change our redistricting policy and if so, how should we do it?

Coastal Champions

The Hokies played a good second half last night. They should be able to beat FSU in Jacksonville next Saturday night, but only if they bring their A-game. FSU has been playing bad lately, but they will be ready for us. Their pride is on the line, not to mention their ACC dynasty.
Regardless of who wins, I think it will be a blowout. Either they play a perfect game and we play bad and they beat the crap out of us, or we play well and they play bad and we crush them.
I will be at the Advance, watching the game this Saturday night.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Bolling Effect

Over at NLS he has an anaylsis of what is going to happen after Bill Bolling resigns his Senate seat to take over as Lt. Governor. Del. Ryan McDougle will run for the Senate seat and win. Then McDougle's delegate seat will come open. Chris Peace is the most likely GOP nominee (the only one I have heard of). I have a pretty good feeling that he will get the nod. NLS thinks that John Montgomery (who ran against McDougle in '01) will run as the democrat for the seat in this special election.
I still think the GOP will hold this seat b/c it is an area that is trending more GOP (Caroline County voted for Bush in '04, the first time in forever they had voted GOP in a presidential election). I do agree that Peace will have to do well in Hanover to win, but I think he will run stronger in other areas as well.
This is assuming he doesn't pull a Brad Marrs or something of the like.
If we do lose this seat, it could be the final nail in the coffin of a few leadership members of the RPV.

UPDATE: Here are the results from the governor's election in this district.
Caroline: Kilgore-1632, Kaine-2338
Hanover: Kilgore-4657, Kaine-2069
Henrico: Kilgore-1443, Kaine-1062
King & Queen: Kilgore-371, Kaine-475
King William: Kilgore-731, Kaine-584
New Kent: Kilgore-3179, Kaine-2241
Spotslvania: Kilgore-797, Kaine-670
Total: Kilgore 12,810, Kaine-9439
Kilgore-57.6%, Kaine-42.4%

This is a pretty strong GOP district. It better stay that way.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

This kind of an open thread on what folks would like to see done in next year's assembly session.
I know Speaker Howell said they want to totally rework Medicaid, but does anyone have other ideas?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Democrats Have Lost It

Thanks to Too Conservative for pointing this one out. The Massachusetts dems now think since they have gay marriage, they should allow people to commit beastiality.
I have always said if we allow gay marriage, we destroy what marriage is. After that, we cannot stop anyone from marrying anything.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Change in House Leadership?

I have seen some comments in the blogsophere lately about what we should do about the House leadership. The claim has been largely that we have lost 5 seats in 3 years and also have nothing to show but a tax increase. Mason Conservative is one blogger that is asking if we need a change of leadership in the House of Delegates. He is arguing that we have basically done nothing since we gained the majority in 1999. He also comments on the only major thing happening since Speaker Wilkins' resignation is the tax increase. He says we need younger people in the leadership to show new thinking and less politics. His suggestions are Chris Saxman, Rob Bell, and Ben Cline from the local area; and Dave Albo, Tim Hugo and Jeff Frederick of NOVA.

First off, I don't think we can really blame the leadership for the seat losses. Most of the losses have occured in areas that are turning more democratic. Also, some of our candidates have hurt themselves (i.e. Dick Black, Craddock, Marrs) which the House leadership has no major control over. I would even argue that they have kept us from losing more seats by picking up the 6th and 99th districts as well as defending some of the hotly contested NOVA seats.
Another problem the House faces is that the Senate does not have the same ideology as the House. They (in large part) want more tax increases and more spending. Some may say that the tax increase should fall upon Speaker Howell, et al b/c they failed to stop it, but it was a political move. Most of the "gang of 17" made a personal choice to vote for the increase to prevent a gov't shutdown (at least thats the reason I have been given). Did you notice that none of the leadership was in that group? Speaker Howell did ask Allen Louderback and others to not attend the committee meeting in order to get the vote to the House floor, but he couldn't stop the "gang of 17" guys from voting the way they did. Also, I personally do not believe the gang will vote to raise taxes again, based on the info we now have, as well as the surplus.
Maybe I am way off base, but I think our House leadership is doing a good job. I think we should stay with Howell, Griffith and Landes b/c in my opinion, they have done a good job. Defending a large majority like this one is tough, especially when there are so many different regions and issues to deal with. We are constantly having to make intra-party compromises to get things passed.
What do you folks think? Do we need a change?


