Webb, Goode Win Election

The results are in from last night’s midterm elections, and the big news is that Democrats have taken back the House of Representatives and seem quite likely to take back the U.S. Senate. The votes are still being counted in Montana and, yes, Virginia, though past voting data for the remaining precincts make it extremely likely the Democrats will win in both states, since they’re currently ahead by a margin difficult to overcome.

Here in Virginia we’ve elected Jim Webb by a 0.3% margin, passed Amendment 1 (the “marriage” amendment) with 57% support, and reelected every single incumbent congressman, including our representative, Virgil Goode.

Here in Albemarle Webb defeated Sen. George Allen 57/42, Al Weed defeated Goode 54/45, and Amendment 1 was defeated with just 41% of the vote. In Charlottesville the gap was even larger: Webb got 77%, Weed got 75%, and Amendment 1 got just 23% of the vote. From a quick review of statewide voting data it looks like Charlottesville defeated Amendment 1 by the largest margin in the entire state, and would certainly be in the top 5 in the percentage of support for Webb.

31 thoughts on “Webb, Goode Win Election”

  1. Montana has just gone to the democrats, per NBC.

    Anyone care to guess at the over/under on a recount here in Virginia?

    I believe one of the people on MS-NBC said that a margin of less than 1% automatically goes to recount and that Allen can pay for one if the margin is over 1%.

  2. I believe the margin at which Allen may be automatically granted a recount at state cost (if he asks for it) is actually 0.5%. That said, Allen is likely to gain in the remaining precincts. The gap will get smaller, but there simply aren’t enough outstanding votes for him to make up the difference.

  3. “Virginia law allows a court-supervised recount when results fall within 1 percentage point. Taxpayers pick up the tab if the results are within one-half of one percent…”
    From my memory and Googling on “virginia recount percentage.”

    So is it a machine recount? In Nelson County we had a choice of paper or electronic, and I’m guessing most people made the choice I heard them making: paper. The paper was scanned electronically. I’m also guessing they rerun the sheets through the scanner and stop at that? I read one article today saying that the way Va. election law works, it’s very unlikely a recount would change anything after the official results, due in three weeks.

  4. There were clerical corrections last night and today, in the unofficial results. One precinct had a misplaced numeral “1”. Unfortunately, it was in the thousands place! IIRC it was Hartwood in Stafford County, but don’t quote me on that.
    The “541” for Webb was misreported as “1541” ??

    Also, this one is weird, I heard about it on DailyKos:
    Look at precinct “Roberts B (0502)” in James City County. There are two lines for it! The DailyKos poster claimed it is because a congressional district snakes down the James River in order to remain contiguous, and hence one part of that precinct is in the James River and has no residents!

  5. I’m also guessing they rerun the sheets through the scanner and stop at that

    That would be a reasonable guess but it is, unfortunately, wrong. A “recount” in Virginia actually means simply rechecking the totals on each machine. No counting is actually done again. It’s ridiculous.

  6. Apparently, while a margin of less than .5% allows the state to pay for a recount, the losing candidate still needs to request it. Based on Allen’s strong statements against the need for a Florida recount in 2000, I doubt he’ll request that. He’ll want Virginia and the country to move forward in a positive direction immediately. He’s just that kind of guy. ;-)

  7. There were approximately 400,000 more votes case yesterday than in the attorney general’s race last year.

    If you’ll recall, the vast majority of the changes to the initial result came during the canvass, and not the recount. If I recall correctly, Bob McDonnell’s lead was 360 votes pre-recount, and 323 after. A 33 vote change in a 2 million vote election does not make me think a 2.4 million vote tally would produce a significantly higher change in votes during the recount.

    However, the canvass could be different. If last year’s errors found in the canvass were randomly distributed, this could potentially be interesting. But if there are certain precincts or localities prone to errors, then George Allen can look forward to a lucrative career as a lobbyist.

    In any case, I don’t think the canvass will make enough of a difference for Allen. If this process goes anything like it did for Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds, Jim Webb is our new Senator.

    Payback is a bitch.

  8. Georgetown Precinct could net one vote for someone. There was a problem with one machine reporting conflicting numbers, with the vote count being off by one. Apparently they got it resolved, but I’m sure those cadres of lawyers will definitely be taking a second look.

  9. Based on Allen’s strong statements against the need for a Florida recount in 2000, I doubt he’ll request that.

    considering the fact that the senate majority now hinges on this race, the decision may not be up to him.

    If I recall correctly, Bob McDonnell’s lead was 360 votes pre-recount, and 323 after.

    i believe it was the other way around. mcdonnell actually picked up votes in the recount.

