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Election Day 2009: The Fix's cheat sheet



Republicans Chris Christie (N.J.) and Bob McDonnell (Va.) as well as Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman (N.Y.) are hoping for a GOP sweep in today's closely watched contests. Photos by Hiroko Masuike/Getty Images, Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo and Heather Ainsworth/AP Photo

It's been a year since any meaningful votes were cast. But, our long national nightmare is over as voters in New Jersey, Virginia and New York (among other places) head to the polls today to pick winners in races that will be analyzed ad nauseam for their meaning -- or lack thereof -- on the national stage.

Election days are notoriously news-less until the polls close but Fixistas need their, um, Fix, so below we've provided a cheat sheet on what insiders are keeping an eye on in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and the special election in New York's 23rd district.

Enjoy the tidbits and stay tuned in this space for the remainder of the day as we will bring you the Fix election prediction contests this afternoon and then all the news you need and want about the races later tonight.

The states/races are listed from most competitive to least competitive.

New Jersey Governor

Bergen County: This northern New Jersey county has moved in Democrats' direction in recent cycles but is very much a jump ball between former U.S. attorney Chris Christie (R) and Gov. Jon Corzine (D). In 2008, President Obama won it with 55 percent and in 2005 Corzine carried it with 57 percent. Democrats believe that the Corzine-Christie margin in Bergen could well mirror the statewide result. Republicans argue that if the two men are even in Bergen, Christie is going to win.

Essex/Hudson Counties: These two solidly Democratic counties -- Essex contains the city of Newark while Hudson sits just to the east -- also have significant African-American populations. These are places where President Obama's three trips into New Jersey -- including a stop in Newark on Sunday -- should help Corzine. If Corzine wins statewide, it will be thanks to the Obama turnout operation driving people to the polls in these two counties.

The Daggett Number: Depending on which poll you believe, independent Chris Daggett is either faltering or standing strong. The Democracy Corps (D) poll put Daggett at 15 percent while the Monmouth/Gannett survey had him at eight percent. It's become clear that Daggett voters who peel off from the independent are going to Christie more than Corzine so the lower Daggett slips, the better chance the Republican has to win.

New York's 23rd

Syracuse Media Market: The three counties covered by the Syracuse market -- Oswego, Oneida and Madison -- sit in the far southwestern portion of the district and are the areas where Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman has grown the most in recent weeks. Hoffman will almost certainly carry these three counties but the question is by how much and whether that margin is greater or less than that by which Democrat Bill Owens' wins the eastern part of the district dominated by Clinton and Franklin counties.

The Scozzafava Factor: It's not clear how much state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava's (R) last-minute decision to drop from the race and even last(er)-minute decision to endorse Owens will impact the race. Scozzafava, according to independent polling, was not particularly well known district-wide and those who did know her had decidedly mixed opinions. Scozzafava's home political base is in Watertown (Jefferson County) and she also remains relatively strong in St. Lawrence county. If there is a rallying behind Owens in these counties, it is likely due to the late Scozzafava endorsement. If Hoffman carries one or both, it means that Scozzafava's backing didn't mean much for Owens.

Virginia Governor

Fairfax County: This northern Virginia county (home of the Fix!) is absolutely essential to any comeback hopes for state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D). In 2008, Obama carried it with 60 percent while Sen. Jim Webb (D) won it with 59 percent in 2006 and Gov. Tim Kaine (D) matched Obama with 60 percent in 2005. If Deeds can't match that trio's showing -- and it's going to be tough with former state attorney general Bob McDonnell (R) relentlessly touting his roots in the county -- it's hard to see how the Democrat finds the votes in the rest of the state.

Black Turnout: In 2008, African American turnout soared to 20 percent of the electorate thanks to the presence of Obama on the ticket. Black voters are significantly less motivated this time around, making Deeds' task tough. Democrats estimate that African American voters must comprise 15 percent -- and preferably closer to 20 percent -- of the electorate for Deeds to shock the world.

