Tuesday’s Primary

Brent Finnegan -- June 8th, 2009

There hasn’t been much coverage of tomorrow’s state primary election on hburgnews — a result of no time to write, as well as political fatigue following the November election. Pollsters expect turnout to be low, as in 5 percent. But some key nominations are now on the line for state Democrats.

Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran have been in an increasingly tight race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor. Plenty has been written about the race (particularly between Deeds and McAuliffe) elsewhere, but I’ll do my best to summarize: McAuliffe, former chair of the DNC (as well as for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign) was considered front-runner until recently, when a poll showed Moran, a former state delegate from Arlington, and Deeds, a state senator from Bath County, are now in a relatively close race. More recent polls suggest Deeds is the new front-runner.

The victor in tomorrow’s primary will face off against Bob McDonnell, our current former attorney general, in November.

Also on the ballot are Mike Signer and Jody Wagner, both vying for the Democratic Party nomination for lieutenant governor. The winner of that race will face incumbent LG, Republican Bill Bolling. A third candidate on the ballot, Jon Bowerbank, withdrew from the race last month.

Voters in the southeastern part of Rockingham County (living within the 25th house district) will have the opportunity to choose between Democrats Greg Marrow and Jim Noel. The winner of that race will face Republican incumbent Steve Landes this fall.

Polling stations — the same locations that were overflowing with voters November 4 — will open at 6 a.m. tomorrow, and close at 7 p.m.

24 Responses to “Tuesday’s Primary”

  1. JGFitzgerald says:

    A note about the polls that were overflowing in November: they won’t be quite as busy June 9. Estimates are the turnout will be five percent of what it was in November. Various reasons, but partly that the get-out-the-vote effort (GOTV, as it’s known) is handled mostly by the candidates. There’s no generic group urging voting as a civic duty, and most of the traditional Democratic groups, including the party itself, leave it to the campaigns.

    Turnout projections range from an unlikely six percent (300,000 voters statewide) to as few as 3.75, or about 190,000. Turnout is generally higher in urban areas, so that might be weighted toward the Urban Crescent. Maybe fewer than 1,000 in the ‘Burg and Rockingham County.

  2. Mike says:

    Please come out and support Creigh Deeds. Creigh is from Bath County and has been the closest thing we have had to a local democrat in Richmond. Ask anyone who lobbies Richmond. Creigh treats Valley constituents as his own even if you live in the Republican hinterlands. Creigh has consistently represented Valley progressives interests in Richmond and has taken on such politically difficult issues as non-partisan judicial appointments and redistricting. Creigh is best positioned to run against McDonnell in the fall and is our best change at keeping the Governor’s mansion.

  3. Renee says:

    I plan to vote in my first governor primary ever :)

    Seems like it’s important this time around since VA went Democrat for president and the nominee may actually stand a chance against McDonnell, despite reports to the contrary.

  4. zen says:

    “Bob McDonnell, our current attorney general, in November.”

    Not so. He resigned in Feb to campaign for Governor.

  5. BANDIT says:

    …why hasn’t there been anything mentioned about our local elections in Harrisonburg?…do you even know whose up for re-election???

  6. Josh says:

    I went to Stone Spring Elementary a few minutes before 8am. It was a ghost-town. I was the only one there voting and was #5 when I turned in my paper ballot (I don’t know how many people voted electronically).

  7. Good call, zen. Fixed.

  8. Tom says:

    I voted. It took, maybe, five minutes and I was on my way.
    I don’t think we need to focus so much on electability, but to pick the right candidate and then focus on getting out the vote against McDonnel. I read over each candidate’s website and took the Richmond Times Dispatch voting guide http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/news/local/local_govtpolitics/2009_democratic_primary/
    and found that the only one I liked was Brian Moran. We will see.

  9. Karl says:

    Trips to the Simms and Waterman precinct’s proved very lonely this morning.

  10. I voted at Spotswood and was the only one there. The folks there said that they were quite lonely.

  11. Renee says:

    There were 2 other people voting when I went to Keister in the afternoon.

    Bandit, there were no local candidates on our ballot in Harrisonburg – only the primaries for Governor and Lt. Gov.

  12. Laura says:

    At 7:45, fivethirtyeight.com called this race for R. Creigh Deeds.

  13. Deeds swept the nomination statewide. Wagner and Marrow won, too. The DNR reports that Harrisonburg and Rockingham went overwhelmingly for Deeds. And by “overwhelmingly” I don’t mean the turnout, which was less then 5 percent in the city, and even lower in the county.

  14. Going against the tide, Signer overwhelmingly took Harrisonburg, kept it close in Rockingham, Highland, Page, Bath County and in the City of Staunton… tied it in Augusta ! This bright young man has a base in the Valley!

  15. Karl says:

    I’d like to see some posts from folks that voted in the Presidential election, but not the primary and tell us why they didn’t this time around. Perhaps I’m looking more for Dems more than Pubs, since the latter didn’t have a horse in the race.

  16. Josh says:

    Karl, I’m not the population you were asking for, but I almost fell into that category.

    I only voted because I didn’t care for McAuliffe. If it was only an election deciding between Deeds and Moran, I would have likely stayed home.

    (This is similar to how I voted “anyone but Hillary” in the presidential primary.)

  17. Emmy says:

    I didn’t vote but not on purpose. I made it all the way home with my kids before it clicked in my head that I forgot to do it. Then it started pouring. I didn’t want to take them back out in a thunderstorm.

  18. Ray says:

    I voted in the Presidential election but not the primary because I believe only members of the party holding the primary should vote in them. Why should people that aren’t members of the party have a stake in choosing the nominee that’s going to carry the standard for said party?

    Actually, I don’t know why the state has to be the one to run the primaries anyway. As I said before it’s an election to establish the parties’ standard bearers so why don’t they rent out 3 or 4 schools on a Saturday (like churchs do for Sunday services) and have their party members come there to vote? Names could be checked against membership rolls and anyone not on them could be turned away. This would allow the nominee to be chosen by the actual party members.

  19. Karl says:

    Can we bring out of the low turnout for the Democratic primary that Obama’s dynamic campaign was more about him than the party for many voters? I understand primary voter turnout is always low, but I would have assumed that Dems were geared up after November and would stay involved at a high level.

    This may sound strange, but I wonder if the terrible perception of George Bush was bad for the Dems moving forward. Was he so bad that any Dem would have won and the party didn’t really gain the full future benefits of winning the whitehouse because even many Pubs couldn’t cast a vote for their own party last November?

  20. Josh says:


    Why should a party exclude potential members, or discount the opinion of the public at-large? How will a party grow and change over time if they don’t incorporate non-party opinions?

    If the Democratic Party loved McAuliffe, but he was totally un-electable, isn’t it a great thing the public was able to weed him out in advance?

  21. Laura says:

    I just saw this strange video on Alternet called “Terry McAuliffe’s Political Funeral” . I’d love to hear how someone thought that all those signs were a good idea. I had no major problems with the guy (I just preferred another candidate), but that is disgusting.

  22. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Laura, I think that video was taken during the Shad Planking, which is a bizarre Virginia political ritual.

  23. JGFitzgerald says:


    The Shad Planking is like a barbecue, except that the main dish is shad, nailed to a plank by the Wakefield Ruritan Club, and cooked for about eight hours next to a slow fire. Long-time attendees tend to throw out the shad and eat the board.

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