  10. If you want even more data about yesterday’s elections, how about state legislative races! You won’t find them on cnn.com and the usual sites, AFAIK, but here they are:
    on a map, and here’s the beginning of the (nonpartisan) summary:

    “The two major parties are no longer locked in parity in state legislatures. Wresting control from the GOP in all but one of the chambers that changed hands outright, the Democrats now control the legislatures in more states than they have since 1994. And not since that election year have so many of the chamber switches gone one way.”

    Sounds good but keep reading and 1994 was an even bigger win for the Republicans.

  11. Looking at the results across Albemarle County I think we can safely say that the once conservative rural county is no more. Even in the right-leaning areas of Earlysville (where Allen lived), Free Union, and Holymead Webb won. Though its small population means it doesn’t mean much state wide, I think Fluvanna will be the next county in our area to make the transition.

  12. Pretty much any area with large growth tends to go slightly more Democratic. When I was working Earlysville for Tim Kaine, many of the new residents were from liberal areas of the country. Red Sox bumper stickers were not an uncommon sight.

    Campaigns need not be fooled. These are not necessarily new Democratic areas… they are swing areas that have now gone through two Democratic friendly cycles. The most conservative precinct in my district, Belfield (Canterbury Hills and Farmington, basically) has given commanding margins to both Tim Kaine and Jim Webb, but also went to Virgil Goode. No matter who runs against Rob Bell next year, they will not have an easy time taking that precinct.

    Northside is another one, which gave Tim a decent sized win, but went for George Allen yesterday. Although, considering I was in charge of organizing the Northside precinct last year, but didn’t spend a day there this year, the Democratic victory there in 2005 was definitely my doing ;)

    But I think it is safe to say that Albemarle as a whole is now Democratic.

  13. Being a bit of a novice when it comes to politics, I have two questions for those of you more in the know…..

    With Albemarle County and Charlottesville solidly voting for Weed, is it safe to say that those of us in Albemarle County and Charlottesville do not have representation in the House?

    With the Dems taking over the house with this election, can we hope that district lines will be redrawn so that we can vote in a representative who reflects the citizenship of this area?

  14. Pariah –

    The congressional district lines are established by the state legislature, not the Congress. To enable redistricting, we’ll need a Dem majority at the state level – a pursuit which needs to begin in earnest right away.

    I agree with your premise that “blues” living in “red” districts are pretty much SOL when it comes to actually being represented. I would love to see the Dems do something to provide some sort of presence in unrepresented districts – possibly a “shadow representative” or something, if only to keep the message out there.

    One thing has become clear: the Dems damn sure need to nominate somebody other than Weed. Great guy, not nearly enough fire in his belly. The way this discrict is drawn, it appears that to have a prayer the Dems need to nominate a moderate, not a liberal, and by moderate I mean a conservative Dem – someone in the Jim Webb/Heath Shuler mode who would get the southsiders to pay attention. It may take several more election cycles to get there, but a conservative Democrat (a la Webb) is better than a conservative Republican any day!

  15. One thing has become clear: the Dems damn sure need to nominate somebody other than Weed.

    Tim Kaine barely pulled 50% in the 5th district in 2005, and he wasn’t running against a favorite son. Webb just pulled 45% against Allen. From that perspective, Weed’s 40% wasn’t too bad, and it was an improvement over his 36% of two years ago.

    I’m not sure that any Democrat ideologically this side of Zell Miller would stand a real chance of beating Goode unless he was someone who has been known and liked throughout the district for years. Is there any such beast out there? It’s one thing to say “the Dems need to nominate someone else”, but finding an attractive moderate who can’t be tagged as a “Charlottesville liberal” is not an easy task.

  16. finding an attractive moderate who can’t be tagged as a “Charlottesville liberal” is not an easy task.

    That’s very true. It will also take somebody with very thick skin and the stomach to run a negative campaign almost from the get-go. I was surprised – shocked, even – not to hear much about Virgil’s connections to Duke Cunningham, the money he had to return, the whole MZM thing – there was a lot of paint in that bucket, but I didn’t see it used. It also didn’t help that the Daily Progress/Media General has some weird neocon love affair with Virgil.

    All anybody needed to know about Virgil is that even with a truly insurmountable lead near the end of the campaign, he continued to blanket the airwaves with negative ads. When a candidate goes negative when there is absolutely no need, it says tons about his fundamental character.

    In any case, I still think that Virgil probably has the “unless he is caught with a live boy or a dead girl” level of security that only the safest of politicians enjoys. And lest we forget: he used to be a Democrat, so frankly it would not be terribly shocking to see him change parties down the road if things get worse for the GOP, or if the Dems take the state house and redraw District 5 into something more moderate. He’s not stupid, he just talks that way (and I’ve sent emails to The Colbert Report begging them to “Better Know a District” about him.

