analysis by precinct

Brent Finnegan -- November 7th, 2007

Here’s a brief look at the five city precincts, and 29 in the county:

Carolyn Frank pulled more than 80 percent in the Northeast part of the city. Dianne Fulk took all five. Maxine Roles didn’t win any precincts in the city, but pulled off 45.92 percent in the East Central precinct. As Adam Sharp pointed out last year:

Spotswood precinct has the “Old Town” apartment houses, while Stone Spring has the apartment complexes (South View, Ashby, the Commons, etc). My experience at JMU led me to see the “Old Town” students to be more likely to be locally registered. However, there are many professors and JMU-affiliated staff living in Old Town, and I think you’re seeing the liberal/progressive vote coming from that group.

It’s no surprise that Obenshain, Hanger and Lohr dominated in the county, but a few precincts stand out as either anomalous or erroneously reported by SBE. The Ottobine district went 81.81 percent for Roles. Assuming that’s not an SBE error, Roles must have done something right in Ottobine. And how did Lohr get zero votes in Mount Crawford Clinton?

Fulk did well in Broadway, Timberville, Bridgewater, and Elkton (the bigger towns) but couldn’t quite carry the more rural parts of the expansive county. The county is crucial, as it outweighs the city by around 3:1 voters.

There was nothing unexpected about the Hanger – Cox – Sime race in southern Rockingham. Where were all the Sayre supporters? Most of them must have either stayed home or voted for Hanger, because Sime sure wasn’t pulling in Sayre’s numbers.

In both the city and the county, voter turnout was remarkably low — even lower than some of the predictions I had heard. Broadway’s mayor, John Long, received nine votes. He was running unopposed. Nine votes? Although the SBE website results showed nine votes for Broadway Mayor with 100 percent reporting at the time of this posting, the DNR now reports he was re-elected with 607 votes.


28 Responses to “analysis by precinct”

  1. Bubby says:

    I don’t know, the voting looked to be about 1/3 of the registered voters – about par with the rest of the state and in the 26th (Lohr / Obenshain) it was nearly 40%. Say what you will, but people in the Valley vote. 60% will even vote for a dead guy, charitably because he had an “R” in front of his name – that’s Stickin’ it to the Man Rockingham!. The shame is that native daughter Esther Nizer, an over-qualified candidate, was ready, willing, and able.

    Who said George Allen is gone? Not Rockingham. We awarded the Clerk’s office to his former staffer in an impressive display of elephant herding. What happened to the rogue candidate Biller? He was trampled by the herd as they locked trunk-to-tail and obediently followed the Party lead. Fulk did an amazing job (losing by less than 600 votes), but in a place where people would rather admit to dating their cousin than voting Democratic, she had to fight for every vote.

    I’m impressed by the support for Cox against the popular Hanger (20%). And Roles did even better against Obenshain (24%). Incumbents Saxman, Landes, Lohr all got high write in opposition, but not as astounding as Dave “Abuser Fee” Albo (R-42) who saw over 12% of his constituents write in “anyone but Dave”.

    Statewide, the Senate rolled to the Democrats, who also saw significant gains in the House. That means that Hanger won’t be taking the chair on the Agriculture committee, and the Valley’s economic voice will be diminished.

    My Republican friends tell me that this is blowback from an unpopular President, and unpopular war. That ignores the clear trend in Virginia – Democrats are on the rise. While Republicans have made an art of obstruction in Richmond, getting the vapors over “protecting marriage”, and stewing over “illlegal immigrants”, Democrats are talking about transportation, schools, smart growth, healthcare, and better jobs – stuff that Virginians expect their government to look after.

    We have it good in the Valley, so it’s easy to get sidetracked by emotional issues that have little import. But if we are serious about getting the trucks off the Interstate, making the Shenandoah clean, or finding new industry to replace a poultry industry we’ll have to quit picking Representatives based on their oath to not tax us. We need folks in Richmond that will work together, find solutions, and equitably divide the costs. Nobody rides for free.

  2. MAW says:

    finnegan, it was Mt. Clinton not Crawford that Lohr received no votes. I noticed that also. I’m in that precinct.

  3. finnegan says:

    Mistake corrected.

    I guess you’re right, Bubby. The turnout just seemed really low to me.