That was a great game yesterday in Cville. 52-14 is the biggest beatdown for the VT-UVA game since we won 48-0 in 1983. The night was made even better when Georgia Tech beat Miami to put us back in the ACC Championship (assuming we beat UNC next Saturday).
Hopefully we will get Gameday for a third time this year next week, but who knows.

UPDATE: The Hokies are now 5th in both polls.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Chairman Sean the Political Guru

Over at Too Conservative, they have a post about Sean Connaughton's opinions as to the past election. He has some good comments about how alot of GOP strongholds went democratic this time and how the GOP needs to pay more attention to NOVA. He says he will have his analysis of what the GOP can do to avoid this problem again next week.

One thing I want to point out. Alot of people in the GOP are in panic mode as a result of us losing Loudoun, PWC, Henrico, Chesapeake, and Va Beach. If you look at the returns, Kilgore is the only one who lost those locales. Bolling lost Loudoun out of that list, but won the rest. McDonnell won them all. I don't think the GOP has lost its suburban appeal, just had a bad candidate. Also, as a result of Kilgore's weakness the downticket guys probaly lost votes in those areas. One more thing, Henrico is the political barometer in Virginia. The election has went the way of Henrico County in every statwide race since Gilmore in '97 (that included downticket races).

I personally do not think this governor's race was an accurate assessment of the political leanings of the Commonwealth. I think it was an isolated event that resulted as a "perfect storm" for the dems. Also, we had two candidates win statewide even after losing Fairfax county big. Granted, it was against a communist and a guy from Bath county, but it still shows that GOPs can eek out a victory statewide even when losing NOVA.

In the future we certainly need to address the problems that face NOVA in order to get their vote, but rest assured that the Virginia GOP is still strong and has a relatively strong political position statewide.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

First Signs of a Democratic Breakup

Here is an article about how the head of the NAACP of Orange County Fla has become a Republican.
Folks, if the dems lose the NAACP vote, that will be the ultimate end to the democratic party.
This is the first step in the right direction for the African-American community.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

72-Hour Program

This is sort of an open thread on the 72-hour program. I believe it was a good idea run badly. People were called too many times (which aggrevated them) and also we still need poll workers. Having no poll presence to hand out sample ballots, etc is stupid. Make sure the people who goto the polls know who to vote for. Those are the most important people to help.
I suggest next time that we make calls to identify voters and remind them to vote, at most twice. More than that and people get aggrevated. Also, we should not pull people away from the polls to make calls on election day. We should have enough people to do both if thats needed. If not, polls come first. I think the way it was run caused the 72-Hour Program to be a failure.
Thats just my opinion, what does everyone else think?

Ken's Blunder

I am sure everyone has seen the infamious letter Ken Hutcheson sent to Phil R of the VCG. Its at about 5 blogs. Anyway, NLS has an analysis of the whole situation. He shows how Kilgore's campaign weakness cost us the 32nd and 68th delegate seats.
He has the numbers to back this up. I think we also lost Craddock and Mason as a result of horrible showing in NOVA even though there are not direct numbers to prove that. I do think some candidates could have helped themselves (Craddock and Marrs by shutting up and Black by not sending out plastic fetuses). Even so, you cannot overcome a top of the ticket beatdown like we saw on election night.
As I have said before, I believe we can regain a few of these seats; namely the 32nd 67th and 68th.

Monday, November 14, 2005

New Blog

There is a new blog the Mason Conservative. It looks pretty good. I don't agree with his "NOVA is the answer to everything" approach necessarily, but overall he has a very good message.
Also, his mission is to "turn Fairfax red" which we all hope he succeeds in doing. He will need all the help he can get in that endeavor.

Looking Ahead

Over at CW, Poli Amateur has a rundown of the possible statewide candidates in '09. The analysis looks pretty solid, but I will try to make my own list, with hopefully a few more names.

First off though is '08. John Warner will not retire, but if something happens that makes that seat come open, I expect the GOP to have a nomination battle between Gilmore and Rep. Tom Davis. Rep. Randy Forbes may also vie for the seat. Also, if George Allen runs for President or VP (and wins) Kaine will nominate Mark Warner to that open seat.