Prince William/Loudoun Counties: These two exurban counties hold the keys to Republican victory statewide -- no Republican has won the governor's race in the Commonwealth without carrying both. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) performed badly in each, taking 45 percent in Loudoun and 42 percent in Prince William. Worth noting: these twin counties have boomed over the past 15 years, more than doubling in population.

35th and 44th state House Districts: These two state delegate races could indicate just how bad things are for Virginia Democrats tonight. Both are -- or should be -- solidly Democratic seats but if Deeds drags down the party, they could be competitive. Both sit in Fairfax county; the 35th is being vacated by attorney general nominee Steve Shannon while the 44th is open as well with state Del. Kristen Amundson (D) retiring. If Democrats lose one (or both) it could be a disaster in the House of Delegates for the party.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 3, 2009; 5:35 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
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Next: Prediction Time!

Comments


Sorry Chris,

The GOP candidate in NY-23 withdrew from the race--maybe you heard?? Therefore there cannot be a GOP sweep today.

Just because Scozzafava bowed out, you can't sweep under the rug the huge rift in the GOP caused by Hoffman (C--ClubforGrowth) win or lose.

Posted by: mikenmidland | November 3, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

This is nothing more than regaining lost ground for the re-puke-agains

==

Let's leave the name-decorating where it belongs, among the idiots on the right

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

"It's sad watching liberals squirm on Obama's day of reckoning.

Will liberals face the fact that Obama has been a failure after The People speak today?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 3, 2009 11:38 AM |"
----
If they were taking traditionally Democratic districts or states I would.

This is nothing more than regaining lost ground for the re-puke-agains

Posted by: JRM2 | November 3, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

NAMBLA usurps the blog again?

Posted by: snowbama | November 3, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

With your extra money, I hope you plan to fill the holes in the street outside your house, buy some additional fire extinguishers in case of fire, and hire your own restaurant regulator to ensure you don't eat bad food. That's what the dollars you cling to so are going for now.

It is so tough to be part of a civilization. It even requires that some of "the money I have earned" goes to maintaining the civilization.

==

For people who use the phrase "my money" in public policy discussion I think we should bring back public flogging.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 3, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

That's "waistline"

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 3, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

BTW, it's a fact that fat candidates do not do well and I suspect candidates with green teeth don't either. Who wants to look at these clowns?

==

It's not just how they look. Being fat reflects the same lack of discipline as being a heroin addict, an inability to take charge of one's life. I mean, how hard is it to maintain a wasteline?

As for Hoffman's teeth, that's completely unpardonable. It takes about two minutes a day to maintain dental hygiene.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 3, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

In Virginia, the gubernatorial race is far from meaningless. A republican governor will be a significant issue, given the state's recent trends.

==

Meaningless. How is the governor an issue? He's the governor, not a controversy.

McDonnell will just be another favor to Democrats as he spends most of his time in office on pelvic tangents, worrying more about what gays are doing in bed than the deteriorating roads and bridges.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

From etpietro:
"I look forward to being able to hang on to more of the money I earned in the coming years."

--------

With your extra money, I hope you plan to fill the holes in the street outside your house, buy some additional fire extinguishers in case of fire, and hire your own restaurant regulator to ensure you don't eat bad food. That's what the dollars you cling to so are going for now.

It is so tough to be part of a civilization. It even requires that some of "the money I have earned" goes to maintaining the civilization.

Posted by: prairiepopulist | November 3, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Polly_Tics @947, thank you for the love.

I'm afraid it'll go unfulfilled -- I am totally off *fornicating* with men OR women. I understand this is going to get me some great privileges once McDonnell is governor!

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 3, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

JPRS, agree with many of your points, especially fatigue on the Dem side in Virginia. Don't think you can underplay Deeds' poor execution though, regardless of strategy.

One candidate had to claim the middle and somehow, he let the wingnut do it. That's just pitiful.