    I wish I knew how to draw political cartoons, but I don’t, so here

  4. Emmy says:

    Yeah that about sums it up.

  5. Tim says:

    I was rooting for Fulk to pull out the Clerk of Court nomination as well and had started to believe in the possibility to a degree that I was disappointed when reality happened.

    However, we can all give a collective sigh of relief that we have another 8 years till we have to go through that mess again. Can we use all the candidates street signs to heat an orphanage? How can we get some good out of all that empty talk over a position that should be appointed, not elected.

    The 2015 race won’t be as bad though since we can all agree that David Miller of You Made It/Midtowne Market fame is heads and shoulders above the rest of the candidates. He excels at managing people in a firm but respectful way, his organization skills would impress your mother, and he knows where the courthouse is so he could get to work everyday with relatively little hassle.

    So don’t forget,
    David Miller for Clerk of Court in 2015, “It’s Miller Time.”

  6. cook says:

    Bubby – be consistent. If you are going to speak derogatorily about all votes for Chaz as “elephant herding,” you cannot then say that voting for the Dem candidate was “amazing” as she had to “fight for every vote.” If Dems voting for the Dem is acceptable (which it is), then Pubs voting for the Pub must also be acceptable; if Pubs voting for the Pub is “elephant herding,” then Dems voting for the Dem is – – – well – “donkey” herding.

    Your *yawn* above, Brent, could not have been about the clerk’s race; however, there were too many uncontested races on the ballot. But isn’t that what the local parties should be doing, recruiting and training candidates for the next election?

    So we now have to have a special election for the Commissioner of the Revenue. What a waste of money. Instead of organizing a campaign to force a special election, the GOP should have organized a write in campaign. Shame. Any predictions about the turnout in the special election?

    The impact of internet punditry was next to zero, as expected.

    My biggest surprise was that, when I arrived at the polling place and ran the gauntlet of poll workers, no one handed me anything. They had plenty of papers in their hands, and I tried to make eye contact with every one, but no one except Brenda Huffman said anything to me. Granted, they looked cold, but each would have been just as effective had they stuck one more sign in the ground where they were standing and gone home to a hot cup of coffee and a crackling fire in the fireplace.

  7. David Miller says:

    Tim, you have a nack for making me laugh. Perhaps Midtowne and You Made It will not be as demanding by 2015 and I can take on a third job, Miller Time would be a great campaign slogan!

    I’m just relieved that the whole thing is over. I think we can all take a collective sigh of relief. Regardless that is, of what we wish the outcome had been.

  8. Bubby says:

    Cook: There weren’t much more than about 1,500 true-blue Democrats who showed up to vote yesterday (as indicated by votes for Cox and Frank), which means that Dianne Fulk convinced an additional 2000 voters to get out and support her – many of which would otherwise vote Republican. I think that’s amazing.

    And if Evans-Haywood had any experience in the Clerk’s office, or even managed to convey an understanding of his duties as Clerk during the campaign, I might be inclined to concede his vote. But there were two others better qualified running and one of them was the Democratic candidate. If you could herd Democrats, you wouldn’t need to for candidate Dianne Fulk. And while plenty of Republicans were peeved that George Allen’s boy Evans-Haywood was anointed their candidate, in the end the majority were not able to leave the herd, and vote independently.

    You touched on the most disturbing outcome of the day – a dead guy won as Commissioner. All manner of excuses are offered; “Nizer should have withdrawn so that we could have a choice”, “I voted for him out of respect for the Connellee’s”, and “we knew people that knew him”, “he was a great guy”. Which sounds a lot better than saying “I can’t vote for a Democrat”, “no one told me who else to vote for”, or “I can’t vote for an African American”.

    The reason there wasn’t a write-in campaign to fill Connellee’s slot is simple. Write-in efforts are notoriously unsuccessful. Nizer would have won against a Repub write-in. So when the Republican Party was unable to get the SBE to agree to call Mr. Connellee a “candidate” (that could be replaced) they spiked the ball, printed new yard signs hinting “yes you can”, and hoped for a do-over. The herd followed through. Only 36 voters could muster an independent thought, and write-in an option to voting for a dead guy. Damn right I’m disgusted.