Now for '09. Here is a list of possible GOPs.
Governor: Obviously, there is Bolling and McDonnell (assuming he wins). Both of them will vie for the nod. It will be a very bitter battle between these 2 because of their closeness on nearly every issue. Look for Bolling to tout his rural strength and gun rights stances, look for McDonnell to use to the religious backing (Pat Robertson) and also his urban appeal. Jim Gilmore is certainly eyeing the governor's mansion in '09. He had to be praying for a dem sweep this time around, but he will still run. Paul Harris is another name that has been thrown out there. Originally he was rumored to be running for AG, but it now sounds that he will go straight for the top. Even so, he has a very lucrative job at Raytheon, so he may not want to leave the money quite yet.
The dark horse candidate here is Sean Connaughton. He has statewide visibility from his run for LG this year. He is from NOVA. His one disadvantage is that he is viewed as a moderate by many and he also has no state government experience. Even so, after losing Loudoun and PWC and Fairfax by 20, the GOP may be more willing to take a NOVA candidate who can win, as opposed to someone in the line that can't.

Lt Governor: This field is super crowded. Connaughton would be the top choice here since he ran last time, and being from NOVA. Chairman Kate Griffith is looking to run statewide, and she doesn't have a law degree. Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis or Sen. Ken Cuccinelli may try throw their names into the hat as the NOVA candidates. Del. Chris Saxman from Staunton is another that is considering a run. He is a strong conservative with some great ideas. He is one who could turn heads. As chairman of the Cost Cutting Caucus he can prove he is for fiscal responsibility. Sen. Brandon Bell's name has been thrown around, but at this point he is not considering a run. He may do so later on though.

Attorney General: The obvious one here is Steve Baril. Even so, I'm not sure he will be able to gather enough support again. Paul Harris is another possible candidate if he doesn't run for governor. I have heard Del. Rob Bell's name proposed as well, but I have heard others say he will not run. Chad Dotson, best know for his blog Commonwealth Conservative has voiced interest, although I don't know if its serious or not. The last name I have is the hometown favorite, Sen. Mark Obenshain. Many have predicted that he will run, but I don't know for sure whether he will or not. He does have a name that many still remember, which should help him in that regard.

Whoever plans on running for statewide office should start now. We saw this time around what happens when someone waits while another hits the ground running. The earlier the better. This is just a very early list. Any number of things could change this. We will have a much better idea after the Advance. Everyone should be starting to float their names then.

One more thing, who do the dems have, Chap Peterson? The dems have basically no one to run for statewide office next time, but I am sure they will find some between now and then. Any ideas on this?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Looking Forward

Now that elections are over, we can begin to look to the future elections. Here is a rundown of some races through '07.

First off, Del. Ryan McDougle will be running for Bill Bolling's Senate seat. Chris Peace will then be running for McDougle's Delegate seat. Assuming McDonnell does win the AG's race, thats the only special election we should have.

As for '06, the only 2 questions we have are who the dems will run as the sacrifical lamb against George Allen and who the GOP will run against Boucher in the 9th Congressional District. I do know Kevin Triplett will not be running for that seat again. Other than that, I have heard no names.

Now for '07. In SWVA, I don't see many races shaping up other than a Ferguson-Dudley rematch and perhaps another GOP try at the 10th delegate seat. Even so, I think Armstrong will have to tick alot of people off to lose. As for Dudley, hopefully he will shape up and try to win back some support in the district. If he doesn't, we could very well lose this seat 2 years from now.
In the Valley, I think Fulk will probably not run a third time. The big question is will Sen. Hanger draw a primary challenger. Even if he does I doubt he will lose. SWAC owns the 24th district and Hanger is well liked in the area. Republitarian is hinting that Matt Tedrick may run against Obenshain in the 26th, but I will believe it when I see it. I also hear the GOP is looking for a candidate to run against Sen. Houck in the 17th. This is a pretty strong GOP district, but Houck is pretty well liked there, so I am not sure we will be able to take that seat.

I have heard Deeds (asssuming he doesn't win AG) will retire from the Senate. If that happens, that could be an interesting nomination battle, but the seat will stay in democratic hands. The timing of his retirement would make a huge difference in who throws their hat into the ring here. Hopefully we will know more on that later.

Then there is the 27th Senate seat of Russ Potts. Right now we know of 3, possibly 4 people running for the GOP Nomination. Jill Holtzman is already starting her campaign. Mark Tate (the primary challenger to Potts last time) will certainly run again. Phil Griffith seems to be in the hunt for the seat. George Fitch also is widely rumored to be running. Potts says he isn't running, but the verdict is still out on that. Personally, I would give the edge to Holtzman at this point due to her vast financial resources and early campaigning as well as Tate losing last time and the uncertain future of Chairman Kate.

