Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Fightin' 19th!

Want to know more about Robert Hurt's State Senate seat, the Fightin' 19th? Ben Tribbet profiled the seat along with several others back in 2006 as part of his series looking ahead to the 2007 elections. The numbers at the time:

George Bush defeated John Kerry 46,348 (61.2%) to 29,359 (38.8%).

Jerry Kilgore defeated Tim Kaine 26,730 (55.3%) to 21,645 (44.7%).

George Allen defeated Jim Webb 34,056 (61.2%) to 21,624 (38.8%).

At this point, pre-2008, there's far less fluctuation on the Democratic side (just 8,000 votes or so) than on the Republican side (around 20,000 votes). There is a solid base of hard core Democratic voters that consistently turned out, versus a larger mass of Republicans that vary on the election. I'm sure the 2009 election messed with this trend, but I don't want to waste time talking about how horrible Deeds was as a candidate.

And here is 2008, based on my calculations:

John McCain defeated Barack Obama 45,448 (58.05%) to 32,837 (41.95%).

Virgil Goode defeated Tom Perriello 44,398 (57.99%) to 32,170 (42.01%).

We see McCain hitting Bush's numbers, probably representing a ceiling in the district. But Obama pulls in an additional 3,000, primarily African-Americans, to slightly narrow the contest.

And 2010:

Robert Hurt defeated Tom Perriello 35,716 (56.60%) to 25,926 (41.09%).

Hurt's total is not that different from Allen in 2006, but Perriello boosted Democratic turnout from the previous midterm.

In the localities the vote breaks down like this.

Franklin County:

John McCain defeated Barack Obama 15,414 (60.68%) to 9,618 (37.76%).

Virgil Goode defeated Tom Perriello 15,654 (62.27%) to 9,475 (37.69%).

Robert Hurt defeated Tom Perriello 11,247 (60.69%) to 6,629 (35.77%).

Want to know one reason why Goode lost to Perriello? The almost laughable crossover appeal that Virgil Goode had in his home of Franklin County, where every other landmark is named after his father and he's been running for elections since the 1970s.

Jeff Clark received 3.4% in Franklin County, one of his better showings in the 5th District. Perriello ran behind his 2008 percentages in all of Franklin County outside of the following precincts: Hodgesville, Snow Creek, Fork Mountain, Sontag, Henry, Waidsboro, and all of the three Rocky Mount precincts. He ran practically even with his 2008 performance in Dickinson, Ferrum, Callaway, and Gogginsville. What does this all mean? Perriello did best in the parts of the county excluding the precincts around Smith Mountain Lake and the growth south of Roanoke on 220. This makes me question the criticism I've heard that Perriello didn't campaign enough in "real" parts of the 5th and focused too heavily on affluent areas, including Smith Mountain Lake. Across the 5th, the areas that swung against Perriello were very "un-Southside," more affluent suburban areas that are not typical of how pundits and commentators view the district.

For what it's worth, from 2008 the precincts in Franklin County where Perriello improved over his 2008 performance are the precincts most likely to show probable Obama-Goode ticket splitters. Did Goode Democrats come home to Perriello in 2010 only to see stronger turnout among affluent, surbuban, economic conservatives push him out of office?

Campbell County

Only 9 Campbell County precincts are in the 19th. These tend to be the parts of the county farther away from the Lynchburg growth area, but with higher African-American populations.

John McCain defeated Barack Obama 6,690 (65.32%) to 3,552 (34.68%).

Virgil Goode defeated Tom Perriello 6,162 (62.20%) to 3,745 (37.80%).

Robert Hurt defeated Tom Perriello 4,803 (62%.12%) to 2,713 (35.03%).

Both Obama and Perriello performed better in these Campbell County precincts than the County as a whole in 2008. Perriello's showing in Campbell County as a whole dropped from 35.59% in 2008 to 31.12% in 2010. In the southern portions of Campbell County in the 19th, Perriello's drop was smaller than the more significant decline his support shows in the more suburban precincts around Lynchburg. This is a very similar trend to what we saw in Franklin County. The areas where Perriello improved from 2008 were outside of the growth around Lynchburg and in the southern portions, such as the town of Altavista.

Pittsylvania County

John McCain defeated Barack Obama to 18,730 (61.55%) to 11,415 (37.51%).

Virgil Goode defeated Tom Perriello 18,184 (62.24%) to 11,022 (37.73%).

Robert Hurt defeated Tom Perriello 13,531 (61.47%) to 8,032 (36.48%).

Seriously Robert? You started your career on the Chatham Town Council, you've been representing Pittsylvania for years, you have a huge Republican wave at your back, and you can't do any better in Pittsylvania than the Republican performance from 2008? Perriello was able to match if not exceed his percenatage from 2008 in many of the county's more African-American precincts, minimizing the drop off he faced in the more white areas that swung slightly to Hurt.

Many people, pundits, and commentators argued that Robert Hurt, through his years of service in Southside, would have an advantage defeating Tom Perriello through name recognition and the like. The more I look at the results, the more I'm convinced that Robert Hurt won because affluent suburban Republicans turned out strongly against the big government schemes of Barack Obama and Tom Perriello. It was the R next to Robert's name that put him over the top.

Danville City:

Barack Obama defeated John McCain 12,352 (59.13%) to 8,361 (40.02%).

Tom Perriello defeated Virgil Goode 11,485 (57.97%) to 8,322 (42.00%).

Tom Perriello defeated Robert Hurt 8,552 (57.56%) to 6,123 (41.29%).

2008 was a big difference from 2004, when John Kerry narrowly defeated George Bush 9,436 (49.37%) to 9,399 (49.18%). McCain is behind Bush in Danville, which may represent four more years of affluent white voters moving away from the economic death spiral that is Danville. Almost all of Obama's improvement over Kerry in the 19th comes from Danville's African-American precincts.

Despite a significant flood of African-Americans turning out to vote for Obama, Perriello kept his total close to Obama's and minimized ballot drop off. Virgil Goode also held the McCain voters very well. It's also worth noting that this is the heart of Danny Marshall's delegate district in the 14th, around 2/3rds overall. The 14th includes all of the city of Danville, 5 precincts in Henry County, and 4 precincts in Pittsylvania County.

In 2007, when Adam Tomer lost to Danny Marshall 48% to 52%, Danville was actually narrowly split between the two candidates: Tomer received 51% and Marshall 49%. A strong Democratic turnout in Danville is a major threat to Marshall, which is something that Republicans will try to address in redistricting.

The problem with Marshall's campaign and almost all Democrats not named Barack Obama has been turning out Danville's African-American base. Tom Perriello in 2010 was able to mobilize this constituency, which if replicated in the future could really worry Marshall and other Southside Republicans. And it's the only hope for Democrats in the upcoming special election.

Worth noting from Ben's analysis is "In the Governor's race, 4,000 of Kilgore's 5,000 vote margin came out of Pittsylvania County." The importance of Pittsylvania County in this district cannot be overstated. And likely Democratic nominee Hank Davis is making sure to bring that point home:

"The next senator needs to come from Pittsylvania County," said Davis, who has made no formal announcement. "We are the largest both in terms of size and population and we're smack dab in the center of the district."

It's going to be difficult, if not impossible, for the Democrats to win the 19th in the special election, but it would start with replicating the strong turnout among African-Americans in Danville and trying to improve their performance in Pittsylvania through Hank Davis's local service and potentially a Republican fumble if they nominate someone from outside Pittsylvania and Danville. Perriello's shown it's possible to turn out African-Americans in Danville, will Hank Davis take the next step?

Special Election in Southside!

Pittsylvania County Supervisor Hank Davis is set to announce his bid for the State Senate seat vacated by Congressman-elect Robert Hurt. The State Party has already announced they won't do anything to help him. This isn't going to be pretty . . .

Monday, November 8, 2010

Virginia Uranium Just Bought a State Senate Seat

Ben has some breaking news about the downfall of the DPVA and the quest to put Brian Moran into power, but let's not forget about more bad news for Virginia Democrats. They will not be challenging, at all, the contest to replace now Congressman-elect Robert Hurt in the Virginia State Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Richard Saslaw said Monday that Democrats do not plan to field a candidate to replace state Sen. Robert Hurt in his largely Republican district because Saslaw doesn't want to "waste our money."

"I know what we can do and what we can't do,'' said Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

Now I'm sure that Saslaw has every reason not to contest this seat, which is almost certain to vote Republican. But there was an outside chance that likely nomination of Franklin County lawyer and 5th District Republican Party Chair Bill Stanley could set up a dynamic in which Democrats can play the geography card and argue that the state senate seat needs to be kept in Pittsylvania-Danville hands. The best candidate to do this? Pittsylvania Supervisor Hank Davis.

Why isn't Saslaw even playing with the idea of putting his weight behind Hank Davis in the special election?

As with any election, the leaders of the state party turn to "trusted" sources to determine if a candidate has a shot at the election. Years of local service are unlikely to get the attention of Richmond. No, what gets the attention of Richmond are lobbyists and money. And when it comes to Southside Virginia, no one speaks louder in the state party than former Danville Delegate turned Richmond Lobbyist Witt Clement.

Clement, who among his clients counts Virginia Uranium, was dismissive of Hank Davis as a potential candidate when the big dogs in Richmond started to ask around about the special election. Why? Is it because he doesn't think Davis, who's manage to win election in one of Virginia's most Republican counties, isn't electable? Or because Clement doesn't want an opponent of uranium mining in the Virginia State Senate?

