Pre-Election Discussion

I’ve never created a story just for for the purpose of discussion, but it was suggested, and I think it’s a good idea.

So, tomorrow’s elections. We’ve got several BoS seats, constitutional officers, several HoD seats, several school board seats, and the statewide races. Any predictions as to who is going to win, and by how much? What issues will decide the race? Who will pull ahead in the Rio race and why?

14 thoughts on “Pre-Election Discussion”

  1. I’m predicting that while Toscano will win, there will be an unusually high number of write-ins. This is an overwhelmingly Democratic district in which David Toscano has failed to really come across as the kind of passionate progressive that Charlottesville voters prefer. The mutually acknowledged lack of major distinctions between Toscano and his Republican opponent only underscores this fact. Aside from the moustache, there’s no difference between the 2 candidates.

    This local race has failed to inspire the voters or rally the troops. Given the lack of issues to motivate Toscano’s Democratic base in force, I would say that McCrystal should be able to capture as much as 40% if he manages to get massive direct-mailing on to people’s doorsteps today.

    I’ll go a step farther and say that Toscano’s failure to rally or inspire local Democrats could slightly hurt Kaine’s performance in the district. We’re talking about the difference between 66% and 70%, but a difference in turnout nonetheless.

  2. My prediction is that Charlottesville will pass the elected school board, because it’s a liberal town and everyone reflexively thinks “Hey, electing people is always good. Why should City Council appoint anybody for me? How could they possibly know more about who should run the schools than I do?” (I think there will be benefits to an elected board, but I also think some fine people who aren’t of a personality to mount a campaign and/or lack the funds to mount a lavish one will be excluded from ever serving on the school board if the measure passes.)

    I’ve heard the C’ville registrar is projecting 50% turnout — anyone know what typical city turnout figures have been in past non-presidential years?

  3. Jack wrote:
    The mutually acknowledged lack of major distinctions between Toscano and his Republican opponent only underscores this fact. Aside from the moustache, there’s no difference between the 2 candidates.
    Jack, do you know what McCrystal’s stance is on abortion and “family planning” measures? I haven’t seen/heard him address those issues explicitly. (Tom, if you’re out there, let us know!)

  4. Did the Progress endorse a gubernatorial candidate?

    I’m going to predict a Kaine win judging from the fact that my Kaine sign has survived 5 weeks of display without being stolen. Last year I lost 3 or 4 Kerry and Al Weed signs.

  5. I’m still torn about the elected school board issue. I’m inclined to vote against it because I haven’t heard a good argument for it. It seems like the Vote Yessers say we should have elected school boards because most cities in VA have them.

    But, aren’t we the number one city and they aren’t? Shouldn’t they be modelling themselves after us?

    The telling thing for me is how many uncontested offices there are. The school board in the county is uncontested. That means that instead of submitting resumes to a group of people whose job it is to pick a qualified candidate, everyone who wants to will be on the school board in the county with no vetting process.

    For me the choice is between getting a set of qualified people to look at resumes vs. having a small subset of generally uninformed voters pick someone.

    Is there a particular problem that is being solved here? In other words, did city council appoint someone who was unqualified or did city council pass over someone who was more qualified than the person who was picked?

    If there aren’t examples of that, why change a system that is working?

  6. CommonSenseGuy wrote:
    Is there a particular problem that is being solved here? In other words, did city council appoint someone who was unqualified or did city council pass over someone who was more qualified than the person who was picked?

    This referendum was born out of the Scottie Griffin fiasco. There were a lot of very POed parents who wondered how in the heck the school board had chosen this person to run their schools, and then wondered why they hadn’t “had any say” in selecting those school board members. So that’s why it’s even an issue.
    To answer your question, supporters of an elected board would argue that we don’t know who should have been on the board but wasn’t because Council didn’t have their name in their hip pocket. Opponents are in your camp — the people who were on the board were the best candidates for the job at the time; don’t fix what ain’t broke.

  7. CommonSenseGuy Says:

    But, aren’t we the number one city and they aren’t? Shouldn’t they be modelling themselves after us?

    After last year’s school board fiasco, yes, invite all Virginia cities to model themselves after Charlottesville’s platinum lead.

    And having an elected school board has nothing to do with being “liberal,” so said another writer. It’s the democrats on council who mainly oppose an elected board, because as they say, it will handicap diversity.

    Most city councilors did acknowledge during the school board’s fallout last year that they had wanted an elected board… but most have gone back on that stand.

    And if you look at their choices for board members, they re-appointed one of the most charged and difficult members from the last board: Peggy Van Yahres. You need look no further than the board’s minutes.