Posted by: nodebris

///////////////////////////////////

We largely agree. In Deeds case, we'll have to see what the final tally is -- I still think given the potential for a low turnout that this one could be harder to gauge than past election cycles (it's also possible that people will read "blow-out" and won't bother to vote; on the flip-side the demographics and partisan advantage favor Deeds).

More than execution my sense is that the strategy itself was flawed. Yes, winning independents is part of the key. However, if Deeds had made a stronger play for the Obama voters, my sense is that McDonnell would have also tilted in a more partisan direction. The faux moderate facade would have fallen off. The last month would have been a battle for the center. At worst if the contest did get real ugly, voters in the center -- weak partisans -- would have been so turned off that the just would have stayed home.

Even though there was some risk in Deeds aligning himself with Obama; the reality is that the hard-core haters and tea-baggers were never in play for Deeds. The key was to ramp up enthusiasm with the party base and to get those votes on board. Deeds could have enlisted McDonnell's support in achieving that end too as Allen inadvertently did for Webb in 2006. Things looked different in the summer, so I understand the calculation. Historically too, Dems in the state have run as VIRGINIA Democrats -- as a way of saying "we are different from the national party". In the past that might have been necessary, now the tables are reversed a bit (e.g. as you point out, McDonnell has repackaged himself as a kind of faux moderate. I'd love to see McDonnell rolling out "Fairfax's Own" or "Northern Virginia's Own" signs downstate -- the guy is pretty sleazy; if the guy actually gets into office, it could get ugly when he starts trying to sell state assets to his campaign contributors on the cheap (e.g. liquor stores and roads).

Once again, we'll see how things go. I don't think this election plays out like any of the recent ones, so it's probably hard to gauge at this point -- even with the polls showing what they show. My contention is that this state is still more Dem friendly than it's been in the past 40 years. The challenge though is getting voters to show up on election day.

Posted by: JPRS | November 3, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The local and national Repuklican leadership still suc#, but Bob Mcdonnell has been an exceptional candidate so this Independent's vote goes to him.

As for minority votes, don't over look Asian votes in Fairfax County. Bob Mcdonnell certainly didn't (see http://www.picasaweb.com/asiantelemart) Asians is as high as 21.5% of the Fairfax Co population in house district 39 and the overall county average is 17%. Many like me are coming out today to vote for Mcdonnell, even though 12 months ago many voted for the bama.

Posted by: binghe | November 3, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Time Magazine influence Nathan (The Electoral Expert Counter) has already said THIS IS NOT A NATIONAL REFERUMDUM - YET SLOBBY MOUTH CHRIS CILLIZA WHO ONLY WRITE'S ABOUT TWO ARTICLES A WEEK THINK HE KNOWS!

Chris Cilliza is one of the geeky boys from high school who wasn't that popular -Is high on a ego trip that he writes for a big syndicate paper.

BUT MOST IN HIS AGE GROUP DON'T THINK LIKE HIM.....

HE'S HAS A JOB FOR HIS FAMILY - BUT TELL THIS STUFF HE'S TALKING TO THOSE WHO ARE SCUFFING AND WILL SAY

"F" THAT GEEK AND THE HORSE HE FLEW IN ON!

Posted by: danson1 | November 3, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I just want the voting process to be honest, no highjinks from ACORN, SEIU, or the like.

Posted by: inmanorj | November 3, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

It's sad watching liberals squirm on Obama's day of reckoning.

Will liberals face the fact that Obama has been a failure after The People speak today?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 3, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Chris

Normally, I'm pretty satisfied with the perspective and analytics that you bring to the game. However, this election day you seem to be missing one of the true bellweather races pertinent to the 2010 elections--that race is, of course, California's 10th district which is David (Harmer-R) vs. Goliath (Lt. Governor Garamendi-D). In a district with an 18 point democrat registration advantage, Harmer is running about even with the sitting California Lt. Governor.