Virginia Uranium just purchased a State Senate seat thanks to the good work of Witt Clement. Are they about to purchase the Chairmanship of the DPVA too?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Robert Hurt's Special Election

Why would all three of the big name Delegates in Robert Hurt's old State Senate seat back away from running in the upcoming special election?

Why would the Republican establishment clear the field for an unelected partisan with no legislative experience?

What's going on in Southside right now?

More to come . . .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Look Ahead . . .

In just a day days, voters will go to the polls across the Old Dominion and elect a slate of Congressmen (Yes, Congressmen, sorry Krystal!) who will represent Virginia for the next two years. It will also heavily influence the next round of redistricting that the 2011 General Assembly will have to deal with. While most people are focusing on the fight between the Republican House and the Democrat Senate in redistricting, we can't forget the influence members of Congress will have.

Let's take a quick glance, district by district. I will be following up on the races after the election.

1st: The question everyone has been asking is if Krystal Ball's Halloween outfit will hurt her campaign with the district's voters, or if it's gotten the attention of every red blooded male and angry feminist. After holding off a challenge from his right in the primary (did that pathetic showing by Crazy Crabill even qualify as a challenge?) Wittman has easily locked this seat down after his 2007 special election win. In an ideal world (Republican gerrymandering), Wittman would look to get rid of the Democrat-leaning portions of Prince William County in the 1st (which even supported Deeds in 2009!) and avoid picking up any more of the expensive and Democrat-leaning areas of Northern Virginia. Wittman is well positioned for higher office. This district has a lot of smaller components (Northern Virginia suburbs, Fredericksburg, rural exurbs from Richmond through the Northern Neck, Republican portions of the Peninsula, college city of Williamsburg and its swing suburbs of James City County, etc.) and I think Wittman will be willing to be a team player and adjust parts of the district to shore up Republicans elsewhere.

2nd: Glenn Nye is in a tough election with Scott Rigell, but you'll notice that Obama isn't coming to town for him. And no one is mentioning Glenn for DPVA Chair after the election. Nye's career is toast. Even if he wins, I can't see him surviving a challenge from the left in 2012. He'll be stuck between wanting a safer seat through redistricting and worrying about adding too many liberal Democrat voters to the district. Rigell will also be worried. His district is a swing district and is about to throw out the second incumbent in two elections. He'll need to find a way to pick up Republican voters from neighboring district. I expect Rigell to win on election day, but he'll have to start thinking about 2012 soon.

3rd: Bobby Scott helped cut a deal in 2000 that made most of the representatives in Tidewater happy. Could he sit down with Wittman, Rigell, and Forbes and do it again? The problem is that all three are looking to unload Democrat voters and it's hard to put them all into Scott's district. Also, Scott is young at heart but is already 63. This may be the last redistricting he sees and he might be thinking about a successor. Is there anyone in the General Assembly who could replace Scott and not become a national laughing stock? I'm looking at you, Lionell Spruill and Louise Lucas.

4th: Like Wittman, Forbes is well positioned for a statewide run, if he were to want it. In looking ahead, his only concern in redistricting is that his district surprisingly went to Obama in 2008. Now you can say this was a fluke, but Forbes isn't the type to risk any chances. He'll want to shore up Republican support in his district and avoid the Democrats recruiting a top tier and well funded challenger in 2012 when Obama will be back on the ticket.

5th: The outcome in the 5th District is going to be close, too close for the comfort of likely winner Robert Hurt. I think he'll end up with less than 53% of the vote in what should be an easy walk for Republicans this year against one of the most liberal Democrats in the country. This will send a message loud and clear to Robert Hurt: Get Charlottesville the f'ck out of the 5th. There are two main ways to do this: more all of Charlottesville into another district or split the area up into two or three districts. Which would they prefer? A Perriello win will leave Republicans in a no win situation. If the 5th is made more Republican somehow, Perriello is well positioned for a state wide run. If they make it more Democrat, they'll be stuck with Perriello around for years to come. Which would they prefer?

Here's the irony of a Perriello win: Just like 2008, it will be attributed entirely to Barack Obama. Perriello is going to get almost no credit amount the pundits predicting his defeat if he wins, they will just say it was due to a surge in Democrat voters from Obama's visit. That Perriello had to wage a campaign that kept him close enough to justify an Obama visit will be overlooked. Perriello has been consistently underestimated, which could influence how afraid Republicans are of him during redistricting.

6th: Bob Goodlatte is, along with Wittman and Forbes, one of the solid conservative voices in Virginia. The only problem facing Goodlatte is the delicate situation facing the Roanoke area when Morgan Griffith is elected in the neighboring 9th. Griffith will want to add Salem and his old base, and the 9th will also have to grow to pick up more voters. Goodlatte will want to keep as much of the Roanoke area intact as possible, which may force the 9th into the 5th. But Hurt will want to keep the conservative voters of Franklin County and his historic base in Martinsville and Henry County. It's going to be a complicated situation, much like the dance in Tidewater, but one they should be able to sort out. Hopefully.

7th: Cantor's district is so overwhelmingly Republican he has little to worry about, but there's the possibility that Charlottesville could be pushed into the district. How much is Cantor willing to do to water down the Republican strength in his district to benefit fellow Republicans like Robert Hurt? You have to wonder what a well funded Democrat could do if Charlottesville and its suburbs were combined with the other counties in the Charlottesville media market: Madison, Orange, Louisa. This could be a nuisance that Cantor won't want to deal with, he'd rather be focusing on fundraising for other Republicans and campaigning to support them than putting up with challengers in his own back yard.

8th: How much longer will we have to put up with Jim Moran? Please. Can someone defeat him? Either in the general election (unlikely) or a Democrat primary (anyone have the balls?) Will he ever go to jail where he belongs, or just die in office?

9th: Morgan Griffith is surging in the polls right now and is posed to defeat Rick Boucher over his role in the cap and tax legislation. This is the perfect end to Boucher's career and a warning shot to the remaining Democrats in the Southwest like Roscoe Reynolds and Phil Puckett. You're next. Griffith will want to take Salem and his old legislative district, but I don't think that's enough to match the slow population growth of the 9th. He'll need to pick up more voters and run into the same problem facing Republicans in 2000. Hurt in the 5th won't want to give up his conservative voters in Franklin, Henry, and Martinsville. Goodlatte won't want to give up too much of his home of Roanoke. We'll watch some interesting deals made here.

10th: Frank Wolf has been an elusive target for Democrats, but I wouldn't be surprised if they finally get organized in 2012 to finally mount a real challenge. Wolf's district will need to shrink dramatically to get down to size. It will be difficult to figure out how Wolf can make his district more Republican leaning, or at least not as more Democratic, with the changes across Northern Virginia.

11th: Finally, the 11th. This district kicked out liberal Leslie Byrne in 1994 and it's a good race to watch to see how well Republicans will do in 2010. I think Connolly has the advantage here, but it's one to watch. The Democrats are afraid as shown by their $1 million investment into Gerry at the last second. The outcome could heavily influence the outcome of redistricting and determine who is making the deals. A Connolly win could produce an easy trade between Wolf and Connolly, shore up Connolly, shore up Wolf. A Fimian win would give Republicans headache as they try to negotiate to protect another rookie Republican.

Here are some other issues to consider.

George Allen: A George Allen come back in 2012 is getting a surprising level of Tea Party opposition. Will Bob Marshall be the benefactor or someone else? A lot of establishment types opposed Marshall's 2008 Senate bid because they thought Jim Gilmore was the stronger candidate--HA! If the establishment feels the heat from the Tea Party over George Allen and keeps its concerns about Bob Marshall, look for them to put the pressure on one of Virginia's conservative trio (Wittman, Forbes, and Goodlatte) to run. That could reduce the constraints on Republicans in cutting deals, like Forbes wanting to keep Chesapeake or Goodlatte focused on Roanoke.

Retirements? Will Wolf retire before 2012? What about Goodlatte? Some scenarios are likely, others less so, but a retirement could produce the same result as George Allen not running: an open House seat that the Republicans are free to draw without the concerns of an incumbent. Some scenarios-

Goodlatte Out? A Goodlatte retirement or Senate run (both low likelihood in my book) could allow the 9th to take on more of the Roanoke area, giving up Craig, Covington, and Alleghey to the 6th and Patrick and Henry to the 5th. The 6th would expand to the north to take the western portions of the 10th and take in parts of Charlottesville and Albemarle. The 5th would keep a third or so of the Charlottesville and Albemarle area, but pick up Lynchburg, Amherst, and more of Bedford. The 7th would pick up the remaining portions of the Charlottesville area, probably giving up more of Hanover and the Richmond areas to Wittman in the 1st.

Forbes Out? A Forbes retirement or Senate run (I'd like to see a Senate race focused on Webb's failure to stand up to Obama's anti-military policies) could free the Republicans to give more of Chesapeake to the 2nd to beef up Rigell. The 4th would then need to pick up more of the Richmond suburbs from the 7th, and the 1st could probably benefit from parts as well. This doesn't touch on fixing the 5th, but could be compatible with parts of the Goodlatte scenario as well.

Perriello Wins- Accept It A Perriello victory and the Democrat Senate could force the Republicans to accept a deal that gerrymanders the 5th to Perriello's favor. He'd pick up more of the suburbs in Louisia and Orange. While not exactly deep blue, they are liberal bastions compared to the Southside parts of the 5th right now. He could pick up more African-American voters from the 4th, a relief for Forbes and the Republicans. Look for the Republican portions of the 5th to go to the 9th.

