How Red Was My Valley

Brent Finnegan -- October 24th, 2008

A recent article on the Huffington Post restates what most of us already know:

Many of Virginia’s cities consistently vote Democratic, including small ones in the Shenandoah Valley and the small rural mountain communities, while the surrounding areas often go Republican. There has been a huge effort to sign up new voters this year, and record 300,000 new Democrats have been registered, many of them young people. There are Democratic headquarters in even the smallest towns.

Except for that last part. I can only assume that number is referring new Dems statewide, not in the Valley. One of the most recent poll stories I read ranked the Valley as McCain’s strongest foothold (a 23 point lead). The exception to the rule appears to be the Warner-Gilmore race:

The region where the candidates are the closest is the Shenandoah Valley, where Warner leads 48 percent to 40 percent, with 12 percent undecided.

My only question is: how accurate are the polls?

And yes, the title of this post was a reference to an old John Ford movie.

14 Responses to “How Red Was My Valley”

  1. Breslau says:

    “My only question is: how accurate are the polls?”

    My answer would be: we don’t know, so we shouldn’t rely on them at all, especially after 2004.

  2. NewHburger says:

    Last time I checked, you don’t affiliate with a party when you register to vote in Virginia. How is it that they know 300,000 new Democrats have registered?

  3. finnegan says:

    NewHburger, you’re right. My guess is that either that number represents the number of ballots turned in by Dem voter drives and offices, or that number is bogus.

  4. Josh says:

    Did anyone else receive the anti-radical islam “Obsession” DVD in the mail today?

  5. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Yes I did too, Josh. I had read about the controversy over the secretive funding and intent of the film before.

  6. David Miller says:

    I got my trash dvd today too. Love how one of the awards it won was from Liberty…….. a truly unbiased judge:)

  7. David Miller says:

    just to back up my “liberal tripe”

    “What is a ‘conservative film,’ anyway?

    A great question that we’re asked all the time! We like to say: ‘a film with standards’ – both moral and aesthetic. It also may be a film that would be difficult to make in today’s Hollywood, due to the town’s ideological agenda. It’s important to note that the LFF is a response to Hollywood’s liberalism. We’re not the ones bringing politics and values into the discussion – they’re already there.”

  8. Emmy says:

    I got one of those yesterday, but I didn’t open it.

  9. megan says:

    Got mine a few days ago. Looking forward to cuddling up in a nice warm blanket and watching it tonight after the kids go to bed.

  10. Breslau says:

    Straight to the trashcan went mine, received yesterday.

  11. David Miller says:

    “Got mine a few days ago. Looking forward to cuddling up in a nice warm blanket and watching it tonight after the kids go to bed.”

    I prefer to save fictional horror movies for daylight, call me what you will but they scare me.

  12. megan says:

    Ha! And some fictional horror movies are just too scary to watch no matter what time of day it is. I have yet to find a day light enough to view An Inconvenient Truth. :)

  13. Renee says:

    There was a good article in the ‘Whipple News Digest’ today about this by James Heffernan. Here are some excerpts:

    “I think what it says is that our region is certainly a conservative bastion in Virginia, though the margin of victory was slightly smaller than what we’ve seen in the past,” said Craig Orndorff, activities chairman for the Shenandoah County GOP.

    “The valley’s underpinning values haven’t been fundamentally affected by the shift we’ve seen in the state as a whole,” he added.

    McCain posted double-digit wins in all of the county’s precincts but Strasburg, where he won by 8.5 points.

    Orndorff said McCain’s belief in “the goodness and honesty of work and being unfettered by government” resonated with valley residents, adding that some of the older Republicans in the area appreciated McCain’s more moderate stance on social issues.

    “But the contrasts with Obama were still stark,” he said.


    Turnout in Frederick was the highest in the region, with more than 66 percent of the county’s registered voters going to the polls.

    DeArment pointed to Obama’s win in Winchester, where the senator captured just over 51 percent of the vote.

    He said Obama succeeded in striking a chord with many area residents on the major issues, including the economy and “the desire that he stated over and over again for change and breaking away from the failed policies and misfortunes of the last eight years.”


    Warner, who carried the region by wide margins, “benefited greatly from the myth that he was the one who saved Virginia” as governor, Orndorff said. In truth, he said, Warner lied to the people of the state about not raising their taxes, then preyed on freshman delegates in pushing through the largest tax increase in Virginia history.

    Still, “we were definitely outgunned,” he said of former Gov. Jim Gilmore’s Senate campaign.

    “Everybody expected [Warner] to win,” DeArment said. “It was just a question of how large it was going to be. I think his success as a governor in reaching across the aisle will translate into success as a senator as well.”

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