Will Super Tuesday Turnout Mean More Voters in Va.?
Here's a selection of links, quotes and more that touch on Potomac Primary coverage from around the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. Free free to add more in the comments below.
The turnout to vote for the Super Tuesday primaries -- a week before Virginia's actual election date -- indicates voter interest should be heavy on the actual voting date, suggested an article in the Roanoke Times. The State Board of Elections reported more than 700 calls Tuesday from people eager to vote and wanting to know why their polling places weren't open.
Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, a Democrat who helped engineer the change in primary date that has contributed to the creation of the so-called Potomac Primary, said in an article on WJZ-TV's web site that, "this is the first time we're going to see real, live candidates coming through the state of Maryland."
"Basically, it's up in the air," said Herb Smith, a professor of political science at McDaniel College, about the race between Clinton and Obama in a Carroll County Times article. He predicted that voter turnout in Maryland could be as high as 40 or 50 percent (compared to 2004 presidential primary election's 24 percent) as a result of Maryland's key role in deciding the presidential candidate -- being one week after the 24-state Super Tuesday.
Pat Robertson, who heads the Christian Broadcasting Network in Virginia Beach, endorsed Rudy Giuliani in November. Since the former New York City Mayor dropped from the race, however, Robertson has not yet endorsed any other candidate and cites "misgivings" about supporting McCain, according to an article by Steven Vegh in the Virginian-Pilot.
The area should be grateful for the prospect of being in the mix of states that will determine the winner of the Presidential ballot, instead of "merely ratifying -- or fecklessly rejecting -- winners predetermined by other states," writes Tom Chalkley in Baltimore's City Paper. "I think it's great that Maryland -- that the Chesapeake states -- are still in play," State Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-43rd District) tells the paper.
A story by Baxter Smith recounted a meeting of Obama supporters, including Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-7th), that took place at the candidates Baltimore County headquarters last Friday night. "I read his book," one woman said. "I saw a man with a vision that transcends race and ethnicity and a man that can lead this country in the direction it needs to go."
Across the river, further comment: "When you look at the state as a whole, it looks more like the other battleground states. I expect Clinton will be out in force in Virginia," George Mason University associate professor Michael McDonald told the Media General News Service.
"I'm interested in people of change, who are calling for change," Haymarket resident and Shenandoah University student Andrew Fisher told the Winchester Star. "I think this is a year when change is possible, and I think a few of the candidates offer that. On Tuesday, I am going back home and vote. It should be fun."
And University of Maryland professor Kathleen Kendall put forth a call to action in the Diamondback: "This week the candidates will be advertising heavily in the region and coming here to woo you. You can influence who the nominees will be. You, too, can make a difference."
More high ideals from a Roanoke Times editorial: "Virginians can expect to get a little more attention this week from the various campaigns. And as prospective voters are wooed, they should resist the often misleading boilerplate that campaign strategists regularly churn out. Voters know what issues have bestirred them enough that they plan to make it to the polls. Before they arrive, they should put aside marketing-created perceptions and look at what the candidates actually propose about the critical issues of the day -- minus the cycle through partisan spin machines."
-- Susan Hendrick
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