Moreover, Garamendi has a 10 to 1 cash advantage, along with the power of incumbency and name recognition.

IF Harmer wins, every pundit in America will have missed this race and its implications. If Harmer is edged out by a little bit, will this mean that dems are increasingly dissatisfied with the national agenda? It is ONLY if Garamendi drubs Harmer by 15 points or more that democrats should feel unthreatened going into 2010.

I'm disappointed that you and others have presupposed this race to simply be in the bag for the lifelong democrat office-seeker Garamendi. It is precisely this kind of political race from which bigger picture observations might be made.

Posted by: jshaver001 | November 3, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

JPRS, agree with many of your points, especially fatigue on the Dem side in Virginia. Don't think you can underplay Deeds' poor execution though, regardless of strategy.

One candidate had to claim the middle and somehow, he let the wingnut do it. That's just pitiful.

Posted by: nodebris | November 3, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Why in the World would residents vote for a person who has no clue of what they need?

Seriously?

He does not even live in the district!

OMG!

I guess that cry from Murdoch's rag- WSJ: Dumb it Down Mr. President - is working- for the 'C' party-

Posted by: sasha2008 | November 3, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The big story is probably going to be turnout and voter apathy.

With the Virginia race in particular -- how will the 2009 race measure up to 2005?

I'd wager that the turnout will be below 2005 -- even accounting for population growth. Part of this is election fatigue after a really, really intense 2008 (at least on the Dem side). Part of this is the relatively low visibility the race has had for average voters.

Deeds is a strong closer, but in terms of post-mortems, I suspect one of the lessons for the Dems will be similar to one that the GOP picked up in 1989 with Coleman's loss. The Mark Warner formula worked in 2001 in part because of who Mark Warner was. It worked in 2005 in large part because Warner left as a popular governor and Kaine was able to capitalize on his popularity. Play for the center and win independents -- since the party is at a disadvantage in terms of partisan advantage it's key to establish cross-over bonafides. That's no longer the case in the state. The Dems enjoy a substantial partisan advantage, but that cohort needs attention in order to get engaged and involved.

In 2009 the Dems had control of the Governor's office for two terms, and they finally won a statewide presidential election in 2008. If Deeds had run a base strategy that rallied around Obama, it would have been like waiving a red flag in front of McDonnell. McDonnell and his team would probably take the bait which in turn would have rallied base support behind Deeds; it would have given him the chance to throw some elbows and to take some shots at McDonnell in return before pivoting down the stretch with a more positive message.

Instead he waited and made a play for the center using the Mark Warner play book. This isn't 2001. If Deeds goes down, my sense is that we'll probably see a more partisan approach in 2013 along the lines of the GOP circa 1993. A lot can change between now and then -- and the votes still need to be counted in this race. But . . .

Posted by: JPRS | November 3, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

China # 1 GREEN RENEWABLES

Bye Bye America- SLOW DOWN

London now # 1 Global Finance-

Bye Bye America- SLOW DOWN-

Moving TOO FAST AMERICA- SLOW DOWN!

USA not even in top 25 for worldwide education

Bye Bye America- Slow DOWN

TOO FAST!

WSJ/Murdoch: Dumb it Down Mr President!

We have not hit bottom yet!

Posted by: sasha2008 | November 3, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Doug Hoffman is a creature of the far right -- a sock puppet for vicious power-mad 'entertainers' like Limbaugh and Beck, whom he grovels and crawls for. And this is the kind of thing you can expect from them--Limbaugh saying that Scozzafava is 'guilty of bestiality.'

There really are no lows to which they will not sink.

'Democratic NY-23 candidate Bill Owens is jumping to the defense of Dede Scozzafava, his Republican former rival who dropped out of the race and endorsed him against Conservative Doug Hoffman, following an attack on her by Rush Limbaugh.