Perriello Wins- Reject It Another outcome of a Perriello victory could be a logjam between Democrats and Republicans over the Congressional redistricting. Instead of cutting a deal, Republicans might decide they are fine with the current boundaries, for the most part, and are willing to let a judge slightly redraw them for population. I don't think that most of the Republican members like Wittman, Rigell, Forbes, and Griffith would be happy, they have particular agendas that a judge would likely ignore. But maybe it's worth it if the 5th stays moderately Republican?

These are just a few things to consider as you're watching election returns on Tuesday night. Good luck to the conservatives running!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Does Robert Hurt Have a Cocaine Problem?

After reflection, soul searching, and prayer, I have decided to bring forward information on Senator Hurt's past that, so far, the press has either been ignorant of or has decided to ignore. In either scenario, lackluster reporters like Catherine Amos and Janelle Rucker have let down the public by failing to reveal important facts about Senator Hurt, the man and his character.

Hurtards like to think that Senator Hurt is just a local Southside boy. They ignore that he was born into wealth and spent most of his early childhood either in New York City or at one of the nation's most elite and privileged boarding schools. After attending a series of safety private schools to satisfy the claim that he has a degree, he began to practice law in Pittsylvania County. But with his background of power and privilege, how much work does Senator Hurt actually do at his law firm? And who does he work for?

In at least two cases, Senator Hurt served as the attorney for criminals involved in crack cocaine dealing. This supposed man of character and integrity decided that defense of drug dealers in Southside Virginia was the best use of his talent and resources.

The first is related to a large drug bust of a crack cocaine ring in the New River Valley. Senator Hurt represented one of the men involved in this ring, Gregory Smith, who was eventually sentence to 13 years in prison for his role. And what was part of Smith's role?

Ashley Nicole "Red" Franklin's boyfriend, Gregory Douglas "Binky" Smith, introduced her to cocaine when she was 16. Franklin, 19, later became an addict and a distributor.

Interestingly, the original article from the Roanoke Times outlining Senator Hurt's role in defending Smith is no longer available through their website, while the original outlining about the cocaine ring from an earlier date is still up. Here is the transcript of the article linking Senator Hurt to a drug dealer who addicted a young teenage girl to crack cocaine.


A federal judge sentenced a Radford man to more than 13 years in prison in connection with his participation in a large crack cocaine ring in the New River Valley.

Judge Samuel Wilson said that he took Gregory Smith's extensive criminal history into account as part of the sentence. Smith, 31, is the first of 11 defendants to be sentenced in connection with thering. Federal authorities have argued that at its height, the ring trafficked 1 to 5 kilograms of crack and powder cocaine per month into the New River Valley.

All of the defendants in the case have pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges, except the alleged ringleader, Richard Lamont Lighty.

Wilson also said he took into consideration the argument by Smith's attorney, Robert Hurt of Chatham, that Smith was a minor player in the drug conspiracy.

Smith, already in custody on state charges, will have to serve his federal sentence consecutively, Wilson said. He also fined Smith $1,000.

Does Senator Hurt still believe that addicting young girls to crack cocaine is a "minor" part of the drug trade? The only thing "minor" here was the age of the girl when her life was ruined by illegal drugs.

In a second case, decided earlier this year, Robert Hurt represented a convicted criminal, Alpheus Spencer Adams, involved in the cocaine trade. Here Senator Hurt was representing a criminal attempting to use the appeals system to get his conviction overturned on a technicality, and the courts rightly ruled against these shenanigans.

I am disgusting that the media in the 5th District has been unable to perform its minimal task of looking into the background of candidates for public office. Jeff Clark's name has been dragged through the mud, but no one has even touched Robert Hurt's record. This is just the first step in revealing the true Robert Hurt.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Look Back on the 5th, Part Four

Over the next few days, I'll be posting my analysis of the 5th District and point out trends to watch for on election night. Look back at Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

Have you heard? Are you living in a cave? If not, you've already heard the big news that Barack Hussein Obama will be coming to Charlottesville this Friday to save Tom Perriello like Jesus bring Lazarus back to life. The strange thing is that this miracle may actually work.

As I noted in the first three posts, Survey USA has been the most prolific poll of the 5th District in the past elections. And over and over again they show some odd internals to their polling, even if they've generally been on the money in their final poll. What's fascinating is that they often radically change their assumptions with their final poll and produce results in line with the expectations for the election. That's what happened in 2008 and what may happen in 2010. Will we see one more Survey USA poll showing it a close race, in line with the overwhelming consensus of other polling firms?

First, Perriello is one of the top five recipients of outside support from liberal groups, to the tune of $1.2 million dollars. It's hard to find a vulnerable Democrat who wouldn't kill for that support of outside support, but few are receiving it. If Perriello is so doomed, as Survey USA and Hurtards would like us to believe, why is he getting the big bucks? Democrats may hate America, but they aren't stupid.

The same goes for Barack Hussein Obama. He's not going to waste his time stumping for doomed candidates. A visit by Obama indicates two things. First, that this election is close. Second, that the Democrats actually think Obama could help Perriello.

What gives?

Obama didn't win the 5th District, but Perriello did. Could a visit by Obama alienate independent voters and send them into Senator Hurt's career politician arms. Maybe, but there's also an argument that Perriello sees an Obama visit as a way to gear up the Democrat base in a year in which Republicans are already geared up.

An Obama visit makes sense if you read my first three posts and realize that maybe it's not that the 5th District has contrarian voters, but that it is heavily polarized with few swing voters. With few swing voters, the district won't shift to one party or another as much as the national waves back and forth from 2004 to 2008.

If that's the case, Perriello's only goal is to motivate the Democrat base, especially in Charlottesville. Nothing else matters. We'll see if it works.

BREAKING: Lynchburg Tea Party Encourages Voter Suppression?

Is the Lynchburg Tea Party, which is now an arm of the Republican Party in all but name, encouraging voter suppression? "Republicans Vote TODAY – Democrats STAY HOME!"

"Conservative" Jim McKelvey: Off the Rails!

The Perriello campaign has released a great new ad hitting Robert Hurt with the words of his own Republican primary opponents:

Now those very same opponents are angry that Perriello is using their own words against Senator Robert Hurt. Throughout the campaign multiple pundits, bloggers, and commentators noted that the primary field against Hurt was full of amateurs and first time candidates who couldn't really wage a serious campaign. I defended them, but I have to say this episode clearly demonstrates the naivete of McKelvey, Morton, McPadden, and others.

Did the group of them really believe they could get away with this rhetoric without having it used against Senator Hurt? Let's not forget the DCCC web video against Hurt right after the primary, which had more of the attacks on Senator Hurt's eight year record of raising taxes.

Over and over again, candidates like McKelvey made crystal clear that they were so strongly opposed to Senator Hurt they would refuse to endorse him in the general election. After the primary, all of Hurt's Republican opponents fell in line to endorse him. Why were their minds so easily changed? Perhaps because they never really opposed Hurt that much, they were just desperate for traction and support in the Republican primary. This is offensive to the voters. We deserve true conservative champions who will stick to their ideals. The entire field against Hurt has demonstrated that they were just saying anything to get support and are not to be trusted. I will actively work to defeat them in any future Republicans primaries, should they have the foolishness to try to run again.

McKelvey stands out for his particularly lies and deceit. This supposed conservative champion sent out a press release against Tom Perriello for his campaign attacks on Hurt. Here's a portion:

Tom Perriello uses my name (and a prior press release of mine) as the "factual" basis to falsely state that Robert would do away with 400 teacher jobs, cut funds for college scholarships, increase personal property taxes, allow unsafe products to come into our country from overseas, or somehow send jobs overseas to China. This is a blatant lie on Perriello's part. These false statements clearly show that Congressman Perriello will do anything to get elected, and that he is willing to stoop so low as to lie to his fellow citizens, because he wrongly believes that such lies will win him the election. Mr. Perriello has shown here in the last days of this important election that he completely lacks the honesty, character, and integrity required to lead us here in the 5th District. The only candidate who possesses the honesty, character and integrity to lead us as our next congressman is Robert Hurt.

I have a questions for Jim McKelvey, which I doubt he's man enough to answer.

You campaigned against unconstitutional government agencies and forced Hurt to sign a pledge to defund these agencies. Which are they? Senator Hurt has already shamelessly claimed that he won't do anything to cut Social Security and Medicare, the two largest entitlement programs causing our nation's fiscal crisis. Do you agree that these programs are constitutional? If Medicare is constitutional, how is the rest of Obamacare not constitutional? If you can be forced to pay into a Ponzi retirement scheme like Social Security against your will, isn't the mandate of Obamacare also constitutional?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Register & Bee is Wrong

Today, the Register & Bee culminated its months of biased coverage in favor of career politician and chronic tax raiser Robert Hurt with a weak, hollow, empty endorsement of his campaign for Congress. The reason, as far as I can tell, is that they have been convinced that his victory would somehow balance the budget.

The wasteful spending in Washington reveals a fundamental problem that must be addressed at the ballot box. The balance of power between Republicans and Democrats is so skewed right now that it has been impossible to reach a political consensus. Instead, it has left us with divisions that have nearly destroyed our system.

Only through bipartisan compromise can we heal that rift. Only by sending Republicans like Hurt to Congress can we accomplish that.

Consider that economists now believe the recession ended last summer. If that’s true, then by next summer, we should actually notice an improvement.

