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:
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.
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.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
You can follow the discussion through the Comments feed.