Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Post-Primary Thoughts

Nothing deep, just some observations.

First, with 35,307 total voters coming out for a turnout of just about 8%, I have to say that this primary had lower turnout than expected based on past competitive House primaries in Virginia. AND the turnout was lower than originally projected by the Hurt campaign. But if you look at other primaries in Virginia, including the crazy challenge to Wittman in the 1st, it's about the same. Which tells me that this is what you'd expect from any primary, even a low profile one like the 1st.

Conclusion: For all of the talk about the Tea Partiers bringing in lots of new voters there was . . . nothing. #Fail. Your usual set of folks came out and voted for your usual guy. State Senator Robert Hurt. Who won with just under 50% of the vote.

Second, with 17,104 voters coming out for Robert Hurt, just over a third of them were cast in Danville and Pittsylvania, Hurt's backyard. To give you a comparison, 20% of all votes in the primary were cast in Danville and Pittsylvania. And in 2008, 16% of voters in the 5th were in Danville and Pittsylvania.

Talking about people voting for their local candidate. Boyd won Albemarle and Morton won Fluvanna. But Hurt managed to pull off victory in Charlottesville and run second in both Albemarle and Fluvanna. So I'm revoking what I said earlier about lower expectations for Hurt in the northern end. He totally showed his ability to bring home some voters in the north. Anyone who voted against him in the north had a fair opportunity to hear about him and make the decision to vote against him.

McKelvey won Greene, Cumberland, Buckingham, Bedford County and City, and Franklin (essentially a tie with Hurt). And I'll throw in that he practically tied Hurt in Campbell County!

Outside of his home base of Danville and Pittsylvania, Hurt did worst in the localities where Perriello performed the best relative to typical Democratic performance in 2008. In other words, in localities where Perriello was picking up his largest numbers of McCain voters, the Republican primary voters yesterday backed someone other than Robert Hurt. In localities where McCain voters were more solid for Virgil Goode, the Republican primary voters backed Robert Hurt.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The strongest Hurt supporters I've encountered online tend to view Perriello as a Pelosi clone and they refuse to accept that he may have any appeal to independent voters. The strongest Hurt opponents I've encountered online will admit that Perriello is an impressive Representative who stands up for what he thinks is right and has some appeal to people who aren't card carrying Communists in the People's Republic of Charlottesville.


  1. well, Perriello is bringing us a bike trail. there's that.

    NAS, even if he truly believed that Obamacare was right, it was still the wrong vote. And contrary to some naysayers, there is no way that I will ever believe that the majority of voters in the 5th wanted it.

    I feel better about Hurt's numbers in the north after yesterday. Lots of work to do, but lots of energy, too. Very classy of Boyd & Ferrin & Verga to endorse so early & with enthusiam.

  2. Kelley, if it was unfair to say that Hurt was not a conservative because of his 2004 vote to raise taxes and his 2007 vote for an unconstitutional transportation plan, why is it fair to judge Perriello on just two or three votes?

  3. NAS, in your analysis, I want to make the following points:

    -"AND the turnout was lower than originally projected ".......every projection I saw across the district predicted 5% at the best and most expected less!

    -"But if you look at other primaries in Virginia, including the crazy challenge to Wittman in the 1st, it's about the same"......Only one of the other districts had anywhere near the 8.3% turnout of the 5th and it was only 1% more! The rest ranged from 3.3% to 7.7% .................NOT "about the same"!

    - "State Senator Robert Hurt. Who won with just under 50% of the vote." You know, that sounds as a rather poor performance, UNLESS you factor in that he competed against SIX other opponents that all consistently campaigned against ONLY Hurt or against Perriello as opposed to campaigning against any of the othger six.

    For one man to take 48.51% of the vote in a SEVEN PERSON race representing virtually all of the conservative political spectrum is adsolutely phenomenal!

    - "Hurt did worst in the localities where Perriello performed the best relative to typical Democratic performance in 2008." you're saying that Perriello won in 2008 all by himself and the EXTRA-ordinary turnout of minorities in the 5th District in 2008 in response to Obama's presidential run HAD NO EFFECT on the precincts where you say Hurt was lacking??? Have you read any of the results of the 2008 election? Is this just wild conjecgture on your part?

    - I may not be one of your....."The strongest Hurt supporters I've encountered online".....but I DO RECOGNIZE that Perriello is not stupid, has a tremendous support from both the Democrat party and the ultra-liberal monied interests world-wide, is willing to stand up to what he believes is right, AND, is also WRONG on most of what he believes is right for the 5th District!

    So, we conservatives need to recognize this threat zand back Hurt in defeating him! It's the only wazy!

  4. VaPatriot,

    I saw predictions of higher turnout, including Hurt's own campaign saying that they expected around 50,000 voters. And based on the competitive primaries in the 1st and 7th the last time they had an open seat I thought 50,000 was on target.

    Outside of the 8th, they all were in the 7 to 10 range, which is pretty close in my book.

    I'm not saying that Perriello won all by himself. I specifically was drawing a comparison between the primary results and a geographic trend I had noticed earlier from analyzing the 2008 election. Look at the parts of the 5th were Perriello ran ahead of Obama. Then look at where Hurt performed poorly. They are practically one and the same.

  5. NAS: RH will run better some places over others. This race is not 2008: Perriello doesn't have the Obama draw (c'mon: it helped him to GOTV (his vote) in some areas). RH, for better or worse, is totally different kind of candidate than Cong. Goode.

    Perriello has tons more money. He has Pelosi backing. Tim Kaine will have to defend this seat. But Perriello also has some really, really bad votes: we're not talking about some votes that we might not prefer; we are talking about anti-capitalism/anti-American votes.

    the landscape is different. still tough.