More Fodder for Turnout Debate
Will turnout in the Democratic gubernatorial primary June 9 be low? high? And who benefits? If it's all activists, the theory goes, Brian Moran gains an edge. If a broader electorate shows up, perhaps that's to Terry McAuliffe's advantage, since his message is reaching the most Virginians on radio and TV. If the rural parts vote more, that might be to Creigh Deeds' advantage.
Here's some new corn feed to throw into the trough.
In Arlington, political numbers-cruncher Frank O'Leary (the county treasurer by day) is pretty excited that absentee balloting is on a trajectory to exceed past primary elections (excluding last year's historic presidential contest).
O'Leary observes that 124 absentee ballots have been cast in Arlington, compared to past primaries, when, by the comparable date, the following numbers of absentee ballots had been submitted: 17 (2007), 30 (2006), 52 (2004) and 27 (2003).
The numbers are so small as to leave one wondering about their significance. But there are some other signs that turnout will exceed past Democratic primaries. Statewide, as of May 20, 6,617 absentee ballot applications had been submitted, already more than voted altogether in the 2005 Democratic primary -- and we've still got nearly three weeks to go.
Then there's the question of who benefits. The conventinal wisdom for weeks has been that high turnout favors McAuliffe, who is spending more money getting his message out than his competitors -- and is preparing a 95-county (that's all of them) get-out-the-vote effort likened (by me) to the invasion of Normandy.
But high turnout in places like Arlington could boost Moran's chances for a win, depending on whether those voting are party activists or regular folk. And heavy voting in rural Virginia could benefit Deeds because he is the most conservative of the three and the only candidate not from Northern Virginia.
Back to O'Leary's analysis of Arlington: He notes that absentee balloting is also on a trajectory to represent a larger share of the overall vote than in past primaries (again, excluding the presidential primary last year). This could be significant for November, when Democrats might finally be ready to challenge Republicans' traditional dominance of absentee balloting.
May 24, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories: 2009 Governor's Race , Amy Gardner , Election 2009
Save & Share: Previous: Crusade Endorsement Problems, Part II
Next: Romney's Whirlwind Weekend in Va
Posted by: jhough1 | May 24, 2009 7:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Willis3 | May 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rgshaw | May 24, 2009 10:46 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FederalGraphics | May 25, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | May 25, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: demfuture2000 | May 26, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.