  17. Goode’s MZM scam cost Danville & Charlottesville many jobs, isn’t that right? And Gov. Kaine, Democrat, brought many jobs to Danville, in the form of IKEA’s first American furniture plant, two months before the election. Weed mentioned the MZM scandal on the radio debate I heard, but no one connected it with JOBS! JOBS JOBS JOBS! That is the mantra of Southside, as furniture, textiles and tobacco have whammied them bad.

    Also, they don’t have an interstate and that is all the difference. (Cville got Lynchburg’s interstate, is the word on that, and to top it off, crybabies off building the US 29 bypass.) That proposed I-73 is a possibility.

    What I’m saying is, there’s plenty of room for a Dem populist to work it, but Goode would still be a tough opponent.

    So much for my Monday-morning quarterbacking.

  18. Also the new Southside university, which has been scaled back badly. Right? University towns are thriving. Cville’s not the only one people move to. Retirees are all over moving to college towns. Southside U! That’ll make ’em blue.

  19. I would like to get tou all’s take on this. Over the past few election cycles the Charlottesville Metro area has gone Democratic. In 2004 a majority went for Kerry. In 2005 and 2006 the Democrats won handidly with vote shares in the upper 50s and lower 60s. In light of these facts and the Daily Progress’ refusal to back any Democratic candidate do you all think the newspaper is out of touch with the community? I know there are several smaller papers but do you all think there is an opening for another major daily paper in the area?

  20. Pariah… In some districts, blue areas in a red district could spell bad news for those more liberal areas. But, with our Congressman, we’ve never had effective representation.

    UVA08… I would see a new daily paper having one hell of a hard time gaining the market share that the Progress have. But, I also think there is a market out there, especially given the political atmosphere, and with the radical demographic changes we can expect over the next decade, who knows, maybe a daily can start small now and expand over the next few years.

    There’s also the perception that the Progress, or shall I say Regress, sucks. If a new paper were to exceed the Progress in quality, it couldn’t hurt.

  21. I do have to wonder if this demographic shift is going to affect the Progress‘ editorial board. They have made some belly-laugh-worthy endorsements of Republicans in the past few years. If this were a heavily conservative area, I could understand, but it just makes them look foolish and out of touch. Honestly, I don’t think they’ll change. They’ll just look crankier and crankier over time. Whether or not that’s an opening for a new daily, I can hardly said. We’ve got two alt weeklies and four TV stations, so clearly this market will bear a lot more than I ever thought it would.

  22. should say: “you all’s” I must have hit “t” instead of “y”.

    I am not advocating an echo chamber for the Charlottesville area or anything like that, it just seems to me that the Daily Progress doesn’t really know or care to know who they are supposed to be serving. The Charlottesville Metro has clearly shown it is NOT a conservative area anymore. Then again perhaps the Progress is not in the market for the majority in Charlottesville. Maybe they just care about the dwindling conservative proportion in the area. Kind of like the Washington Times for DC.

    Waldo, I was thinking….. maybe YOU should start a new daily paper.

  23. From UVA08:

    I am not advocating an echo chamber for the Charlottesville area or anything like that, it just seems to me that the Daily Progress doesn’t really know or care to know who they are supposed to be serving.

    Back in the day when the Daily Progress was actually run as a locally-owned concern, instead of getting most of its news from the AP via Media General, it reflected the residents’ interests, news, and opinions fairly well. Now that it gets its marching orders from elsewhere, it does seem out-of-step with Charlottesville & Albemarle.

    I don’t know that there is room for another daily, however. Newspaper revenues are ad driven. There aren’t a heck of a lot of companies around here that can afford daily ads, and those that can pay for regular ads in the DP would have to be convinced to switch. Which means any new daily would have to prove a substantial readership base before they could garner the level of ad revenue that would allow them to print daily.

    That’s a very tall order, considering that the DP serves not only as Charlemarle’s daily, but also Green, Fluvanna, Nelson, Buckingham, Orange, Louisa, and even parts of Augusta. (The Central Virginian, The Green County Record, and The Orange County Review only publish once a week.)

    I would be very surprised if Hawes Spencer hadn’t already crunched the numbers on this a few times over the years and discovered it wasn’t doable.

  24. ??? The DP was conservative in the old, Worrell days, just not quite as conservative as the Richmond papers. When Media General bought it I was surprised to see the editorial page drift left. Latley it’s gotten less political and has more lifestyle feature pieces, is my impression. (The one about Wunderkammer was priceless.) But when it comes down to actual election endorsements, they do the publisher’s bidding and ring the bell for the Repubs. Other than that, I don’t find the unsigned editorials conservative, but maybe my memory is faulty, and my reading sporadic.

    As for the news pages, they hire competitively now. For one example, Jessica Kitchin (from New Jeresy and back there now) did fine work on the issues around land development and a zillion other local issues.

    Then there’s Bob Gibson, the main political writer. That guy is not mossback.

Comments are closed.