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50th District Outlook

By Greg L | 26 October 2009 | Jeanette Rishell, 50th HOD District | 11 Comments

The question on everyone’s mind seems to be not whether Jeanette Rishell stands a chance to unseat Delegate Jackson Miller (she doesn’t), but why in the world she would try.  Two years ago she got thumped by over twenty points in a campaign that was a complete embarassment to her and other Democrats in the area.  Then came Obama and his whirlwind of “hope and change”, which apparently blew just enough hopey-changey air up Rishell’s skirts to make her think that if she could just bring those Obama voters to the polls a year later, she could win.  Well, that hasn’t quite worked out.

While Obama’s policies haven’t quite appealed to the electorate the way his candidacy for president did a year ago, the new voters Obama brought to the polls look like a one-time event generated by Obama’s personal charisma and the historic nature of his candidacy.  Polls indicate that about ninety-five percent of those voters that gave Obama the edge in Northern Virginia aren’t going to the polls this election.  They understandably aren’t excited about this election or anyone running in it, the Obama dynamic has evaporated, and Rishell’s faint hope of capitalizing on those voters has withered. 

Rishell’s targeted efforts aim at this demographic — ALL of her mail is going to either voters identified by the Obama campaign, or predictable Democrat voters.  That has limited her election efforts to a demographic that simply isn’t going to vote on November 3rd.  She threw away the persuadable independents and all potential Republican voters, focusing on the Obama list, and as a result when you drive around the district there are virtually no yard signs for the Rishell campaign.  It appears that the Deeds campaign and the rest of the state-wide Democrats are doing the same as well, leaving Republicans to actually mount a campaign while Democrats plead with infrequent voters that Rishell and Deeds are as equally engaging as Barack Obama.  Obama’s coat-tails evaporated long ago, but Democrats are dedicated to chasing them, and dedicated to that alone.  It’s a strategy utterly doomed to fail.

Meanwhile a very different dynamic is working to the benefit of Delegate Jackson Miller.  The Obama-Pelosi-Reid policies have enraged a substantial segment of the electorate and even gotten voters who typically might not participate in a non-federal election pretty strongly engaged.  While some of conservatives who didn’t particularly care for John McCain last year sat out that election or dedicated a lot less energy to it than they otherwise might have, they’re pretty dedicated this time to get to the polls, particularly because of the dynamics at the top of the ticket.  When they do, their utter contempt of Jeneatte Rishell will show through.  Independents like Jackson Miller as well and have been getting mail from him, whereas a lot of them haven’t heard a peep from Rishell.  Only one political party is actually mounting a campaign here.

Rishell’s typical campaign blunders don’t help her much.  This year we’ve seen her make some pretty poor staffing decisions, hand out flyers claiming endorsements she doesn’t have, and make some pretty nonsensical statements about being both pro-business and pro-union.  Her campaign gaffes haven’t risen to the level of absolute insanity that characterized the 2007 election, but they do reinforce people’s memories about that race and the conclusion of many voters came to two years ago, that Rishell is simply untrustworthy and unqualified.

This should be another walk for Delegate Jackson Miller, although the margin of victory might not reach the same twenty points from the last time this kabuki dance was performed.  Look for Jackson to take Rishell by about fifteen points, and let’s all hope we won’t have to deal with this utterly out-of-touch far-left fringe ideologue as a candidate again.

That’s change we can hope for.

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  1. Hazegray said on 27 Oct 2009 at 9:03 am:
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    Why should we waste more ink and typing time on Rishell? Put the effort into the fringe areas where additional effort might win one for the red-state team…

  2. Big Dog said on 27 Oct 2009 at 9:09 am:
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    - I’m an Independent and have voted in every general election
    for over twenty-five years. Twelve mailers from Jackson,
    none from Jeanette; almost no Rishell yard signs; plus her
    campaign is handing out literature from the last round that
    is clearly no longer correct.

    - It is my understanding that she raised almost as much money
    as Jackson, so where is she spending it?

    - My prediction is Jackson runs stronger than two years ago -
    over twenty points. The entire election is breaking in a strong
    GOP direction this fall.