When that happens, the increased tax revenues will help to chip away at the federal budget deficit. But if Congress is allowed to spend that new money, then we’ll be no better off than we are today.

The Register & Bee has demonstrated that its entire staff has the intellect of Catherine Amos. The problem with the deficit was not created overnight by Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and Perriello. It was a bipartisan effort of first Republicans and then Democrats. And the problems in the future with increased spending comes from an entitlement system, particularly Social Security and Medicare, that is going to explode with the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

Robert Hurt's signature issue of the campaign has been to attack Tom Perriello for cuts to Medicare. He's attacked Perriello for not saying enough to protect and defend Social Security. Senator Robert Hurt is not serious about balancing the budget. Just today, the Lynchburg News & Advance published candidate responses on balancing the budget. Just like in the debate, Senator Hurt couldn't come up with a single specific program to cut.

It's bizarre, but Perriello's support of a bipartisan commission that will likely suggest cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other big programs, combined with his willingness to put everything on the table, including bloated defense spending, makes him more fiscally conservative than Senator Hurt.

If that makes you feel like this election has come down to a choice between two evils, don't despair. There is a conservative candidate for office, Jeff Clark! On November 2nd, vote Jeff Clark for a conservative voice for the 5th District.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Look Back on the 5th, Part Three

In 2008, as we all know, the bottom fell out of the Republican Party in the 5th District. Virgil Goode was defeated by liberal underdog Tom Perriello. But there are some problems with the standard account of how this happened.

Let's start with the basics. In an incredibly close election, Perriello defeated Goode in what was essentially a 50-50 race. Perriello won 50.08% and Goode won 49.85%. But in the Presidential race, McCain still held onto the 5th with a narrow victory of 51% to 48%.

This is the infamous Obama surge that Perriello rode to victory. But while Obama was winning Virginia with 53% of the vote, a surprising 8% improvement over John Kerry, his improvement over Kerry in the 5th was only 5% better. With the high percentage of black voters in the 5th, plus the liberal bastion of Charlottesville, many assumed that Obama would have a more significant impact in the 5th District. In fact, the swing seems somewhat muted. When I think of surge, I think of a big swing to one party or candidate. There was certainly a swing, but more of a nudge than a surge.

Part of Obama's improvement over Kerry was reduced because of McCain's improvements over Bush. The 5th was one of the few congressional districts in Virginia where McCain received more votes than Bush in 2004. Certainly Obama did a better job than McCain in increasing support, but McCain was not nearly as lackluster as some commentators analyzing the 5th have indicated.

Let's look at how Goode compares to McCain across the district.

Albemarle County: 40% McCain, 37% Goode (-3%)
Appomattox County: 64% McCain, 64% Goode (0%)
Bedford County: 66% McCain, 62% Goode (-4%)
Brunswick County: 35% McCain, 38% Goode (+3%)
Buckingham County: 49% McCain, 50% Goode (+1%)
Campbell County: 68% McCain, 64% Goode (-4%)
Charlotte County: 55% McCain, 56% Goode (+1%)
Cumberland County: 51% McCain, 52% Goode (+1%)
Fluvanna County: 50% McCain, 48% Goode (-2%)
Franklin County: 61% McCain, 62% Goode (+1%)
Greene County: 60% McCain, 54% Goode (-6%)
Halifax County: 51% McCain, 53% Goode (+2%)
Henry County: 56% McCain, 57% Goode (+1%)
Lunenburg County: 51% McCain, 50% Goode (-1%)
Mecklenburg County: 52% McCain, 55% Goode (+3%)
Nelson County: 45% McCain, 44% Goode (-1%)
Pittsylvania County: 62% McCain, 62% Goode (+0%)
Prince Edward County: 44% McCain, 46% Goode (+2%)
Bedford City: 55% McCain, 50% Goode (-5%)
Charlottesville City: 20% McCain, 19% Goode (-1%)
Danville City: 40% McCain, 42% Goode (+2%)
Martinsville City: 35% McCain, 39% Goode (+4%)

Across the district, Goode's crossover has been shattered. He performs only 1% better than John McCain in his home county of Franklin! Henry is about the same, with only the City of Martinsville showing any significant crossover for Goode. His best counties outside of his home base are Mecklenburg, the only county with in a North Carolina media market and outside of Perriello's ad campaign, and Brunswick, the most isolated part of the district. Even then he outperforms McCain by only 3%.

A consistent 3% could have saved Goode, but in 2008 he is facing a Democrat with resources able to compete across the district. He's hit hard not only in the northern counties like Greene and Albemarle, but sees a significant crossover of McCain voters to Perriello in Bedford and Campbell County. I have no idea what was going on in these Lynchburg suburbs, but it's something to look for in 2010.

From 2000 to 2006, the Republicans had a good run in the 5th District. This included a counter-cycle performance in 2006 that only narrowly brought down their performance. If 56% was an elevated ceiling for Republican support in the district during good times, it's easy to see them dropping to 53% in what was a solid Democratic wave year. What's impressive for the Republicans is that it didn't drop even more.

Looking back, I think stories about African-Americans, liberals, and college students are a little overplayed. Yes, the 5th has them. But it also has farmers, conservatives, and regular blue collar workers. And even some Hillary voting PUMAs. This district is very polarized and has few swing voters. Which is why the Republican surge in 2004 was weak in the district, and why the Democrats were unable to capitalize on their own surge in 2006 or 2008. At the same time, the electorate is shifting slowly toward the Democrats as Charlottesville grows and Southside declines.

What surprises me is that the few swing voters out there, at least the swing voters in 2008, weren't in Charlottesville and weren't in Southside (at least what most people call Southside). Bedford and Campbell, two of the main suburbs of Lynchburg, stand out for putting Perriello over Goode. Why? The Lynchburg metropolitan area is one of the bastions of the Republican Party, particularly because of social issues. In 2006, the region turned out strongly for the anti-gay marriage amendment. This is the home of Liberty University! Jerry Falwell Jr. has donated to Hurt's campaign, but I have seen little emphasis on social issues from Hurt's campaign. Instead, I've seen Perriello wisely vote against federal funding of abortion and work to downplay potentially controversial social issues. Smart move. This is an area to watch for me on election night.

Before we go, we'll look at the Survey USA polls from 2008. Like 2006, Survey USA had three polls of the 5th District race:

August 10-12: Goode 64%, Perriello 30%
October 6-7: Goode 55%, Perriello 42%
October 30-November 2: Goode 50%, Perriello 47%

Looking at some of the internals, we find that the first poll from August had 17% black voters, equal to their 2006 polling. The October poll also had 17% black voters. But then right before the election, Survey USA's poll put it at 22% and said that Perriello could win with 25%. After the election, as they argue their polling in 2010, they seem to be arguing that the black percent of the vote in 2008 was 25%, far higher than any other source I've heard.

In other words, throughout the 2008 election Survey USA tried to convince everyone that they didn't see ANY increase in black turnout from 2006 to 2008. Then, at the last possible second, they put out a poll showing black turnout significantly higher and Perriello within the margin of error. This was after both parties had internal polling showing the race a dead heat and Goode in risk of being defeated.

Let's look at party. August: 41% Republican, 33% Democrat, 20% Independent. October: 38% Republican, 34% Democrat, 21% Independent. Final: 38% Republican, 40% Democrat, and 20% Independent.

Poll by poll, Survey USA shows an electorate more and more favorable to the Democrats, with Democrats eventually outnumbering Republicans by 2%. This is a 14% swing from 2006, when they had the final poll with 44% Republicans, 32% Democrats, and 22% Independents. Yet the outcome of the 5th district swung to the Democrats by only 5%. Is it possible that Survey USA isn't tracking changes in voters, but changing in party identification? Throughout 2008, people who voted Republican were more likely to call themselves independent, after the anger at Bush's reckless spending? A prelude to the trend that continues today with the Tea Party.

Finally, ideology. August: 39% Conservative, 34% Moderate, and 12% Liberal. October: 40% Conservative, 31% Moderate, and 13% Liberal. Final: 41% Conservative, 35% Moderate, and 17% Liberal.

Ironically, while at the same time showing a surge in Democrat voters, Survey USA sees a slight increase in conservative voters during the 2008 campaign! Liberals are higher, but the breakdown as a whole seems very similar to Survey USA's final poll from 2006. This gives support to my theory that changes in the party breakdown in the poll is due to people changing how they describe themselves, not who is voting. Instead, conservatives started to shift to calling themselves independent, but still turnout and vote Republican.

And the two competing polls from Survey USA right now? One has blacks at 12%, which is less than even 2006. The other has them at 20%. Which is right? I am leaning heavily toward the 20%. Signs point to 2006 being a bad year for Democrats in Southside, particularly in African-American areas. 17% may be the low point that is produced by a Democrat campaign with no resources for GOTV. 20% sounds reasonable, especially if you're putting 2008 at 25% as Survey USA does.

Party? The RDD has it at 36% Republican, 32% Democrat, and 29% Independent. This would have Democrats at about the same turnout as 2006, but with a shift of Republicans to Independents from 2006. This is consistent with the idea that conservative Republicans call themselves independents as they affiliate with the Tea Party movement, but I also don't want to read too much into Survey USA's party breakdown given how large their swing was in 2008 despite few changes in the outcome.

Finally, ideology. 47% Conservative, 35% Moderate, and 10% Liberal. This is a swing of around 7% from 2008 and 2006. If true, it means the electorate in 2010 will be even more favorable to Republicans than in 2006, which was already a sensible year for them in the Fifth District.

