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2006 Winners And Losers

By Greg L | 10 November 2006 | Manassas City, Prince William County | 7 Comments

I’ve noticed that the always stridently partisan Raising Kaine has posted a pretty useless list of winners and losers that would make the far-left happy, but offers little of value to anyone else. While I’m as probably as stridently partisan as Josh and Lowell, it’s worth taking an objective look rather than continuing to focus on the “us vs. them”. So without further ado:

Winners

Democratic Party bloggers: the conventional wisdom holds that the demographic for the democrat base tends to be younger and make greater use of the internet, which makes an internet-based outreach effort pretty effective. Moderate democrats in particular performed well and were overwhelmingly the most effective in moving their stories from the blogosphere to the mainstream media.

Manasssas City GOP: despite a pretty last-minute leadership transition, the GOP owned Manassas on election day. Over the course of the year the committee was effective in dominating the political landscape and avoided internal acrimony despite some potential problems with a few renegades. The performance in Manassas should serve as an example to other GOP committees on how to do things right, but it’s worth noting that this is the result not just of this year’s efforts but is also due to a history of stability, consensus building and effective leadership.

Virginia’s Republican Congressional Delegation: victories for Republican incumbents in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, and 11th Congressional Districts was a big win for Virginia Republicans that is wrongly being overshadowed by George Allen’s loss.

Political Advertisers: This cycle saw some of the most intensive use of broadcast and print advertising ever seen in Virginia, which overwhelmed bulk mail processing facilities in Merrifield and Dulles. Millions of pieces per day were being dumped into the system during the last several weeks of the campaigns and delays of up to four days were common. Mail houses like M & M Mailing in Richmond have never seen such great business.

Jim Webb: regardless of how it happened, Jim Webb’s victory was truly a big upset.

Delegate Bob Marshall: overwhelming passage of the Marriage Amendment that he crafted definitely raises Delegate Marshall’s profile and position. A win like this, when outspent four-to-one is nothing less than tremendous.

Losers

Hard-Left Democrats: candidates such as Judy Feder and Jeanette Rishell largely failed in their efforts to appear as moderates and lost their races despite very favorable political conditions. The national political climate absolutely affected local races and gave these candidates a rare opportunity they failed to capitalize on. Socialism still isn’t selling, even when Republicans make mistakes.

Prince William County Developers: after providing Sharon Pandak with a remarkable war chest (this is reasonably assumed) Sharon Pandak apparently couldn’t ride Jim Webb’s coattails to victory. Just as with the previous referendum on raising the sales tax, when developer interests conflict with the general electorate, the developers lose.

Secular Progressives: the overwhelming margin for the Marriage Amendment should rock the secular progressive movement back on it’s heels for a while, although there is the bright spot in that voters for the Marriage Amendment still were willing to vote for candidates who strongly opposed the measure — perhaps out of ignorance of their position. I doubt we’ll be hearing more calls for legal recognition of homosexual marriages anytime soon.

Steve Chapman: his budding political career spectacularly imploded with the stunning admission that BVBL distracted him to the point he forgot to file for the Republican 50th District convention this summer. With the conclusion of the 2006 elections the lawsuit Mr. Chapman filed should begin to move through the system again, providing even more political slapstick for hungry political junkies.

Traditional Media: the political coverage from traditional media outlets is comparing ever more poorly against the political blogosphere, despite the inevitable shortcomings of nonprofessional bloggers. Because traditional media suffers from limitations of article size or segment duration for an individual piece and can only carry a finite number of these, the flexibility of the political blogosphere and it’s nearly up-to-the-minute news cycle makes blogs a compelling alternative source for coverage, even if so very few take advantage of it. If this trend continues, within the next few election cycles the internet media will largely supplant local political coverage by newspapers.

Jury Still Out

Democratic Party Of Virginia: will they still have a non-profit bulk mail permit for the 2007 election cycle?

Bruce Roemmelt: after pushing hard for Jeanette Rishell and against the Marriage Amendment, will his newly burnished liberal credentials come back to haunt him?

Opposition Research Consultants: can they keep up with the efforts of bloggers? This election cycle, not many campaigns came out with the dirty laundry of their opponents before bloggers broke the story.



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7 Comments

  1. Kenton Ngo said on 10 Nov 2006 at 4:34 pm:
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    On a larger scale, I have to say the “hard left” did rather well. Publicly, DNC leadership is saying that this is a centrist victory, which is only partially true. Moderate Republicans were not only swept out in New England, they were thumped by Democrats who weren’t exactly moderate (New Hampshire’s 1st District is a good example) as Republicans out in the Rockies and the Midwest were taken out by moderates. The end of the Republican moderate arrived on Tuesday north of the Mason-Dixon. The revolt of the centrists against conservatism has swept liberals into power.

  2. RHarrison said on 10 Nov 2006 at 4:49 pm:
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    While Greg is too modest to mention it, there was one other winner this election - BVBL. The coverage Greg provided for the 50th District was more comprehensive, more astute and more timely than anything provided anywhere else. This includes the MJM, which chose not to cover several big campaign events on its doorstep (literally across the street in a few cases).

    If you want to find out the political situation in PWC or Manassas, you have to read Greg’s website.

  3. Greg L said on 10 Nov 2006 at 5:22 pm:
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    Kenton, you may have a point about the hard left nationally, but I’m restricting the scope to Virginia. I don’t follow national trends as much as the more local stuff. There’s plenty of others out there who talk about the bigger picture, but few who cover the close-to-home stuff.

    And Russ, thanks a bunch. You’ve got a share of that, too.

  4. Loudoun Insider said on 10 Nov 2006 at 5:23 pm:
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    Of course we would all love to have a Chapman lawsuit update!

  5. Andy H said on 10 Nov 2006 at 6:39 pm:
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    The secular progressive thing I’m a bit unsure about. The MA did pass but we swept aside many R’s for D’s. The upshot of the MA passing but the election of the SP folks means that the SP agenda gets advanced at the national level. At least, that’s my initial thought on the matter….

  6. Greg L said on 10 Nov 2006 at 8:51 pm:
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    Had we done a better job of making clear to the voters how the candidates stood in regards to the MA, the outcome could have been significantly different. As it were, many of us were unsure whether it would have coattails and didn’t make this as front-and-center as perhaps we should have.

    I’m not sure if it would have swayed all that many, but we didn’t need to change a lot as it turned out. This is one of those cases where what RPV did or should have known never filtered down to the foot soldiers doing the work.

  7. The Skeptic said on 11 Nov 2006 at 11:47 am:
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    MA could have strongly influenced more and particularly minority voters, encouraging them to support the REPUBLICAN side of the House and Senate. BIG LESSON learned! Allen missed the boat on this after September.

    Family values is like apple pie. It crosses party lines and would have been the best tool in rallying old and new supporters to the poles. My pet peeve with this is that we emphasize CHRISTIAN values when FAMILY values are strong in all faiths, including Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish etc. Lacking the sensitivity of that can profoundly create the opposite effect and turn people away. We must demonstrate the separation of the Fundamentalist or Evangelical RIGHT so it will not take away from the real Conservative / GOP base. We must WIN in 2008!

    Perhaps we should begin by respecting all faiths at PWCGOP meetings and no longer use Jesus Christ in name during the Committee meetings Invocation?

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