Limbaugh declared today that Scozzafava was "guilty of widespread bestiality. She has screwed every RINO in the country." Owens released this statement:

"This despicable attack on Assemblywoman Scozzafava offends me personally and exemplifies exactly what's wrong with Hoffman and his right wing backers. Assemblywoman Scozzafava is an honorable public servant who has served Upstate New York as an independent and principled leader who always prioritized the best interests of Upstate New York ahead of a partisan agenda. Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right wing special interests that are running Hoffman's campaign can't even begin to compete with what she has accomplished over her career."

Doug Hoffman and his supporters have sunk to a new low today. There is no excuse for this kind of shameful rhetoric and Doug Hoffman ought to denounce Limbaugh immediately."

But he won't. The little weasel will suck up to Rush even harder. He's a nothing, a non-entity without his powerful puppeteers.

Posted by: drindl | November 3, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

"Thanks for focusing on what's important. [rolling eyes]. Do you want to make a joke about Christie being fat while you're at it too?"

Important stuff like Barack Obama's middle name? How about Hillary Clinton's ankles? Is that what you mean, wingnut? More hypocrisy.

BTW, it's a fact that fat candidates do not do well and I suspect candidates with green teeth don't either. Who wants to look at these clowns?

You think if Sarah Palin was a fat slob she'd have gotten the nomination? LOL

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 3, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse


I voted for Obama--but how in God's name can we not now feel like the victims of the biggest bait and switch LIE of all time?????

WHY has he allowed Wall Street to control his administration!?!!?! The people would like to KNOW!

David Plouffe has written the most important political book of the year. The Audacity to Win arrives at a crossroads moment for the Obama administration -- exactly one year after the election. While reading it, I found myself wondering what Candidate Obama would think of President Obama. Would he wonder how the candidate who got into the race because he decided "the people were getting hosed" became the president who decided that the American people can only have as much change as Olympia Snowe will allow? How did the candidate who told a stadium of supporters in Denver that "the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result" become the president who has surrounded himself with the same old players trying the same old politics, expecting a different result?


Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Posted by: misssymoto | November 3, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

If McDonnell wins as expected, it's due in great part to convincing enough mods and indies that he's not a scary rightwingnut. Running to the right most definitely is NOT the key to victory in VA any more.

Now here's a surprise:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/11/03/palin-sowed-confusion-on-election-night-new-book-claims/

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 3, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

That's interesting, nodebris -- same as around here. Our republican DA ran with all blue posters, no mention of her party anywhere, even in her mailers, last elections. This year she switched parties and kept the same signs.

Posted by: drindl | November 3, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Not at all Margaart -- Hoffman is a weasel, and he looks like one.

Posted by: drindl | November 3, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"I look forward to being able to hang on to more of the money I earned in the coming years."

Of course, each dollar will be worth less. Enjoy!

Posted by: nodebris | November 3, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

"In Virginia, the gubernatorial race is far from meaningless. A republican governor will be a significant issue, given the state's recent trends."

538 did a great little story pointing out that in most of his online ads, McDonnell appears on a Democrat-blue background with no mention of his party affiliation. His website home page also nowhere mentions that he is a Republican.

If this Republican wins, it will be because he's convinced enough people he's not really a Republican.

Posted by: nodebris | November 3, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

so, SAMBEAR - i guess what you mean is you want more of the same - ie: rather than people vote FOR something when voting democrat, cheap out and vote against something instead? right? It's really past time for democrats to offer something to vote FOR.

sambear said: Please Virginia! Just say no to the stupid, hurtful, harmful, self-serving, political gamesmanship of the Republicans by voting NO! on Bob McDonnell and the incumbent Republican delegates!!!

Posted by: regentrifydc | November 3, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

so, SAMBEAR - i guess what you mean is you want more of the same - ie: rather than people vote FOR something when voting democrat, cheap out and vote against something instead? right? It's really past time for democrats to offer something to vote FOR.

sambear said: Please Virginia! Just say no to the stupid, hurtful, harmful, self-serving, political gamesmanship of the Republicans by voting NO! on Bob McDonnell and the incumbent Republican delegates!!!