It's very hard for me to sort out the twists and turns in Survey USA. That the only way they seem able to change Perriello's % is through changing the racial composition of their sample seems questionable to me. They did it in 2008 and again in 2010. Is it possible that they are bad at sampling white voters in this sprawling, diverse district and they compensate through fiddling with the black %? We'll find out . . .

Next, a look at the polling in 2008 as we try to sort out what's going on.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Look Back on the 5th, Part Two

Over the next few days, I'll be posting my analysis of the 5th District and point out trends to watch for on election night. Part One is here.

At the end of Part One, we had finished up looking at the changes in the 5th District from 2000 to 2004. The 5th District after 2004 looked to be a pretty solid Republican district, with the base Republican vote around 56% during some good Republican elections. Goode's crossover appeal had leveled out and was being boosted by the powers of incumbency. This put him safely over 60% in every election. I ended with the question, "What would happen if you combined a good Democratic year with a Democrat with resources?" We'll get there in 2008; we have to look at 2006 and a few more trends first.

First, as I noted in Part One, the 5th after redistricting was a slightly less Republican district than in 2000. But that didn't stop Bush from topping his 2000 performance when running for reelection. But Bush only narrowly outperformed his 2000 performance in the 5th District. At the same time, the nation swung to Bush by 5 points nationally and 1 point in Virginia. We know that Virginia has been moving demographically toward the Democrat Party for a few years now. But pundits have always been focused on Northern Virginia for this shift. Is it possible that the 5th, particularly around Charlottesville, was also shifting to the Democrat Party? If we assume a uniform 5 point shift nationally, but the 5th shifted only 1 point, was there a 4 point shift toward to the Democrats in the demographics of the 5th District? Or does the 5th District not swing as much as the rest of the nation?

Let's look at the 2006 results. Virgil Goode failed to break 60% for the first time in his reelection. He defeated his same liberal Democrat challenger from 2004 59% to 40%. At the top of the ticket, Republican George Allen won the 5th District but lost the state. In the 5th, he won 54% of the vote to Webb's 45% of the vote. Let's first compare Goode to Allen. The crossover was down to 6% across the district.

Albemarle County: 42% Allen, 45% Goode (+3%)
Appomattox County: 65% Allen, 70% Goode (+5%)
Bedford County: 65% Allen, 71% Goode (+6%)
Brunswick County: 42% Allen, 46% (+4%)
Buckingham County: 54% Allen, 59% Goode (+5%)
Campbell County: 68% Allen, 72% Goode (+4%)
Charlotte County: 60% Allen, 65% Goode (+5%)
Cumberland County: 58% Allen, 63% Goode (+5%)
Fluvanna County: 54% Allen, 57% Goode (+3%)
Franklin County: 61% Allen, 71% Goode (+10%)
Greene County: 62% Allen, 64% Goode (+2%)
Halifax County: 59% Allen, 64% Goode (+5%)
Henry County: 57% Allen, 70% Goode (+13%)
Lunenburg County: 57% Allen, 62% (+5%)
Mecklenburg County: 59% Allen, 64% (+5%)
Nelson County: 46% Allen, 48% Goode (+2%)
Pittsylvania: 65% Allen, 70% Goode (+5%)
Prince Edward County: 52% Allen, 58% Goode (+6%)
Bedford City: 54% Allen, 61% Goode (+7%)
Charlottesville City: 22% Allen, 24% Goode (+2%)
Danville City: 50% Allen, 55% Goode (+5%)
Martinsville City: 43% Allen, 59% Goode (+16%)

Goode's crossover is flat across the district outside of his old State Senate district, with the lowest crossover in the northern parts of the district. What's important about this race is Webb's lackluster performance in the 5th. His 45% performance is just slightly north of John Kerry's 43%. And that's with a wave pushing the Democrats into office, including Jim Webb. In fact, Webb seems to have done uniquely poor in the 5th compared to his statewide surge. Look at this analysis of the shift in voting between 2004 and 2006. The Southside portions of the 5th and 4th are the heart of a strong pro-Republican shift against a Democrat wave. Why?

The Southeast region of the state is also the most heavily African-American. So despite "macaca", George Allen actually fared better these counties, relatively speaking, than George Bush did. Perhaps, you may think, as with urban areas, there is simply not much room for improvement? Not so; in Sussex County (61% African-American), Webb's 52-48 margin of victory was smaller than Kerry's 56-44 win. Again, it's unclear what to the underlying cause of Webb's weakness among African Americans was. Was it the result of more resources going into Central & Southwest Virginia? Allen's immediate effort to earn the endorsement of black politicians? Voter intimidation? We can't say which it was with any certainty.

I don't have a good reason for this shift to Allen. At the state and local level, George Allen has always been successful in reaching out to the African-American community, despite what liberals claim. Here's a dear friend of the St. Paul College community. I can also understand that Webb, strapped for cash, was unable to devote resources to the rural parts of the state. Were African-Americans juts not voting, or were they voting for Allen, or a little of both?

Whatever the reason, Virgil Goode was brought under 60% in 2006 thanks to a decline in his crossover appeal. Allen's 54% showing is only a slight decline from the historic 56% in the 5th District for Republican candidates. Goode would have hit 60% if he had the same crossover he did in 2004 or 2000. Drip by drip, election by election, his support is being narrowed to Republicans. That's fine with a Republican district like the 5th. Especially since the 5th District seemed to behave counter-cyclically in 2006, with something happening on the ground in Southside to blunt the Democratic wave felt nationally.

Scroll up and re-read my discussion of 2004. If Bush's national wave was enough to overcome a swing to the Democrats with demographic changes around Charlottesville, we'd expect the lack of Bush to help the Democrats. A "neutral" election in 2006 might even see the Democrats doing 4 points better in the 5th. Instead, they topped out around 2. That's with a Democratic wave pushing Webb into office. Something, either the strength of George Allen in Southside, the lack of resources of Jim Webb for rural Virginia, or the contrarian voting habits of the 5th District was pushing the 5th toward the Republican Party while everyone else seemed to be going to the Democrats.

Lucky for us, we have some polling from 2006 to add to the story. There are three Survey USA polls from 2006.

July 23-25: Goode 59%, Weed 35%
October 8-10: Goode 56%, Weed 40%
October 30-November 1: Goode 61%, Weed 35%
Election Day: Goode 59%, Weed 40%

The results seemed to be spot on for Goode, although it seems that all of the undecideds broke to Weed in the end. Maybe people didn't want to admit to a pollster, even a robotic one, that they like Weed?

Let's look at the interns for Survey USA.

First, race. The July poll had 19% black voters, the October poll 17%, and the final poll 17%.

Next, party. The July poll favored Republicans 45% to 29% Democrats to 23% Independents. In October, the breakdown was 42% Republican, 33% Democrats, 23% Independents. Final poll, 44% Republican, 32% Democrats, 22% Independents.

One more, ideology. The July poll had 44% conservatives, 35% moderates, and 11% liberals. October, 39% conservative, 39% moderate, and 13% liberals. Final, 42% conservative, 36% moderate, and 11% liberal.

We haven't talked about 2008 yet, that's Part Three, but I want to point out how these polls compare to the current Survey USA polls.

The RDD poll showing it an 11 point race has 20% black voters. The RBS poll showing it a 17 point race has only 12% black voters. That's projecting less black turnout than in 2006. While I understand that black turnout should be down from 2008, in which Survey US had it at 22% but believes the election day total was 25%, I don't see why it should be even less than 2006. The RDD seems more realistic than their RBS.

Also, their party breakdown in the RDD poll seems odd with 36% Republican, 32% Democrats, and 29% Independents. Is that a sign that they are underestimating Republican turnout? I don't know, because their ideology is 47% conservative, 35% moderate, and 10% liberal. That's very similar to 2006. Are more Republicans calling themselves independents these days because of the Tea Party? Could be.

Part three next.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Look Back on the 5th, Part One

Over the next few days, I'll be posting my analysis of the 5th District and point out trends to watch for on election night.

In 2000, Virgil Goode switched parties to become an Independent and went on to win his reelection 67% to 31% with a scattering for other candidates. No Republican candidate ran for office. At the top of the ticket, George Bush carried the district 56% to 40% for Al Gore. George Allen defeated Chuck Robb in the 5th district by a similar 57% to 43% margin. A 2% showing by Ralph Nader in the 5th District may have hurt Gore very slightly.

A while back, Ben Tribbett looked at the 5th District results for Bush and Allen to show very minor, but interesting, differences in their performances. It's difficult to put a real trend to the differences in performance for Bush and Allen, but the overall conclusion is that the 5th District's Republican lean was around 56% to 57%, with the Democrats counting on about 43% unless there was a "strong" third party candidate on the far left.

Virgil Goode's performance of almost 10 points better than the Republican party demonstrated the strength of his independent appeal and his deep ties to the district. Here's a short rundown of his performance compared to Bush and Allen across the district.

