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Occoquan Prediction

By Greg L | 30 January 2007 | Prince William County | 10 Comments

Today’s special election in Occoquan is expected to have significantly lower turnout than the November 2007 General Election, and pits the ‘get out the vote’ effort of the Tom Davis political machine against a somewhat fractured push by Prince William County Democrats, with assistance from a few other Northern Virgina localities. There’s been a little bit of coverage by the local papers, but today’s edition of the Potomac News online doesn’t seem to mention that there’s an election today. Now the last minute ground game kicks into high gear, to try to push the results in what’s probably going to be a low turnout election.

In the November ‘06 election the Occoquan District was pretty solidly Republican. The Davis/Hurst and Stewart/Pandak races showed five precents pretty solidly Republican (Lake Ridge, Old Bridge, Rockledge, Bethel and Chinn), one toss-up (Mohican), and two Democrat (Occoquan and Springwoods). What makes this hill even harder for Democrats to climb is that one of their relatively strong precincts, Springwood, turns out about one-third of the number of voters as are seen in some of the Republican bastions like Lake Ridge and Rockledge. If this becomes a race based on party label, which is quite possible given that there are few defining issues which have gotten any coverage with which to differentiate between these candidates, this could easily become a twenty point blowout for the Republicans.

I’m going to give a little more credit to the campaign by the Democrats, who generally have done a pretty good job promoting their candidate, ducking tough questions, and trying to smear Mike May as a developer’s candidate. This district did go to Jim Webb, so Democrats can potentially win given the right circumstances. But with this behaving more like a Davis/Hurst race than a Allen/Webb race, with the Republicans running a solid campaign that has been error-free and generally positive. So I’m splitting the difference somewhat and projecting a seven point victory for Mike May.

If you’re an Occoquan voter, don’t take that to mean it’s not worth your time to get out there and actually vote. The potential for a surprise result is a lot higher in low-turnout elections, so make sure you get to the polls today and cast your ballot for Mike May.

UPDATE: Too Conservative is tracking turnout, and so far the turnout is pretty respectable for a special election, especially in Republican strongholds. This might be trending more towards the “blowout” scenario of a 15 point or better Mike May victory. If you’re an Occoquan voter, make sure you get to the polls to help show what a great turnout you can deliver after so many have written this off as another instance of an underwhelming 5% turnout for a special election. Prove ‘em wrong!

UPDATE 2: Not Larry Sabato projects Mike May as the winner at 3:28 PM. Looks like it must be a blowout.

UPDATE 3: Indeed, it is a blowout.  Mike wins by 57-43%, fourteen percentage points, and twice the margin I anticipated. Congratulations Mike May for a great victory!

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  1. Anonymous said on 30 Jan 2007 at 12:39 pm:
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    Dion work harder than May in this election no doubt about that. In an average election with turnout this low, May wins by about 120 votes. In good election for Dems, Dion wins by 250 votes. In the best case scenario for May he wins by 500 votes. All based on about 15% turnout. My guess is May wins by 50 votes in an election closer than many folks think.

  2. James Young said on 30 Jan 2007 at 12:50 pm:
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    Given the concerted efforts by Dems and the media to mask Dion’s warts, I would expect a result closer that we might like.

    Dems have largely succeeded in putting lipstick on this pig. As in “Squeal like a….!” (Deliverance, 1972).

  3. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 30 Jan 2007 at 1:31 pm:
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    I’ll go out on a limb and predict a 57-43 win for May.

  4. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 30 Jan 2007 at 2:23 pm:
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    Agreed with your update. I think this is trending blowout. The lowest two precincts for turnout are the strong D precints. I’m sticking with my 57-43 prediction.

  5. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Jan 2007 at 2:24 pm:
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    When Dion loses, he’ll have more time to tour with the Village People revival group, or at least hang out more on Dupont circle.

  6. Doug Mataconis said on 30 Jan 2007 at 2:33 pm:
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    My wife voted around 1 this afternoon at our precinct and was # 109.

  7. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 30 Jan 2007 at 8:52 pm:
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    According to Proud Republican on Virginia Virtucon, Mike May won by about 450 votes — 57 to 43 just as I predicted.

  8. John said on 30 Jan 2007 at 9:31 pm:
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    57 to 43 isn’t exactly a blowout, considering all the baggage Dion brought to the race. I expected more. But congratulations to Mr. May. The Democrats didn’t bother to run any kind of quality candidate, while the Republicans did.

  9. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 30 Jan 2007 at 10:40 pm:
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    Any double-digit win is a blowout.

  10. Batson D. Belfrey said on 30 Jan 2007 at 11:04 pm:
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    I heard that Dion sang the Theme from Torchsong Trilogy as his concession speech.

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