    I don’t know why you single out the negligible impact of internet punditry. Everyone that I spoke to seemed to know the outcome of the race before we ever voted, especially the DNR, and Channel 3 – and they have a public trust to deliver on. The only question was could the unworthy bleed away enough votes to deny Evans-Haywood his rightful place, and please check off on the incumbent.

    Which leaves me at the end of this rant. You are right, it is a shame that Democrats couldn’t muster more candidates and support to challenge the incumbents. We have to do better, build participation, and ignore the Valley Conventional Herd Wisdom that Democrats can’t win. This time last year the Republican lock on the Assembly looked like a sure thing. What a difference a national election and a botched legislative session can bring.

  9. Frank J Witt says:

    “I’m just relieved that the whole thing is over. I think we can all take a collective sigh of relief.”

    Here, here !

  10. JGFitzgerald says:


    Frank was not a Democrat. Not by nomination, not by endorsement, not by affiliation, not by policy, not by association, not by personality and not by default. Running against a Pub doesn’t make you a Dem.

  11. Bubby says:

    Joe, I knew that, thanks for pointing out my error.

  12. zen says:

    One of the closest races I’ve heard of is the Augusta County Board of Supervisors for the Beverly Manor District where Lee Godfrey lost to Jeremy Shiflett by a scant 16 votes.

  13. Grozet says:

    Finnegan, look at the SBE website again. Lohr won Northeast with 61%.

    Bubby, sounds like someone is bitter.

  14. finnegan says:

    SBE must have changed those numbers this afternoon.

  15. Bubby says:

    grozet: Bitter is not the word…more like astonished. As in when my cattle used to repeated get their head stuck in the same fence rail. At some point you just put a boot to their ass. Not that it helps, but it sure feels good. Hope I didn’t hurt you.

  16. MF says:

    “You are right, it is a shame that Democrats couldn’t muster more candidates and support to challenge the incumbents. We have to do better, build participation, and ignore the Valley Conventional Herd Wisdom that Democrats can’t win.” \

    Thats what I hear from people every year. If those same people followed threw and actually helped campaign or build the democratic party these things might get done. Nobody wants to do any work for the party until a week before an election. Democrats will continue to lose until people start getting off their butts.

  17. Barnabas says:

    Or maybe Dems will continue to loose until they get back to their parties roots.

  18. Kyle says:

    I’m not sure that returning to their roots would fix anything. Sometimes as these two parties flip-flop power, the only thing that does change is the color of the tie and the mascot, everything else remains status quo. What I’d like to see is a party (and it could be the Dems if they were motivated) that is fiscally reponsible, slightly left-of-center socially, whose vision for the future extends beyond the next election. Most importantly, this party would have the cajones to put the health and welfare of american citizens and the environment ahead of the destructive nature of corporate greed and the superwealthy.

    Of course even that is of little use if the voting populace is isn’t motivated enough, smart enough of responsible enough to research candidates and issues, or independent enough to have the courage to break free of mindless, blind party obedience.

  19. David Miller says:

    You blame people for this perceived “mindless, blind party obedience”. I suggest that it isn’t mindless. I suggest (as many; more educated than myself, persons do) that it isn’t blindly that the cattle wander, they are herded.

  20. Lowell Fulk says:


    We could be good friends…

  21. David Miller says:

    In order to acheive your goal you would need highly intelligent people coordinating a ruthless campaign that mimicked and exceded the current party’s tactics. All this on the premise that this party would be better for the country. Unless of course they were human. Then having learned how to manipulate successfully, they too became the evil which they sought to overcome.

  22. Lowell Fulk says:

    To whom are you speaking David?

  23. David Miller says:

    I guess Kyle, its been a few days since I posted. Sorry, works crazy

  24. David Miller says:

    see, so crazy that I didn’t realize that my post was from yesterday!

  25. Kyle says:

    Right on brother. The system corrupts good intentioned people. On a different note, are you still allowing people to come in and make pottery tiles for the kid’s park? I have a very creative 3 year old……

  26. David Miller says:

    I’d love to have you in. A Dream Come True Fundraiser will continue until the park is funded (they are getting closer than ever). It’s just a $15 donation per tile.

  27. Kyle says:

    I have two children and would love to be part of the cause. Are you open on Saturday?

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