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Chesterbrook Precinct: Republicans say today is a referendum on Obama

When Republican supporters of candidate Robert McDonnell are asked why they voted, a surprising number here refer to "he" or "him." The folks at the Chesterbrook polling place in McLean are not talking about McDonnell or his Democratic rival, Creigh Deeds, but President Barack Obama.

McDonnell voter Christina Hoag, a 58-year-old who owns a catering business with about 25 employees, said that she hopes a Republican victory would slow the growth of government and send the message to Democrats that they don't have the mandate in Washington they think they do to remake the economy.

"There's anger right now within ourselves, and I think most of that comes from uncertainty and fear," she said. "As a nation, we've lost our optimism."

Michael Barron, 60, said he's a Republican who has been willing to vote for Democrats occasionally over the years. Not this year.

"It's not local politics that's driving this," he said. "I'm concerned with the Democrats in Congress and, mostly, I'm concerned with sending them a message."

Hoag said she's not as hard-core as others she knows. She voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) last year, but she said she would have picked Hillary Clinton over McCain if she'd defeated Obama in the primaries. She supports good health-care coverage and nature preservation, but also wants to close the borders.

"Small businesses can't absorb what the government thinks we can absorb, especially in today's economy," she said. "I didn't trust Obama, but I didn't think he'd be this bad."

Del. Margaret Vanderhye (D), an incumbent facing a tough re-election battle against Republican challenger Barbara Comstock, said during her visit to the precinct that it's tough to get some voters to pay attention to local issues.

"People tend not to think about state government," she said. "The importance of local issues is a job of the delegate" to emphasize.

By James Hohmann  |  November 3, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Barack Obama , Election 2009 , Election Day '09: Chesterbrook Precinct , Robert F. McDonnell  | Tags: Chesterbrook Precinct  
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Next: Chesterbrook Precinct: Comstock's mom predicts big win


Locally, maybe in some places this is a referendum on Obama. Statewide, I strongly doubt it - it's a function of Democrats shooting themselves in the foot and choosing a weak candidate for Governor who has followed it up with an inept campaign. The thing to look at in this election is the turnout, and the number of votes the two candidates get (and McDonnell wins by), not the percentages. As exciting as the '08 presidential election was, this has to be the least inspiring vote I've ever seen. Not a sign of Republican renaissance - more like I think a lot of people would like a "None of the Above" selection on the ballot.

Posted by: duck95 | November 3, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

These people had an opportunity to vote directly against Obama in November 2008, and they lost. They shouldn't be trying to turn a state election into a do-over national vote.

Posted by: shmoozer | November 3, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

"These people had an opportunity to vote directly against Obama in November 2008, and they lost. They shouldn't be trying to turn a state election into a do-over national vote."


Posted by: MDFan | November 3, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Pretty meaningless, but I'm sure the teabaggers will love this.

Posted by: bobbarnes | November 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

A lot of white guilt suckers bought Obama's snakeoil last November, but they now see what we were trying to tell them, that Obama is a stone cold Marxist. This election is just stage 1 of payback..

Posted by: SMWE357 | November 3, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse


Don't worry, you will have another chance to vote against Obama -- but not until 2012. This is a state election.

Posted by: shmoozer | November 3, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The birth certificate issue went nowhere, so there's at least some emotional gratification for the 2008 losers when they can be perceived as handing Obama a defeat. We're supposed to be voting for the best governance of our state. Sending a protest vote may make you feel good, but if you elected the lesser candidate to govern your own state, it's you and your fellow Virginians (and their children) who suffer. Meanwhile, Obama remains president.

Posted by: hitpoints | November 3, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Now "they" know how it felt to those of us who weren't pleased with the Bush presidency.

Posted by: Capn0ok | November 3, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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