I am hearing Sen. Colgan will probably retire in '07 so we may be able to pick that seat up if we run a good candidate, but I have heard no names yet. We should also be able to retake the 32nd and 67th House seats if we run good candidates and if they can raise money. I am sure we will target other races in NOVA as well, but those are the main 2 we should be able to retake.
We should also be able to retake the 68th seat with a good candidate. Also, watch the 75th and the job Roslyn Tyler does. Don't be surprised to see Carson Saunders run again if Tyler doesn't do a great job. That was a super close race in a super democratic district.

I will probably have my '09 rundown sometime next week.

Is there anything else shaping up that I don't know about?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veteran's Day

I just want to say thanks to all the past, present and future veterans of this country. They are the reason we are free and have it so great today. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
We all appreciate what you folks have done for this nation and its people. We will never forget you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

My After Election Analysis

Unfortunately, Kilgore was a weak candidate. He was not a good public speaker, but worse, he was unwilling to do ads of himself. He also was not a very smart campaigner. Fighting his mother's scandal in Scott County during the campaign as well as the hypocritical final week mailer showed this. This coupled with his lack of an issue-based campaign led to his defeat. As John Kerry found out, you cannot unseat an incumbent with only an attack campaign. It doesn't work.

A "bet the farm" approach made this situation worse. Kilgore's weakness created a domino effect in almost every other section of the election. With nearly all resources being focused on Kilgore, the party had relatively low resources for everyone else. This certainly played a large role in the weak showing of our downticket candidates, and also played a role in the House seat losses.

In the house races, Kilgore's weak numbers were the main culprit of losses. Making elections about social issues didn't bode well for NOVA GOPs like Black and Golden. Stupid comments also contributed to the losses of Craddock and Marrs (assuming Waddell wins after the recount).
Even so, I think the party is still well situated for the future. 3 of the 4 House seat losses (32nd, 67th and 68th) can be retaken with candidates who know how to not make dumb comments and be less overbearing. The 37th and 41st can probably also be taken in 2007 if we recruit good candidates who do not fall into the trap of making the election about being socially conservative.
Republicans win on fiscal policy and roads in NOVA; not guns, abortion and gay marriage. This needs to be taken into consideration in the future.

As for 2009, we need to find a statewide candidates who can perform well in NOVA but still carry the conservative base in the Valley and the Richmond suburbs. We cannot afford to lose Loudoun, PWC, Henrico or lose Fairfax 60-40 again in a statewide race.

What do you folks think? Is the Virginia Republican Party in a crisis?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Blogger's Convention

Thanks to Chad Dotson for pointing out all the bloggers in Richmond last night. I met Chad for the first time, as well as Lighthorse Harry from Sic Semper Tyrannis. I had already met Old Zach from SST at a VT football game a few weeks back. I also met Walt Ball, DefCon and Poli Amateur from Commonwealth Watch.

Results from the 26th

I would just like to point out that the results for the 26th District Race were close to those from the 2003 election.

Lohr - 8545 (53.62%)
Fulk - 7346 (46.10%)
Margin - 1199 (7.52%)

Weatherholtz - 7108 (54.48%)
Fulk - 5923 (45.40%)
Margin - 1185 (9.08%)

The main difference was that Fulk did much better in Harrisonburg in 2005. Even so, that is probably due in part to Kilgore's weak showing in the city (Kilgore lost HBurg 51-47). Some may say this was reverse coattails from Fulk, but who knows. Either way, this is a solid win for Matt and the Republican party.

The Stage is Set

Folks, we need to all just live with the results of this election. We need to all set down and determine what happened, and how we can prevent it. We have lost 5 House seats in 2 cycles and 2 governor's races in a row now.
Lets figure out what the problem was and try to fix it for '07 and '09.

Having said that, we are going to have one heck of a nomination battle in '09. Its gonna be the nastiest thing anyone has ever seen in Virginia politics.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Turnout Situation

From what I am hearing, SWVa and the Valley are having a pretty good turnout. NOVA and Hampton Roads are supposedly low. Richmond is up in the air (but this will be higher anyway just b/c its a state election). I can't really defend these numbers, but my sources are pretty good.
If thats is the setup, we might do better than we think tonight.
We still have half the day to go though.
Lets Win This Thing!

UPDATE: It sounds like the dems have relatively no presence anywhere. People are saying they are voting and there are no dem poll watchers or even dem signs at the polls.
Has anyone else experienced this? I will admit that is not the case here in Montgomery County.