Posted by: regentrifydc | November 3, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Virginia Cannot Afford Bob McDonnell Or The Current Republican Delegates!

Virginians lost in this last debate, as no one challenged Bob McDonnell and the Republican members of Virginia’s House of Delegates on their political posturing and dishonest, hurtful, harmful, political games, that caused Virginia to leave $125 million in additional unemployment funds on the federal table; thus forcing our Governor to borrow $250 million for the unemployment program in these very difficult times of record setting levels of high unemployment.

Folks really should read the link to understand that Bob and the Republican delegates put dishonest, partisan, political games above the best interests of all of Virginia’s citizens, both employed and unemployed. There was no unfunded mandate for a permanent program; but rather, a $125 million grant to fund a $20 million program that could have been repealed by a GA vote in 2010!!!

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/05/mcdonnell-ducking-cover-jobless-benefits#comment-727344

Bob McDonnell and the current Republican Delegates have demonstrated that their dishonest, self-serving views and actions represent a real threat to the stability of Virginia’s economy and the overall wellbeing of all Virginians! One should really ask why Bob McDonnell and the Republican State Delegates and Senators would so willingly throw away $125 million in these really horrific times!!!

Please Virginia! Just say no to the stupid, hurtful, harmful, self-serving, political gamesmanship of the Republicans by voting NO! on Bob McDonnell and the incumbent Republican delegates!!!

Posted by: SamBear | November 3, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

My vote,
McDonnell 49%, Deeds 49% (leading to a recount but McDonnell wins in a squeker)

Corzine 40%, Christie 38%, Daggett 12%

NY-23, Owens 48%, Hoffman 44%, Scozzafava 8%

The headline will be "Conservative wave crashes short of the beach"

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 3, 2009 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I'll guess

Deeds 52%, McDonnell 48%

Corzine 47%, Christie 43%, Daggett 10%

Owens 45%, Hoffman 40%, Scozzafava 15%

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Dropped by to vote today in Alexandria (VA). Turnout was very heavy given that it was after 9 a.m. If NoVa turnout is strong and goes heavily for Deeds, he might pull off a shocker. Long odds, but what the hey.

The funny thing is that efforts to nationalize these elections may backfire on Republicans. On his own, NJ might vote to toss out Corzine with cause. I don't think VA has buyer's remorse with Obama. Kaine's approval ratings remain quite high, even though he has had to make serious cuts in the budget.

By the way, CC, are we going to have a Fix poll? It seems predicted results for these three elections are a perfect opportunity for a guessing game. I'll go:

VA - McDonnell 54%, Deeds 46%
NJ - Corzine 46%, Christie 44%, Daggett 10%
NY23 - Huffman 48%, Owens 42%, Scozzafava 10%

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 3, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Yes, margaretmyers, you're right.

It IS very small of you.

Thanks for focusing on what's important. [rolling eyes]. Do you want to make a joke about Christie being fat while you're at it too?

The good news is, you've recognized the problem. All you have to do now is stop posting such inanities. It would be even better if you stopped thinking them, but let's focus on baby steps.


All of these races are important, but as a Virginia resident, that is the one most important to me, regardless of what it says about Obama. And I am thankful that we will not be electing a cipher with no ideas as governor today. Deeds ran an awful campaign (so did The Washington Post on his behalf) and has no realistic plans for Virginia. McDonnell will be a solid governor, and with similar shifting in the Virginia Assembly, I look forward to being able to hang on to more of the money I earned in the coming years.

Posted by: etpietro | November 3, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

The reality of it is that your typical black does not vote. Blacks in general do not pay attention to politics as they are busy trying to make ends meet. But this is the way of life for all minorities, not just blacks. Your anger should be directed at the "lack of or no mention" of other minority groups.