Albemarle County: 49% Bush, 48% Allen, 58% Goode (+9.5%)
Appomattox County: 62% Bush, 61% Allen, 69% Goode (+7.5%)
Bedford County: 67% Bush, 67% Allen, 79% Goode (+12%)
Buckingham County: 50% Bush, 52% Allen, 62% Goode (+11%)
Campbell County: 65% Bush, 65% Allen, 75% Goode (+10%)
Charlotte County: 57% Bush, 59% Allen, 63% Goode (+5%)
Cumberland County: 56% Bush, 58% Allen, 65% Goode (+8%)
Fluvanna County: 57% Bush, 58% Allen, 66% Goode (+8.5)
Franklin County: 60% Bush, 62% Allen, 82% Goode (+21%!)
Halifax County: 55% Bush, 55% Allen, 63% Goode (+8%)
Henry County: 55% Bush, 57% Allen, 72% Goode (+16%!)
Lunenburg County: 55% Bush, 55% Allen, 65% Goode (+10%)
Mecklenburg County: 57% Bush, 59% Allen, 58% Goode (+0%)
Nelson County: 47% Bush, 50% Allen, 61% Goode (+12.5%)
Patrick County: 66% Bush, 66% Allen, 82% Goode (+16%!)
Pittsylvania County: 65% Bush, 66% Allen, 74% Goode (+8.5%)
Prince Edward County: 51% Bush, 51% Allen, 54% Goode (+3%)
Bedford City: 52% Bush, 51% Allen, 68% Goode (+16.5%)
Charlottesville City: 31% Bush, 30% Allen, 43% Goode (+12.5%)
Danville City: 52% Bush, 52% Allen, 60% Goode (+8%)
Martinsville City: 45% Bush, 47% Allen, 64% Goode (+18%!)

Goode's old State Senate district included Franklin County (+21%), Henry County (+16%), Patrick County (+16%), and Martinsville City (+18%). These were among Goode's top crossover counties. But other impressive showings crisscrossed the district. Strong showings in the Bedford area next door to Franklin. A strong crossover in the "liberal" city of Charlottesville. And oddities I can't begin to explain like 0% in Mecklenburg (because it's in a NC media market? Home county of Democrat John Boyd?), the lowly 5% in Charlotte county (Kelley forgot to campaign?) but a strong 10% in neighboring Lunenburg.

I don't have any public polling of the 5th District from 2000, but I think we can conclude a few major points. First, Goode's over 60% showing was not because the district itself was a 60%+ Republican/conservative district. While strongly Republican for Bush and Allen, Goode's own personal appeal to independents and Democrats who voted for Al Gore and Chuck Robb was able to push him over the 60% benchmark. Second, I wonder if Goode is kicking himself for letting the legislature take out Patrick County and parts of Henry County after the 2000 redistricting. While Goode's crossover dropped significantly by the time we reach 2008, he might have pulled out a narrow victory if he had more of his old base in the 5th District.

Two years later, after redistricting, Virgil Goode defeated Charlottesville liberal Meredith Richards 63% to 36%. This is down slightly from his 2000 victory. This year, Goode openly affiliated with the Republican Party. He also didn't have the enthusiasm of a presidential election getting out the base to elect a Republican President and drag down Senator Chuck Robb. But I've hardly heard anyone argue that 2002 was a year in which Democrats benefited from an "enthusiasm" gap. It's worth noting that after redistricting, the 5th became slightly less Republican. The new 5th, which had Goode give up core supporters in Patrick and Henry to gain voters in Albemarle, Greene, and Brunswick lowered Bush's performance from 56% to 55% and increased Gore's to 41% from 40%, with a stronger showing for Ralph Nader in the district thanks to more of the suburbs of Albemarle. Given Goode's crossover in the rest of Albemarle in 2000 (less than his district wide showing) and in the more African-American counties in the Southeast (like Mecklenburg and Prince Edward), adding Albemarle and Brunswick probably reduced his overall crossover appeal across the district. Not that it mattered in 2002.

There's no polling for the 5th District race in 2004 either, but we can compare it to Bush's performance in the district. Goode won another solid victory, this time over liberal Democrat Al Weed, 64% to 36%, virtually unchanged from 2002. Bush won the district with 56% of the vote, slightly higher than what his 2000 showing in the district would have been. Kerry was able to pull back Nader voters and beat Gore's performance with 43% of the vote. Here's the comparison of Goode and Bush.

Albemarle County: 49% Bush, 50% Goode (+1%)
Appomattox County: 66% Bush, 75% Goode (+9%)
Bedford County: 67% Bush, 76% Goode (+9%)
Brunswick County: 40% Bush, 51% Goode (+11%)
Buckingham County: 53% Bush, 64% Goode (+11%)
Campbell County: 69% Bush, 76% Goode (+7%)
Charlotte County: 58% Bush, 70% Goode (+12%)
Cumberland County: 58% Bush, 65% Goode (+7%)
Fluvanna County: 59% Bush, 62% Goode (+3%)
Franklin County: 63% Bush, 75% Goode (+12%)
Greene County: 66% Bush, 69% Goode (+3%)
Halifax County: 57% Bush, 68% Goode (+11%)
Henry County: 60% Bush, 75% Goode (+15%)
Lunenburg County: 55% Bush, 68% Goode (+13%)
Mecklenburg County: 57% Bush, 66% Goode (+9%)
Nelson County: 50% Bush, 53% Goode (+3%)
Pittsylvania County: 65% Bush, 74% Goode (+9%)
Prince Edward County: 49% Bush, 57% Goode (+8%)
Bedford City: 58% Bush, 64% Goode (+6%)
Charlottesville City: 27% Bush, 29% Goode (+2%)
Danville City: 49% Bush, 58% Goode (+9%)
Martinsville City: 45% Bush, 66% Goode (+21%)

Goode's crossover from Bush is down to 8%, a slight change from the 10% in 2000. But I think the pattern has changed dramatically. Areas in the northern part of the district, such as Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, and Nelson, have very small crossovers while all three were close to average in 2000. His crossover in his old State Senate district is down outside of Martinsville. Instead, Goode has expanded his crossover in the more rural parts of the district. The changes in the crossover could be caused by many factors. Goode is now the incumbent and should be expected to have the advantage across the district. Weed, based in Nelson County, probably had enough resources to devote to the campaign in the northern part of the district. But with a severe financial disadvantage, it's doubtful Weed was able to significantly reach out to voters in the Southside portion of the district.

Looking back, this is the first sign of trouble for Goode. Goode's personal appeal is on the decline and his advantage over a typical Republican seems to be based on a generic advantage as the better financed incumbent. If a Democrat with real resources were able to run against Goode they could cut his crossover appeal down to zero. That would leave him hanging onto the core of Republican voters, around 56% of the district in the period from 2000 to 2004--several good election cycles for Virginia Republicans. What would happen if you combined a good Democratic year with a Democrat with resources?

Stay tuned for 2006 and beyond . . .

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Senator Hurt Flip-Flopping to Election Day

Want a clear sign that the election is just two weeks away?

Watch Senator Hurt flip-flop on issue after issue trying to pander to voters in his race against Tom Perriello.

First, he's flip-flopping on trade and coming out against a trade deal with South Korea that's been supported by both President Bush and President Obama. This is just days after his stuttering performance in the WSLS debate where he was unable to name one issue where he would break from his party. After receiving heat from Perriello for not opposing the trade deal, his handlers have decided that they need Hurt to change his position from waffling to solidly opposed. Norman Leahy has more on the bipartisan idiocy in opposing this trade deal.

So now Hurt finally has an issue where he can claim he disagrees with his party. Good for him. And he's come around to supporting the same job killing, protectionist stance of his opponent, Tom Perriello. Great. Now with either candidate we'll have someone in office who will vote against job creation and innovation.

But that's not good enough. Senator Hurt wants to do more to run our economy into the ditch, again, and end job creation in Virginia. So he's now adopted the anti-uranium mining position of his environmentalist opponent.

Hurt, he said, is also on record as opposing the lifting of the state uranium-mining ban. Both these positions, LaCivita noted, are consistent with Perriello’s views.

First off, if Hurt is opposed to lifting the uranium-mining ban, why did he vote for a study to assess the potential for uranium-mining? I guess he was for it before he was against it! Senator Hurt's opposition to uranium mining means fewer jobs for Southside Virginia. It means retarding the development of the nuclear energy industry around Lynchburg. It means continued dependency on Russia for our uranium needs. Senator Hurt, you should be ashamed for flip-flopping on this issue and putting your election ahead of economic growth for Southside.

How many more flip-flops can Senator Hurt perform before Election Day?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Candidates' Personal Lives

A few weeks ago, I was provide with a few fascinating leads into the personal life of Senator Robert Hurt. At the time, I followed up on the leads and decided that while probably true, they didn't provide enough reason to bring them to light at this time. Already Senator Hurt had tried to drag Jeff Clark's name through the mud, but I felt like this blog would take the high road and stay away from the dirty politics of personal attacks. I also had hopes that the media in the 5th District would finally step up and perform its duty as the watchdog of the public good.

Well, this is what I get for living democracy in the hands of Catherine Amos and Janelle Rucker.

Now that the press has decided that Tommy Boy's driving lesson is the most important issue in the campaign, I have been contacted by a few people who I informed about this information regarding Senator Hurt. With the election days away, they are encouraging me to put out into the public some overlooked episodes in Hurt's past. This is the only way to ensure that the public can make an informed decision.

I have consistently criticized Tucker Watkins for his decision to attack Tom Perriello as a "New York Lawyer" during the 2008 campaign. Tucker continues to be a gossip mongering spreading absurd lies about Tommy Boy. But I've also been told that the Hurt campaign has also been participating in whisper campaigns against their Democrat opponent, not just his geographic origins but his sexual orientation. This sort of scorched earth politics may be natural for Senator Hurt's highly paid Washington consultants, but it's not how we do things in Virginia.