Monday, November 07, 2005

New Poll

SurveyUSA has released the last poll before the election that shows Kaine leading by 9 points. Kilgore is losing by huge margins everywhere except a 9 point lead in the Valley (he is down 35 points in NOVA). The poll even shows Kaine tied in the rural vote.
I must admit I am very suspicious of a poll like this, since I cannot fathom Kaine getting elected by the biggest margin of all recent governors, but who knows. I also cannot fathom a NRA rated F candidate getting a tied vote in rural Virginia.
All that being said, GOPs better pray hard tonight. If the numbers are in fact like this poll implies, we could very well lose huge numbers of HOD seats tomorrow night. Every competitive seat on the board will break democrat tomorrow if our numbers are this bad.
If the election turns out this way, many heads will roll in the RPV.

I am still standing by my predictions, but only b/c I question the validity of this poll. There are 25 hours left until this is all over. Then the waiting begins.

UPDATE: SurveyUSA has changed it numbers as a result of "unusual volatility". They now have Kaine up 50-45. The link is here.
I also hear that Kilgore released their internals which said its 45-45.
We will know for sure in about 20 hours or so I suppose.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Ball Gets Rolling on 9th Circuit

On Friday the House of Reps began a move to split the 9th circuit court of appeals. The Washington Times has the story. It was included in a Budget Committe bill that cuts $53.9 billion from the budget. Talk about killing 2 birds with one stone!
This would be a wonderful way to prevent conservative states like Idaho and Utah from having to listen to rulings by the ultra-liberal 9th circuit based in San Francisco. The proposal would "make a new 12th circuit that would include 7 western states, leaving the 9th with California, Hawaii, Guam and the American islands in the Pacific."
Now if we can only get it passed.

My Election Predictions

Kilgore wins 49-48 (Potts gets 3)
Bolling wins 53-47
McDonnell wins 52-48

6th: Annie B wins 52-48
9th: Dudley wins 56-44
10th: Armstrong wins 55-45
26th: Lohr wins 54-46
32nd: Black wins 52-48
37th: Mason wins 51-49
41st: Marsden wins 52-48
42nd: Albo wins 51-49
52nd: Frederick wins 52-48
67th: Craddock wins 53-47
68th: Marrs wins 52-48
75th: Tyler wins 52-48
91st: Gear wins 55-45
This means I have predicted a 2 seat pickup for the GOP (6th, 37th, and 99th and lose the 41st)

My prediction for statewide turnout is 42%. If turnout is below 40%, all bets are off and it will be a crazy election night. Even turnout below 40% in NOVA (which is a good possibility) could cause a huge shift in those HOD races. Its really hard to say which way it would swing though.
I am hoping for the best (4 seat pickup and win all statewide races) and preparing for the worst (lose 2 seats and Kilgore loses).
I'd like to hear from you folks what your predictions are, or at least critique mine.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


What can I say?

UPDATE: The Canes have risen to 3rd in the AP poll and VT has fallen to 8th.
Also, Tyrone Moss is out for the season.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Polls for Governor

Mason-Dixon is out with a new poll that has Kaine leading Kilgore 44-43. The crosstabs of this are much more believable with Kilgore leading by 11 in Southside and 12 in SWVA and the Valley. Kaine leads in Hampton Roads by 6 and NOVA by 16. Richmond is still a close edge to Kilgore. This sounds like a believable poll.
Rasmussen is also out with a new poll which has Kaine leading 49-46. That is the polling agency I give the most credence to.
Folks, we better hope for that 5 point GOP disparity again. Its not lookin good.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

9th District Fundraising

Allen Dudley has raised a total of 203k and has 11k on hand. He has only received 1000 since the filing.
Eric Ferguson has raised a total of 159k and has no money on hand. He has received 16k since the filing.
I still continue to believe Dudley will win as a result of incumbency and the superior fundraising.
This could be a hot race in 07 though if Ferguson starts raising money early and keeps his visibility up, not to mention there won't be a statewide race to help push GOP votes then either.