----------------------------------------
I think it is insulting to say that AA voters probably won't be out in full force since O isn't on the ticket. Are you saying they're too dumb to realize how important their vote is? You underestimate the AA community, chris. they have experienced how important and powerful their vote is, and keeping white republican males out of office is the only way to insure continued growth of minorities gaining influence and equality. But that wouldn't occur to someone who thinks Chip Saltzman is the furthest thing from a racist.

Posted by: katem1 | November 3, 2009 8:39

Posted by: doesnot1 | November 3, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I don't know what is wrong with Northern NY, but I watched Hoffman talk last night and it was just too funny. Right wing talking point lite. If this is a bellwether election, it bodes well for Democrats.

On the other hand, I saw Tim Pawlenty and Ed Rendell's live repartee on Squawk Box this morning and he, Pawlenty, has made an awful lot of progress in his ability to get ahead of a political conversation - and display argument supporting facts at the same time. No longer underestimating his GOP chances.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"... head to the polls today to pick winners in races that will be analyzed ad nauseam for their meaning -- or lack thereof -- on the national stage."
-----------------------
Is this, perhaps, WAPO trying to minimize any or all republican victories as meaningless?

In Virginia, the gubernatorial race is far from meaningless. A republican governor will be a significant issue, given the state's recent trends.

Posted by: AWWNats | November 3, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

@ margaretmeyers, November 3, 2009 6:20AM
+++++++++++++++++++
I think I just might love you....
.

Posted by: Polly_Tics | November 3, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The notion that these races, in particular the VA governor's race, is a referendum on Barack Obama's performance. I do not agree.

For me, as a Democrat, we have seen Cree Deeds try to out-Republican the Republican. Pandering will, in fact, cost him this election, and perhaps drag delegate races down with him.

It's high time that the Democrats have a candidate that talks honestly about where money is coming from to finance what is needed in this state. The bottom line is, with a gas tax that is 50% less in inflation adjusted terms than it was 20 years ago, how are the transportation requirements, especially in public transit and high speed rail, going to be funded?

We must prepare for the future, or we will fall behind. The rest of the developed world knows this while we fiddle.

Posted by: pcc7407 | November 3, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

@ margaretmeyers, November 3, 2009 6:20AM
+++++++++++++++++++
I think I just might love you....
.

Posted by: Polly_Tics | November 3, 2009 9:46 AM | Report abuse

ELECTION 'X FACTOR -- ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE TAMPERING, FRAUD

As mainstream media focuses on the candidates, no entity appears to be addressing the increased probability of vote count irregularities stemming from electronic voting -- and, in most districts, the continued absence of a requirement that electronic machines create a voter-verifiable "paper trail" to facilitate recounts.

The issue was starkly drawn in a Hollywood movie a few years back, "Man of the Year" starring Robin Williams. In that flick, a corrupt voting machine executive who's a heavy contributor to a political party rigs an election, as covert operatives who drive big black SUVs and talk into their sleeves wreak havoc upon those who try to expose the fraud.

In the end, justice prevails -- but remember, this is Hollywood. Ironically, mainstream political pundit Chris Matthews, who hardly ever discusses the dangers of electronic voting on his show, makes a cameo appearance.

But it's not just the machines that raise concerns. Out in fly-over country, hard-right, Sarah-loving tea-bagger pitchfork people appear to be heavily represented among poll watchers and public safety officers with access to voting machine storage areas. With scant oversight of the vote count or the servicing of these machines, which use proprietary software, there's ample opportunity for chicanery.

And with mainstream media AWOL on the subject, those who would subvert democracy by tampering with voting technology or process probably stand a good chance of getting away with it.


***

GOV'T TORTURES ME WITH SILENT MICROWAVE WEAPONS, SAYS OUSTED HONDURAS PREZ

• Deposed Honduras President Manuel Zaleya confirms the essence what unjustly targeted citizens worldwide -- including this journalist -- have been reporting for years...