I have not decided yet if I am going to discuss the information I've been provided about Senator Hurt. But I want to make clear that the tone of this entire election has been offensive.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

DCCC Hanging Onto Perriello

With all of the back and forth over the election, debates over the issues, and accusations of flip flopping, it's hard to keep focus on what really matters.

Demonstrating to people that I'm right and they are wrong.

A few months ago the blogosphere was a buzz with the news that the DCCC had decided to cut off vulnerable Democrats like Tom Perriello and Frank Kratovil. I called this out as absurd reporting by the Washington Post and totally wrong.

The list of vulnerable Democrats is based not on an internal statement by the DCCC, but by the journalist's own guess work. We know this as a fact. How? Because it includes Frank Kratovil of Maryland. DCCC Head Chris Van Hollen of Maryland is NOT going to indicate that they are cutting off his fellow Maryland Democrat. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is NOT going to give up on saving Kratovil. End of story.

The same is true of Perriello. Tommy Boy is the White House's favorite Democrat. They are not going to give up on him. The more people talk about Perriello being cut off, the lazier Robert Hurt's already lackluster campaign will become. Believing this crap is dangerous and could cost Hurt the election.

Well where are we now? Months later?

National Democrats are still pouring money into the reelection bids of freshman Reps. Tom Perriello (Va.), Glenn Nye (Va.) and Frank Kratovil (Md.), even as the party has largely given up on some other candidates facing similarly tough races across the country.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has drawn attention by canceling its reservations for advertising time in a handful of districts where the committee believes its chances are dwindling, shifting its resources to more winnable races.

But although Kratovil, Perriello and Nye all regularly appear on lists of the most endangered incumbents in the country, the DCCC appears to believe they still have a fighting chance and has spent more than $1.5 million combined on the three contests.


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Of the vulnerable Democrats mentioned in September, I specifically objected to Perriello and Kratovil. Now, with days to go, the DCCC has cut off the other vulnerable liberals mentioned in the Washington Post story but continues to cling to Perriello and Kratovil. I CALLED IT!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Robert Hurt, Chronic Liar?

The fund raising numbers for the Perriello and Hurt campaigns are in . . .

Perriello's campaign said it will report raising $810,000 in that time frame, giving him $1.3 million on hand in the final stretch of the contest, which is one of the most closely watched races in the country.

Hurt's camp said it will report raising more than $900,000 in the same period, making it the strongest fundraising showing so far for Hurt, who is running neck and neck in the polls with Perriello. Jeffrey A. Clark, an independent running in the 5th, has not reported.

Hurt out raising Perriello by a solid $90,000, if not more once the numbers come out? That's impressive for the lackluster challenger.

Wait, you say that the FEC numbers show Hurt raising less than $900,000? Only $891,769? Well I guess he's allowed to be generous in rounding, but shouldn't he say "almost $900,000" instead of "more than $900,000?"

We've been here before.

Sen. Robert Hurt, R-Chatham, led the crowded GOP field with $101,110 worth of donations.

Hurt’s total was a bit less than the $105,000 his campaign told The Daily Progress in an interview Thursday evening for a story that appeared Friday.

This is the second time that Hurt has exaggerated his fund raising claims. Is career politician and chronic tax raiser Senator Hurt also a chronic liar? Or does his campaign just not know how to count?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Clark Should Stay In Race

On Wednesday, Senator Robert Hurt finally stepped up to debate the important issues in this year's election. Unfortunately, he appeared only with his Democrat opponent Tom Perriello. Independent conservative Jeff Clark was purposefully excluded from the debates because of Senator Hurt's opposition. There are several inconvenient truths about Hurt's weaselly attempts to shut down Clark's campaign.

First, it is in direct contrast to Hurt's refusal in the primaries to consider one-on-one debates with his Republican opponent Laurence Verga. Back then, Senator Hurt said, "Ignoring all the other candidates as Mr. Verga has done in this request is nothing more than a political stunt and is frankly insulting to the fine contributions each of the other candidates have brought to this campaign."

Senator Hurt is flip-flopping on the importance of debates including all candidates. Hypocrite Hurt.

Second, this is nothing more than a political stunt from his handlers that goes against what Senator Hurt originally said when asked about debating Jeff Clark. On the campaign trail, Senator Hurt said he would debate Clark. Then his handlers realized they didn't want this to happenand forced Hurt to go back on his word.

Senator Hurt is flip-flopping on what he said and going back on his word. We call that lying where I'm from.

Third, excluding a third party candidate from the debates goes against the precedent set by former Congressman Virgil Goode, who always pushed to include all candidates in the debates. Goode always understood that it's better to foster democracy and a discussion of ideas than try to score political points by excluding a rival from the debates. Hurt claims he wants to listen to his constituents, but unfortunately he doesn't want them listening to all of the candidates.

Senator Hurt is undermining one of the basic principles of our democracy, that every citizen has a right to be heard and all candidates should be respected as equals.

Fourth, this stance had resulted in Senator Hurt turning down invitations from seniors and veterans. Some of the oldest and most respected debates in the 5th District will now be between Clark and Perriello because Senator Hurt is too afraid to include Clark.

Senator Hurt is cutting and running from our seniors and veterans, putting politics ahead of public service.

Despite these shenanigans, some are pushing for Clark to pull out of the race, instead of pushing for Hurt to accept Clark in the debates. It only goes to show how much of a fraud many of these so-called Tea Party activists are that they care more about silencing a true conservative than standing up to an elite member of the establishment.

I firmly believe that Clark should not pull out of the campaign. To do so, unconditionally, would hand Senator Hurt exactly what he wants: a silenced opposition on the right. Furthermore, pulling out now would end the ongoing lawsuit by the Rutherford Institute against this two party duopoly. I support this lawsuit moving forward and hence call on Clark to stay in the fight.

Right now, so-called Tea Party activists are calling on Clark to pull out of the race because they fear that he may act as a spoiler to Senator Hurt. This is fundamentally undemocratic and elitist. Imagine the snobbery of insulting a candidate's supporters for being too dumb to make the decision for themselves if they want to support Clark, and potentially diminish support for Senator Hurt, or if they want to hold their nose and vote for Senator Hurt anyway. In an election we trust the voters to make the right decision. Why are Clark's supporters being questioned for their inteligence. It is their right to weigh the pro's and con's of voting for Clark, voting for Hurt, or hell even voting for Perriello. Or writing in someone. Or not voting at all. Individual choice is at the core of our democracy.

Clark has every right to stay in the race. His supporters have every right to vote for whomever they wish. I see a constant stream of Hurtards complaining that Perriello's campaign is just negative attacks on Hurt. But then they turn around and try to bully Clark and his supporters by focusing entirely on negatives about Perriello. Maybe Hurtards should spend more time selling their candidate to Clark and his supporters? You attract more flies with honey than vinegar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Brian Moran as Chairman. Why?

I didn't care when I first heard about Dickie Cranwell stepping down as Chairman of the Democrat Party of Virginia. I cared even less when I heard that former Delegate and Democrat primary bronze medalist Brian Moran was the shoe in to replace him. Trading one liberal out of touch elitist for another. His ties to the corrupt lobbying firm PMA through his brother Congressman Jim Moran, now barely ahead in the polls, make Brian Moran the perfect face for a disorganized party going into the 2011 elections trying to defend their vulnerable State Senate majority. Thank you Democrats! Can you make this any easier for us?

But then I noticed Virginia's leading investigative blogger, Ben Tribbett, blog about the selection process behind Moran. According to Tribbett, Moran was the pick of Senator Mark Warner, with Senator Jim Webb going along with no real interest (2012 retirement please?). This confirms what I've heard from other sources that Moran is the consensus pick of established Democrats. What surprised me is that Tribbett ties the selection process to former lobbyist David Hallock, who as of October 1st is working for Senator Mark Warner. Hallock, as a lobbyist for Kemper Consulting, supported the efforts to end the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia and is one of several Kemper Consulting lobbyists who have contributed to Robert Hurt during his ten year career.

Why is Warner backing Moran as Chairman of the Democrat Party of Virginia? Jeff Schapiro of the Richard Times outlines several of Moran's problems, including his ties to the for-profit college industry that is coming under attack from President Barack Obama and other Democrats. So we have a lackluster liberal loser with ties to earmark corruption and questionable institutions as the pick for rebuilding the Democrat Party of Virginia?

Something doesn't smell fresh in the land of Arlington.

Paul Goldman, who's years in politics makes him a walking history book of Democrat Party politics, points out that Moran is giving up an almost certain shot at a safe Democrat State Senate seat in 2011 by becoming Chairman. Why would Moran do this? Either Moran didn't feel secure in his chances at the nomination, making the Chairmanship a silver medal at best for a candidate that couldn't even win a Democrat primary for a State Senate seat. Or Moran is being tempted with something bigger and better than a State Senate seat.

It's clear that being state party chair following what is sure to be another pathetic election for Virginia Democrats isn't a great gig. Trying to organize the party in advance of what could be another bad year in 2011 isn't exactly an easy job. Moran has ruled out a run for office in 2013, but has been mum on other years. Warner, the former state party chair who used the position to leverage himself into a statewide run, is now claiming that he doesn't believe the chairmanship should be used for higher office. Hah! I wouldn't be surprised if a slot opens up for Moran in the future, after 2013, that becomes payback for his willingness to take the Chairmanship.

