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.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Fightin' Ninth

Probably the most interesting district redraw in 2010 will likely be the 9th district. As a result of a stagnant population the 9th could growth substantially in size in 2010. It all depends on the strategy of the map drawers.

If the GOP is in total control and Boucher (or another dem) is the congressman, some have proposed drawing Goodlatte or Goode into Boucher's district to defeat him. I personally think this is unlikely due to the fact that both of those guys have very stable districts and wouldnt likely want to have a tough race if it wasnt necessary. Even so, if this was the chosen path the 9th district would probably look much different than its current state.
Drawing Goodlatte in would probably result in the district gaining all of Roanoke City/County and Botetourt while losing the eastern areas of Grayson, Carroll and Henry Counties. This is risky b/c Roanoke city has tradionally been a democratic stronghold and might be enough to give Boucher the race. Also the areas that would be lost are some of the strongest GOP localities in the current 9th district.
Drawing Goode into the district would likely result in the 9th being drawn through Franklin, Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties and losing Montgomery, Roanoke and maybe Pulaski Counties. This too is risky b/c it would still only gain marginally GOP areas and lose marginally dem areas. Both is these strategies still likely have a 9th that has significantly more Boucher constituents than the GOP challenger.

The other strategy here is to have the 9th gain more of Henry and Roanoke Counties and keep everyone in their current seats (or Franklin County if Virgil Goode is no longer the congressman in the 5th). This the more likely scenario, but it too has its pitfalls.
As I referred to in my 6th district post, every redistricting sees the Roanoke area continue to lose power in their congressional district. Based on current projections, under this scenario Roanoke County would be 60% in the 9th with the other 40% plus Salem and Roanoke city in the 6th. This combined with the loss of Bedford/Lynchburg and the gain of Page, Warren and Frederick Counties; the new 6th's power-center would be in the northern Shenandoah Valley, not Roanoke. Roanoke may or may not like this, but my guess is they would like to see a district where the Roanoke metro area is not diluted so they can retain power of a congressional district.

A third thing to remember is that the Shenandoah Valley loves Goodlatte. Some people I talk to say that Valley delegates Gilbert, Saxman, Lohr, Landes and Cline may fight very hard to keep Goodlatte representing the Valley areas b/c everyone likes him so much. This too could play into where the 9th gets drawn come 2010.

All these concerns could make for a very interesting redrawing of the 9th in 2010.


  • At 4/24/2006 12:35 PM, Anonymous Tugboat Phil said…

    It would be even better if Boucher were gone from the Ninth by the time district lines are redrawn. I can't figure out why his position is so stable, other than the fact that people here are just too darned polite to not vote for him.

    Manufacturing has dried up all over the district. With the possibility of some federal forest lands being sold (a very miniscule amount) Boucher is fighting to stop it....and it's not even in his district. He hails tourism as the area's salvation, but we are never going to have the kind of tourism that brings money in, in amounts enough to sustain us. This requires developing the area, which he is against.

    Selling the land for housing would bring in people who would build big houses, which help the local tax base. Here in Floyd, we have all the local folks having to drive to Montgomery or Roanoke every day to work. The Yuppies and Hippies who moved here to "get away from it all," fight any efforts to get real jobs in the county, yet they want all the services that they'd get if they stayed in their stressful urban environment.

    And all the while, "Fightin" Rick gets a pass. If he has an opponent this time around, I wish he'd get his name out so we could have a chance at winning back our fiefdom.

  • At 4/24/2006 3:40 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    De. Bill Carrico from Grayson County is the GOP nominee in the 9th.
    If he gets enough financial backing, I think he can take down Boucher.

    Even so, SWVA doesnt seem to care about their economic woes when they goto the ballot box. Ward Armstrong and Roscoe Reynolds are 2 prime examples of this. They represent heavily Republican areas but keep voting for dems that havent done anything for them for the last decade. I guess they are waiting for them to do somethin, I dunno.