...MILITARY, SECRET SERVICES, AND INTEL AGENCIES of many nations, including the U.S., silently assault and torture "targeted individuals," including those regarded as "dissenters" or slandered as undesirables, with debilitating, health-degrading, "slow-kill" electromagnetic microwave and laser radiation weapons systems -- reported to include a nationwide installation disguised as cell towers.

FOR THE REST OF THE STORY:

http://nowpublic.com/world/govt-tortures-me-silent-microwave-weapons-ousted-s-prez

OR (if link is corrupted): http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "Gov't Tortures" and "Gestapo USA."

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 3, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I think it is insulting to say that AA voters probably won't be out in full force since O isn't on the ticket. Are you saying they're too dumb to realize how important their vote is? You underestimate the AA community, chris. they have experienced how important and powerful their vote is, and keeping white republican males out of office is the only way to insure continued growth of minorities gaining influence and equality. But that wouldn't occur to someone who thinks Chip Saltzman is the furthest thing from a racist.

Posted by: katem1 | November 3, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

A new poll out of the NY-23 has Hoffman up at 41% and Owens gaining support as well at 36% with 18% undecided and 6% still supporting Scozzafava. The poll was taken before Scozzafava endorsed Owens so it is possible that the endorsement may be enough to puch that 18% to Owens.

Also Vice-President Biden was in Watertown (Scozzafava's center of support) last night to campaign for Owens. Biden went to Syracuse university and is pretty well thought of in this area of the country so this may have a significant effect on today's vote.
In his address however, you can gleam how the Democrats are going to spin a victory or a defeat today. If they lose the 23rd they will say that Rush, Palin, and Club for growth have hijacked the GOP and turned it into a partisan attack group.

The Watertown Daily Times has a couple great stories about this today.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 3, 2009 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Story next week - massive voter fraud in nj absentee ballots. Acorn wants to deliver for their guy.

Posted by: snowbama | November 3, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

The key in NJ and NY will be turnout. I think if you have a high turnout in NJ then Daggett will push over 13% and Corzine will win. On the other hand Bill Owens is hoping for a low turnout and that the voters are the really dedicated voters, since that will be made up of a good amount of party loyalists (on both sides) who will most likely vote for him.

Deeds is toast barring a miracle on the turnout side, which I doubt since the weather is nice in VA today.

As I have said before the NY-23 is a win-win for the Democrats either way because they either pick up a solid red seat or the GOP is driven further and further down the rabbit hole of the extreme right. It will be interesting to see what spin we hear from people like Michael Steele and Sarah Palin if Hoffman wins.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 3, 2009 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Not going to be a good report card on mr thin skin. Maybe a present ident with at least a single significant decision under his belt first.

Posted by: snowbama | November 3, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

The Democratic Party admitted, yesterday, that it is paying for robo-calls supporting Daggett. Are we to vote for Corzine or Daggett?
Answers please.

Posted by: mwhoke | November 3, 2009 7:33 AM | Report abuse

It seems there is some concern about voter fraud when it comes to absentee ballots.
The time has come to stop absentee ballots or strengthen controls to be sure that there is no room for manipulation.
I am not sure what practical and cost effective controls would do the trick, but it seems any move in that direction would be helpful.
One way to do it would be to have the ballots mailed to a "Lock Box" location that would be available to volunteers from both parties who would jointly open and count the ballots in a secure location which would be video taped. The process could be supervised by an independent CPA. That could be strengthened by having the same group do signature matches with the records on hand.

Posted by: nychap44 | November 3, 2009 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the cheat sheet, CC.
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Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 3, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Gad! You found a picture of Hoffman with his mouth closed so we aren't frightened by his teeth and now we get to see he has a wandering eye. Can we get a picture of him at the pool next so we can marvel at his sunken chest?

Yes, even as I write this I know this is very small of me.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 3, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

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