Fundraising Reports in the 6th

Annie B finished with 154k raised (which is unprecedented for a SW challenger). She had 6500 on hand on Oct 26th. She has received about 25k since the filing (most of which were RPV mailers).
Keister finished with 151k raised and has 16k on hand. He has received 34k since the filing deadline.
This race has basically been a party spending spree. Both candidates have raised very little of their total from their district. Its almost all state party organizations, other candidates or PACs.
Even so, Annie B has stayed very close to Keister in fundraising and I think she will win.
Don't forget, Keister only won by 51 votes when outspending his opponent 3-1 last time.
Both parties want this seat bad, they both have invested huge sums of money here.
It is unprecedented for a House race in SWVA to spend 300k. Even so, this year is a year of records (such as the 500k that will be spent in the 26th, which also is unprecedented for the Valley).

Money Flow in the 26th

The DNR reported yesterday that the race in the 26th broke fundraising records for the Valley.
It just got alot bigger. Lohr had raised 235k upto Oct 26th and Fulk had raised almost 200k.
Lohr had 29k on hand but Fulk only had 13k on hand. Since then, Lohr gotten almost 50k in donations/in-kinds (Walter Curt gave 30k of that on Monday). Fulk has only received close to 25k. That means there is over 100k to be spent in the last week of this election.
The media barrage is gonna crazy folks. Everyone is throwing everything they've got at this one.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Take on the HOD Races

In the 26th, I continue to believe Lohr will win. I don't really know how close it will be, but Kilgore will carry the day here if nothing else.
In the 9th, Dudley will win as well, but he won't blow Ferguson out. Same deal here, the Kilgore margin will carry him over the finish line.
In the 6th, I think Annie B will win; but a very, very close race. Keister doesnt have the fund edge he had last time and Annie B has gotten much more help from the RPV.
In the 68th, I think Marrs will pull out the victory, but it may be close enough to scare him. Kilgore will have a nice edge here.
In the 91st, I see Gear doing better than expected and winning by a decent margin. Kilgore will do well here as well.
In the 75th, the GOP is dreaming. Saunders may show some good numbers for the district, but there is no chance that we win that seat.

The other 6 seats are in NOVA. Turnout will be a big IF here. With the lack of excitement in this campaign, turnout will be low. In NOVA it will be even lower than the rest of the state b/c voting is a pain in the butt as it is. People aren't going to fight traffic to vote when they don't care. Conventional wisdom says that low turnout helps GOPs, but it also means weird things happen. The margins Kilgore gets, especially in the "exerbs" of Farifax, Loudoun and PWC will make a huge difference here.
That being said, I think Dick Back (R-32) will be victorious barring unforseen circumstances. Same goes for Jeff Frederick in the 52nd and probably Craddock in the 67th. Dave Albo can win the 42nd if the turnout is in our favor, but otherwise he is probably toast. Mike Golden probably cannot win in the 41st unless the 72-hour program reallys brings it home for us and Kilgore does much better than expected in NOVA. John Mason will probably win in the 37th if Kilgore does at least reasonably well in NOVA.
If by some chance Kilgore performs as bad as some polls say and he loses Loudoun or PWC, I would say Black and Frederick are the only ones out of the 6 who can win. Even though will be very, very close under that circumstance.

I am not from NOVA and hear almost nothing about it so that is why my analysis is basically speculation. I do know the party thinks we will be ok if we get the turnout we need, but who knows if that will happen. I think ultimately the outcome will be the GOP gaining 3 seats in a best case scenario and the dems having a net gain of 5 at worst. As it stands right now,I would say if we only lose the 41st, it will be a wonderful night for us.

One other piece of info, the weather forecast for election day looks clear for the entire state. So much for the grand dem strategy of a flood or snowstorm in SW and the Valley but clear skies in NOVA.

Final NLS Ratings

NLS has his final "Dirty Dozen" out today. Our favorite 26th District race is now down to number 11 on the list. The 6th with Keister-Annie B is number 1.
His post is alot about how the GOP is in a nightmare scenario where they could lose as many as 8 seats if Kaine wins big statewide. Even so, 3 of the top 4 seats are Dem seats, so if Kilgore wins, we may actually gain seats.
I will have my analysis of the House races sometime this evening.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dems "Hijack" the Senate

Eariler today, Harry Reid invoked Rule 21 and made the Senate doors closed for a meeting. Here is there article. It is supposedly in regard to pre-war intelligence in light of the Libby indictment. I have not had a chance to look into the issue very far so perhaps I am way off base here, but I do have one question: Was this an action used by the dems to begin the planning for the confirmation battle?
I am sure they discussed pre-war intel as well (they probably all said how it was all lies), but then I suspect they also used the time to plan for the impending battle that is Sam Alito's appointment.
Just a thought, let me know what you all think.