There's one question that we haven't answered yet. Why would this deal even take place? Moran could just as well go for the State Senate and sit around waiting for a better job to open up after 2013. By doing this, he's probably locked down Warner's support for future office. But what's in it for Warner? Why would Warner and the other insiders even entertain this deal, with all of the political baggage that comes with Moran.

Just weeks before the November election, Warner is moving to lock down the Chairmanship for Moran and prevent anyone else from mounting a bid.

The plot thickens.

It's likely that three, potentially four, Virginia Democrats will be looking for a job after November. I rank Connolly as a likely Democratic hold, so we'll put him aside for now. Boucher has had a good run and would be an unlikely pick for future office. Nye has so alienated the Democrat base I can't see him having a future in politics. That leaves Tommy Boy.

If Dickie had announced his retirement some time after the election, there's a good chance that Tom Perriello would be out looking for a job. And a good chance that Perriello could make a bid and block Moran from the Chairmanship. Warner has been publicly supportive of Perriello, but this whole situation makes me wonder if Warner and other Virginia Democrats are just going through the motions to show support while working behind the scenes to kill off any Perriello comeback in the future.

Look at the facts. Warner is selecting Moran through a former lobbyist who has contributed to Robert Hurt. This lobbyist was also involved in the push to end the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia, a key issue in this year's election between Hurt and Perriello. It's widely known that the moratorium will be addressed in the 2012 General Assembly Session, shortly after the scientific study of mining is finalized and released. Do the powers that be in Virginia politics want a heated debate over uranium mining that allows treehuggers and luddites to kill this major economic development project? Or do they want to make sure that both parties remain silent on the issue so it can sail through the legislature easily?

That's just one reason why Warner and others want to push Perriello permanently from the public light. A 2013 gubernatorial run by Perriello would resemble the days of Henry "Howlin'" Howell. The Big Boys don't want to go through that again and are calling on their long friend and ally, Mark Warner, to make sure the Democratic Party, while hopelessly liberal and out of touch, remains a pawn of the lobbyists and special interests just as much as the Republican Party is. These are the same "respectable" folks that Warner trotted out in 2004 to make the case that raising taxes was necessary and had to be done. Aren't you glad that Warner's looking out for the best interests of Virginia?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jay Warren Is A Pathetic Reporter!

This evening, Robert Hurt will finally step up and debate Tom Perriello at a candidate forum hosted by WSLS in Roanoke with "reporter" Jay Warren as the moderator. I say "reporter" because his recent candidate profiles leave me asking if Warren attended the same journalism school of Tea Party terrorist Mike Troxel. Warren has shown himself unable to do even basic reporting. His candidate profile of Robert Hurt focuses heavily on Hurt's ties to the district.

“Yeah he's got a lot of history. His family's been here forever,” Hicks said.

That becomes obvious when you walk down the street with Hurt, where everyone stops to say hello. Or Hurt stops them, even the reporters.

"Hey here's Russell. Russell's an ace crack reporter for the Star-Tribune. He does a great job,” Hurt said, introducing the reporter to me. I asked Hurt about his connection with Chatham.

WARREN: “What does Chatham mean to you?”

HURT: “Chatham, I think, means to me personally so much because of course it's where I grew up and it's where my people are and I love it for that reason.”

WARREN: “But for an ambitious person, a lot of people would say you move to the big city, that's where you make all the money, that's where all the action is. Why not go to the big city? Why come to the small town Virginia?”

I can't read any more because I'm about to throw up.

Warren leaves out some important details in Hurt's biography.

Why doesn't Warren ask Hurt about being born in New York City and growing up for nine years in New York City?

Why doesn't Warren ask Hurt about his time at one of the leading private prep schools in the nation?

Why doesn't Warren ask him about his continued attendance at private universities? Does Hurt have any experiences with "the little people?"

Why doesn't Warren ask Hurt about his long term agenda. Yes, an "ambitious" man might move to a big city. Or he could move to a backwoods corner of the state where he can easily secure a political base in order to run for higher office.

Warren is a pathetic reporter, giving even Catherine Amos a run for her money. If this is the game he brings to the debate tonight prepare to be disappointed. It will be a Warren-Hurt love fest.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hurt's Bailout, And You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Back in February, I noted that Senator Hurt's lackluster fundraising was going to cause serious problems for GOP plans to knock off Tom Perriello. A bailout of Hurt by Washington special interests was bound to happen if Hurt didn't kick up his fundraising on his own. He bled himself dry winning a Republican primary that should have been a cake walk for any standard conservative candidate. In May, we noted that Hurt continued to struggle and had about as much on hand as former Congressman Virgil Goode, who wasn't even running. We've been waiting for this Hurt bailout, and I explained the possible forms it would come:

This will mean more funneling of corporate and lobbyist money into Hurt's campaign. He needs a major cash infusion and it doesn't matter where it is from. With the cap on maximum contributions, look for Hurt's campaign to try new and desperate tactics. Perhaps LaCivita will pioneer the use of "independent" corporate ads in the post-Citizens United era. . . .

How long until some of Hurt's big donors are running ads in the Republican primary defending him? I have nothing wrong with corporations expressing free speech, just like George Soros is free to give money to Tommy Boy. But when Soros does it we know who really owns Tommy's vote. So let's not pretend that Hurt is anything but a tool of the big corporations that depend on Washington for bailout money when the corporations pick up the slack to give him the nomination.

I was wrong to think that Hurt needed the bailout to save his ass in the primary, but it seems true that the Washington establishment is pulling out all the stops to get Hurt elected. The NRCC has been spending heavily on this race. And the NRCC isn't the only outside group spending money. The US Chamber of Commerce has also gotten involved, but there are some serious questions about their funding.

Here is the story, plain as day. The UC Chamber of Commerce has one bank account for all of its activities. Money goes on, money comes out. The money that goes in isn't tracked or accounted for in anyway. It's a slush fund. Money comes in from foreign companies, some of them owned by foreign countries, hoping to influence the US political process through the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber tells us not to worry because they don't use this money for running political ads, which would be illegal. But the fact is we don't know.

When President Obama and Speaker Boehner bring new free trade deals to the floor, they'll go to then Congressman Hurt and explain that while this is just more of the same job-killing outsourcing that Southside has experienced for decades, they need his vote. After all, they financed his campaign against Tommy Boy in the first place. They'll call in their favor . . .

Of course this isn't the only bailout happening in the 5th District. Perriello is in the fight of his life and his friends and allies are on the air too. The DCCC is running ads attacking Senator Hurt. Perriello's union and environmental friends have done polling on the race and I expect them to join the fight on TV soon too.

Who else?

None other than George Soros.

The media has finally decided to start reporting on Soros, an infamous opponent of Israel, bankrolling the new liberal "Jewish" lobbying group J STret. Just like the Chamber hiding its contributions from foreign companies, J Street was hiding its contributions from an avowed opponent of Israel. I've blogged about the connection between Soros, J Street, and Perriello before. As I said then, Perriello is at the vanguard of a radical revolution trying to tear down America's hegemony and put our national security in the hands of the UN and other international bodies. He is not a pawn in this game. He's one of the leading fighters.

When will some Soros funded group enter into the 5th District of Virginia? When will we see ads run by "Virginian Families United For Virginia Values in Virginia" or something absurd like that defending Perriello?

It's sad that the 5th District race is coming down to these two candidates. There is no doubt that Hurt will be a lapdog of the Republican establishment that brought us the deficit spending of the Bush years that culminated in the Wall Street bailouts. He will not be a friend to the Tea Party conservatives like Coburn and DeMint. But on the other side Perriello, who has demonstrated a great degree of independence on cultural and social issues, but who is at the forefront of destroying Israel and retreating from America's place at the top of the pack in the world.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hurt Campaign Meltdown!

Egg is all over the face of supposed "expert" Larry Sabato for saving that the momentum is behind Robert Hurt in the race in Virginia's 5th District. Since that time several polls have come out showing that Perriello is still solidly in the game. Sabato and his aide Isaac Wood are trying to cut the baby in half between the bogus Survey USA polls and the other polls in the race which have shown a much, much closer election. Wood estimates a six point race, which is the highest any non-Survey USA poll has shown the race and that was created by Republican polling firms specifically excluding Jeff Clark from the poll. If the most that Hurt can post without Clark being polled is six points, it's a lot closer than that!

Fresh on the heels of a poll from Tommy Boy's environmentalist and union friends showing it a one point race, which was dismissed as just another "biased" Democrat poll, comes a truly independent, nonpartisan poll from the professional publication The Hill. They are polling key races across the country and find Perriello to be among the best positioned incumbent Democrats in their poll! He is behind by one point without even including Jeff Clark in the poll, which could knock off Hurt by three or four points! Could Perriello actually be leading?!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Perriello's Plan for Victory

Tom Perriello is giving free rides to the polls for UVA Students.

Remember how close he won last time? His trial lawyer supporter John Grisham does.

Perriello won that election by 727 votes over former Rep. Virgil Goode “after they found some missing ballot boxes in Charlottesville,” Grisham said to chuckles from the crowd.

Actually, the votes that put Perriello over the top were absentee ballots that Charlottesville election officials didn’t count until after Election Day.

There were multiple rumors of voter fraud in Charlottesville in 2008, although the Obama Justice Department never seemed to get around to investigating them. Too busy with the Black Panthers I guess. Perriello is preparing the steal the election through the UVA student vote, bringing up the question why college students are allowed to vote in Charlottesville in the first place. Why hasn't this been fixed at the state level?