Winners, Losers, and Others from Yesterday's Primary

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

by Dan Sullivan

Briefly, a few winners and losers from yesterday. In general, the day belonged to the Republican Party of Virginia since most of the focus was on its contests. Generally not that much unusual to note, but if you have anything to contribute or simply disagree, please jump in.Winners
1. Democrats in Alexandria. Imagine, left to their own devices and without a slate, they managed to choose six diverse and capable candidates for city council.
2. Republican conventions. Formalize incumbent protection over there, will you? The RPV really should get out of these embarrassing and unnecessary primaries when they already know who they want to run. Let's see what they decide come Friday. (Though a 3:1 beat down by Ken Cuccinelli in a primary might be something to behold.)
3. Jim Moran.  A solid and well-deserved victory only surprising by his opponent's meager showing. "Not the incumbent" usually can gather 30% on that distinction alone. (See Bob Goodlatte)
4. Incumbency.  Always a good bet and better now than ever.
5. George Allen.  This man of solidly adequate accomplishment and famous lineage stands a fumble away from the goal line. Virginia may become the first state ever one of just a handful of states to elect a Senator who was unable to win re-election to the United State Senate as an incumbent.  
Dan Sullivan :: Winners, Losers, and Others from Yesterday's Primary
Mixed1. Tim Kaine.  George Allen has demonstrated the power of being there and he's been there longer than Governor Kaine. Any of the tea party three would have been much more fun and almost no contest, but then again, that is why they lost. Allen owes no debt to the craziest of crazies, so he can run up the middle clutching the ball behind a solid line of PACs as though he's a reasonable alternative.  This may end up a very predictable (except for the outcome) and highly managed contest with so many "debates" they might as well compile the "best of" DVD and play it at each venue after the third meeting.
2. Ella Ward. She won the opportunity to be shellacked by incumbent Congressman Randy Forbes in the 4th District. Nothing against Ms. Ward, she is a dedicated local Democratic icon, but barring a meltdown by Forbes, no one much to the left of center is going to come close in that District.
3. Jamie Radtke.  It wasn't ever even a game but she had a good run riding around the state in a snazzy RV. Or, maybe it really was only a game.
1. Bill Bolling. He endorses George Allen, then in his own home county Allen can't muster a majority while winning handedly statewide and by significant margins in neighboring counties. Is Bill an albatross to the macaca man? It is clear no one is listening and that those in the red camp looking at a run for Lieutenant Governor or Attorney General are nervous about him at the head of the ticket in 2013.
2. Teapublicans. Let's measure their influence. Allowing them to claim every vote against George Allen, that fired up base turned out 1.88% of the active voters in Virginia. Without a statewide candidate to draw them to the polls in November, they might not even swing that much punch then.
3. Chris S. Perkins. Who? The guy who is wasting his time and some people's money running against Congressman Gerry Connolly. With a 10:1 financial advantage in the primary, he scored a 3:2 margin at the polls. You know you don't have a prayer when the talk is about who's going to run in 2014 against your general election opponent before you're even the 2012 nominee. At least his wife contributed to him and not an attack PAC.
4. Sean Holihan. Speaking of a financial and organizational advantage being wasted, this candidacy was on the road to victory until the incredible story of a Nixon-like maneuver by his partner. Time and financial statements should tell the tale, but a curious prosecutor would be scratching his head not only in the arrangements but also that state (and federal) law doesn't protect against such tawdry PACs.