  8. Heh…

    Yes, it grew out of the Scottie Griffin debacle – an absolutely terrible choice conducted largely in secret. The scuttlebutt is that one particular member deliberately threw the scoring process used for evaluating the candidates to ensure Griffin (being a black woman) got the nod. Who knows: it’s all been handled so secretively we’ll never really know. Whoever did this is well beyond political accountability – they were appointed – and they knew it. The fact that most people aren’t single issue voters ensures that school board members are somewhat protected now, since councillors are unlikely to get tossed solely on the basis of their SB picks. I am shure this will mean some everyday ‘normal’ folks won’t go for it anymore; but, it’s already a pretty public position, requiring a pretty big and dedicated ego, so I doubt we’ll chase all candidates away. These positions have become political payback/payoff for prominent ‘community leaders’ in return for solid democratic party support – think Mike Brown at FEMA.

    Yes, VanYahres did kick up a fuss – it’s a good thing – when groupthink idiocy takes us off a cliff, it’s important to have truth tellers in the leadership stand up and make a little noise to warn us. I’d bet her contentiousness would win her another term.

    That’s the bet elected board supporters call for. I’ll eat my hat a couple of times publicly if this leads to Intelligent Design.

  9. After watching a number of statewide elections a couple of points: if a statewide Democrat doesn’t have a statistically significant lead going into the last weekend the democrat will lose. Doug Wilder had a lead going into the final days, he look like a sure winner and did win by only 6800 votes. That was much lower than predicted.
    Last year some papers in Virginia said the state was “in play” in the last weeks for the democrats but Bush won the state by 6%.

    The Governors race, as viewed by many, has been negative, issueless, and boring. This is a recipe for the party with the larger base. That would be the republicans. Kaine is running behind usual numbers in SW Virginia, being Kilgore’s backyard. This means a Kaine needs a huge NoVa turnout or to take tidewater convincingly to have a chance.
    Kilgore 48.5% Kaine 46.5% Potts less than 4%.

    Lt. Governor Leslie Byrne is not going to win. Her NoVa roots have never been popular for any statewide candidate. This race looks like only a huge win by Kaine can save her.
    Bill Bolling 52.5% Leslie Byrne 47.5

    Attorney General looks like Bob McDonnell but high undecideds could swing this race. Creigh Deeds late media push looks like it really hurt him with charges of being soft on crime. Though these ads were finally answered it might have been too late.
    Bob McDonnell 51% Creigh Deeds 49%

    The House of Delegates race aren’t close, never have been. Redistricting has brought us Rob Bell and David Toscano with double digit victories. Their challengers never caught fire and couldn’t raise much money.

    The school board question may well exceed 75% -80% in favor of the vote.

    BOS: Sally Thomas is in, obviously. Dennis Rooker has actually had to work for his seat but should win with a comfortable lead.

    The Rio seat is really the only one that has been in question. Gary Grant, former school board member vs David Slutsky former Clinton appointee. Slutsky has run a good race for a newbie and garnered some key endorsements but made some missteps. What was he thinking running an ad that said that Slutsky “was the most qualified candidate to run for supervisor ever!” Even if this was true it seems arrogant to run as an ad. This could sour voters. Slutsky based his strategy on expensive newspaper ads instead of direct mail, this hasn’t worked in the past. Grant has relied on constant door to door campaigning and could pick up points for favoring a Western Bypass in the Rio district. Grant is not a traditional republican and this could hurt him with his base. Jacabowski will drain off some votes. Grant in a close one, he may win by less than a 100 votes. I won’t be shocked to if Slutsky wins.

    Just a note: This is how I see the election not how I would vote.

  10. Interesting take on the elected school board issue, the argument that all the cities that have it are wrong because we are the “number one city” and don’t. Come on, does anybody outside of some City Hall PR flacks really believe that “wordclass city/number #1” baloney?
    We do seem to be at the top of one list though-that for harebrained schemes like the “yellow bikes,” the Charlottesville Pavilion,the transfer station(still havent figured out how that will help people who ride the buses),and now the West Main Street streetcar.
    As for elected vs appointed school boards, are people aware that up until the 1980s some localities in the state used what was called the School Trustee Electoral Board. This board was appointed by the circuit judge and it selected the school board. There was no public input.Worked well enough when good people were chosen, but when that was not the case..
    Do all these rural,conservative counties that elect their school boards nowadays be ahead of liberal, progressive” enlightened Charlottesville?
    As for the governor’s race-too close to call, and too bad that Russ Potts,for whom I am voting, could not garner more support. He’s the only one that was honest with us or made any sense. The other two-the NOVa liberal label will probably KO Byrnes. Attorney General-alI can say I hope Deeds pulls it out over someone with ties to Pat Robertson. Deeds has the endorsement of both NARAL and the NRA-don’t find many like that. As a member and supporter of both of those organizations, I wish there were more like him in politics.

  11. I do want to call everyone’s attention to a fantastic live hit in channel 29’s newsroom last night. The reporter’s name is Loretta and she stumbled all over the place. She couldn’t say “Jerry Kilgore” or the word republican. What an investment by Central Virginia’s number one news station: put someone out in front who can barely speak. There’s the news.

  12. Hollow Boy – I am with you on the Deeds criteria: NRA & NARAL. And the big no on the Robertson crew. This morning it looks like McDonnel got it by a few thousand though…sad.

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