  • At 4/24/2006 4:00 PM, Blogger Duke Daddy said…

    Or, we might say... SWVA doesnt seem to care about their economic woes when they goto the ballot box. Virgil Goode is a prime example of this. They represent a heavily Democratic area but keep voting for a Republican that hasnt done anything for them for the last decade. I guess they are waiting for them to do somethin, I dunno.

  • At 4/24/2006 4:01 PM, Blogger Duke Daddy said…

    Or, we could say... SWVA doesnt seem to care about their economic woes when they goto the ballot box. Virgil Goode is a prime example of this. He represents a heavily Democratic area but keep voting for Republicans that havent done anything for them for the last decade. I guess they are waiting for them to do somethin, I dunno.

  • At 4/24/2006 5:35 PM, Anonymous Drew said…

    One thing your scenario fails to consider is the potential for one or both houses of the General Assembly being majority Democratic in 2010 and 2011.

  • At 4/24/2006 9:58 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    DD, the 5th district tends to be Republican. Certainly it makes no sense to me why any of these people vote for the people they do when things are bad, but it makes even less sense when those people are from the opposite party that the people usually support.

    Drew, divided control would essentially result in the 2nd scenario. Under a divided govt, most of the districts probly wont see many changes other than technical adjustments.
    Total dem control would likely result in a 9th district that gains Roanoke city and Franklin County to draw Goode, Goodlatte and Boucher into the same district.

  • At 4/24/2006 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We said in 2004 that if Kevin Triplett had enough financial backing we would win the seat. Well, we sure did raise over a half million dollars and look where that got us. A Congressional District that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush and gave Boucher another term in Congress. What's to say that Carrico is really going to win if we give him the money? Especially in a mid-term election year. I would love to see someone beat Boucher but I really think that a lot of people are living in fantasy land when it comes to actually winning the election.

  • At 4/24/2006 10:36 PM, Blogger Politicl.Animal said…

    GOPHokie, couldn't you also argue that Republican Delegates want Goodlatte around because it could get ugly replacing him?

    Is there an heir? Cline can't just walk off with it, and if the power center moves north (I get goosebumps just thinking about that) Landes could make a claim.

    The depressing part (from a Dem perspective in the 6th) is 3 more elections before we see some changes.

  • At 4/24/2006 11:39 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Adam, maybe. I did allude to some of that in my 6th district post.
    Also, most every delegate would have their eye on that seat so they may want it to open up.
    Its really hard to say at this point.
    There is some hope brewing that the Valley will get their own seat.
    What changes that makes on the landscape is another big question mark.

  • At 4/25/2006 12:51 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    11:15, Triplett had never held elected office.
    Carrico is currently a delegate. This will give him a good base to work off of. Whats even better is he has alot of partial counties, so he can get even higher name ID as a result of that.
    Half a million will go alot further for Carrico than it did for Triplett.
    Also Carrico is from the more conservative part of the district. Triplett was originally from Dickenson, which is the 2nd most democratic county in SWVA (behind neighboring Buchanan).

  • At 4/25/2006 10:31 PM, Anonymous AdamTolbert said…

    I look for Carrico to go pretty far in this election. In all the elections he has ran he has been the underdog and discounted but in the end turned up the victor.

  • At 4/25/2006 10:52 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Great point.
    Congrats on getting spotlight by the way Adam.

  • At 5/06/2006 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let's see "Elephant Ears" your proposal is that Goode or Goodlatte trade their safe seats for the chance to run against Boucher in a new District that is made up of 70 to 80% of the current 9th District? A district in which Boucher just kicked the ass of your best financed candidate in years. Good thinking. That way they can lose to Boucher and give a Democrat a fighting chance at their old seat.

    Do they teach political science at VaTech? Perhaps you are in the ballet class.

  • At 5/16/2006 1:36 PM, Blogger Lilith said…

    Thanks for the advice gophokie, I'll take it to the next Lake Democrats meeting

  • At 5/16/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    With "W"'s popularity crashing and the stubborn General Assembly budget brats wasteing taxpayers money,look for the Dems to rise again with some help for the commonman and good sense to boot.


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