  3. Greg L said on 27 Oct 2009 at 9:37 am:
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    Rishell’s biggest expense is salaries for her staff and consulting, and she’s got a huge staff of about eight people. She is also spending money on mailers, but the list she is sending them to are pretty much voters identified by the Obama campaign.

    One fascinating expense shown by VPAP is “Comcast Studio 3 Productions.” I guess she shot a commercial that will run on Comcast, but she may have spent so much money on staff she can’t afford the ad buy. Should be interesting to see if anything goes up on the air.

  4. Big Dog said on 27 Oct 2009 at 11:25 am:
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    Greg, thank you for the information. Just curious, fellow Independents
    and more than a few Democrats I know haven’t heard anything this
    year from the Rishell campaign even though she has raised a
    decent amount of money. Wonder what her game plan is/was
    to win the election.

  5. citizenofmanassas said on 27 Oct 2009 at 1:11 pm:
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    But the Washington Post endorsed her, really is there anything else to say? Her game plan was the fact there are 5,000 new voters in the district, and she thinks she is going to win every single one of them.

  6. JM said on 27 Oct 2009 at 1:14 pm:
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    I agree with this post except for this last statement, ” Look for Jackson to take Rishell by about fifteen points, and let’s all hope we won’t have to deal with this utterly out-of-touch far-left fringe ideologue as a candidate again.”

    I think the margins will be about the same as last time. The Obama voters are not fired up for this election. There just isn’t much out there to bring the far left to the polls.

    Also, I really don’t mind her as a candidate. Aside from the comic relief Rishell provides, we can be secure in the knowledge that Jackson Miller’s seat is secure as long as she is his opponent.

    The lack of Rishell yard signs in the district clearly indicates that her support is not as broad as it once was. In the future, the support won’t be as deep financially either. Rishell’s greatest challenge in future elections, should she decide to run, is going to be fund raising. After three embarrassing races and losses, will the Dems open their wallets for her in such a big way yet again?

  7. Harry C from Manassas said on 27 Oct 2009 at 7:38 pm:
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    “It is my understanding that she raised almost as much money
    as Jackson, so where is she spending it?”


    I think lunch at Okra’s - oh wait! Jackson picked up that bill, didn’t he?


  8. Ron said on 27 Oct 2009 at 7:55 pm:
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    As one local delegate candidate is finding out, a small percentage of the Obama voters are non-existent people. Yes, they voted in the 2008 election, but now they are nowhere to be found. It wouldn’t have been enough to have stolen Virginia from McCain, but it could also make a difference in a close race.

  9. Ayn Rand is Right said on 27 Oct 2009 at 8:30 pm:
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    I say Rishell gets sub-35% of the votes. The only danger I see is Miller voters who say “all the Republicans are going to win, so I don’t need to go to the polls”. The Republicans still win, but my much smaller margins.

    Conservatives: You finally have the dream ticket in the 50th! All candidates are CONSERVATIVES! Send Obama a message! Send RINO’s a message! Send Chairman Steele and the national GOP a message:


    Manassas voters: You can vote early, in person, at the registrars office up until 5pm EST on 10/31. No excuse not to vote.

  10. Ayn Rand is Right said on 27 Oct 2009 at 8:35 pm:
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    “Rishell’s greatest challenge in future elections, should she decide to run, is going to be fund raising. After three embarrassing races and losses, will the Dems open their wallets for her in such a big way yet again?”

    Consdiering that most of her money comes from outside the district, through clearing houses like “Act Blue”, from places like Massachusetts and Kalifonia, the naswer to your question is, “yes, they will open their wallets for her should she run again”.

    If Rishell were to run again, that would be the greatest gift Jackson could receive as an elected. She is only one step up from running unopposed. I guess the strategy would be, “Voters have come out for Jackson three times….they have to get tired some time. Maybe this time.” Like an Ali rope-a-dope…..except in her case it’s dope-a-dope.

  11. Big Dog said on 29 Oct 2009 at 5:14 pm:
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    Have heard several negative comments recently about
    Jackson’s mailings coming almost every day for the last two
    weeks and his robo calls. Don’t think it is a huge issue but he may
    want to let up a little. This election is over - no reason to
    pile on. (Although this may have all have been set in motion
    months ago and would be hard to slow down now).

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