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Moran--Deeds--Byrne for the Governor's race? What a GOP wet dream. I guess things are looking up after all.

Corky Buchek

Nice analysis, Ben. Thanks.

I'm with Ben. It should be a primary. It is the open and fair way to do it.

Ghost of Henry Howell

Who actually selects the Delegates? Does each jurisdiction have a different method? (I assume that the campaigns would be filing slates in as many jurisdictions as they could)


Ugh, we need automatic primaries like every other civilized State in the Union.

JMU Duke

brimur- I was just about to comment in the same fashion. Keep the process open.


So what happens if Mark Warner decides he wants another stay in the state house ???? All bets off ???

not gretchen bulova

Used2Bneutral - In that scenario he walks into the nomination, no one is challenging him.

webb slinger

The GOP could only dream of Brian Moran getting the nod.


I hate to break it to youse guys, but, excluding a Warner candidacy, Deeds is the only one on this list that has a snowball's chance of victory in the general election.


A couple of points regarding Ben's summation:

First of all, looking back historically at caucuses to select Dem nominees in the 1980's, NOVA has never voted in a block. In Fairfax County during the 1985 govs race, each magisterial district conducted their own caucus and elected their delegates to the Dem State Convention. In 1985, it was assumed that Dick Davis would win across the board in Fairfax County but Jerry Baliles ended up snatching several of those magisterial districts away from Davis, which provided the margin of victory statewide for Baliles in securing the nomination. My point is that there is no safe bet that Moran would sweep NOVA or Deeds would sweep southwest and southside VA. It's all about who can turn out there supporters in a caucus - and that is a very different strategy as opposed to turning out voters in a primary.

Secondly, caucuses do provide a great opportunity for party building for local committees. A lot of committees solicit folks who show up at caucuses to become members of their committee and this has proven quite successful over the years. Remmeber, in each jurisdiction, each candidate files a slate of delegates in each jurisdiction and then the campaigns, along with their delegates, try to get as many people as possible to show up for their candidate. Depending on the rules, each county and city can be winner take all or delegates can be allocated by percentages, based on the number of supporters they have in attendance at a given caucus. So each committee will have access to a large number of Dems they would not otherwise have access to and these folks can be approached to join their local committee.

So, while Ben's numbers are interesting, there are a lot of factors that take place, based on rules, turn out, and which candidates are well organized, that can really make it difficult to determine which candiate can win in any jurisdiction statewide.

And the caucus system forces candidates to put a campaign infrastructure together statewide so the eventual nominee selected at the state convention already has a great ground game and campaign infrastructure in place for the fall election.


Poli-Carp- You only wish. Brian has incredibly broad appeal.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Yeah Poli-Carp, and in early 2005 I'm sure you were laughing at the idea that Leslie Byrne could even come close to winning the race for Lt Gov statewide.

Oh, look, she damn near knocked off Billie.

Doug in Mount Vernon


Caucuses should be used for "party building"!!???

That is the most ludicrous thing I've heard on here in a long time. In order to "build" party, a committee must engage people into politics and their issues. The people who show up to a caucus are already engaged, and already plugged into the party. Many will not be members because they don't like the organization hassles. You need to remember, there is virtually no advertising for caucuses--at least not that I've ever seen.

Party building is a year-round GRASSROOTS activity and HARD work. Don't call getting .004% of the electorate into a room for a short period of time on a Saturday afternoon "party building".

No wonder so many Dem committees aren't building party--apparently they don't understand the work required to do so.

Even in Mount Vernon, despite our large volunteer base and the amount of grassroots visibility work that we do, we struggle to engage more of the community in our party, especially in low-turnout precincts.

Don't underestimate how much work "party building" is, and please don't imply that it can be done at a caucus.

People (myself included here) are so lazy sometimes.

Doug in Mount Vernon

Oh, and by the way, when a larger number of voters participate in a primary, we have "access" to those people as well. It's called a voter file.

Here is what a small, but vocal, minority doesn't appear to understand: Creigh is the one who is unelectable, not Brian. If it were 1997 or even 2001, I would concede that the demographics in the state would favor Creigh. But it is 2007 and the election will be in 2009. The trends are that the population and the money are in Northern Virginia. Turnout in the 8th, 10th and 11th CD's are key and they will decide the 2009 Gubernatorial race. If you want to ask someone about this, ask Jerry Kilgore and George Allen. Brian can raise the money (look at the huge amount he's already banked) and he can get the votes). People talk a lot about understanding the fact that the Commonwealth's demographics are changed, but sometimes they appear to have difficulty connecting the dots...

webb slinger

You don't think Brian will be tied to ole Jim "I can win in a hugely dem district even after I say and do things that should have gotten me kicked out of office long ago" Moran?

webb slinger

You don't think Brian will be tied to ole Jim "I can win in a hugely dem district even after I say and do things that should have gotten me kicked out of office long ago" Moran?


The best thing that could happen for Creigh Deeds is if Leslie got in this race. She'll take more of Moran's votes than Creigh's...way more.


Doug in MV,

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Bolling is a political hack and mediocrity. I'd really like it if y'all could nominate someone for whom I could vote, in case Bolling does get the Republican nomination. Byrne darn near beat a vacuous wind-bag who outspent her how many times over? Big deal.

I know the mantra of "nobody's won a statewide election without winning Fairfax." But do you really want to test that theory and not, at least, try to win the rest of the state?

George Templeton

NLS, about the difference between having a convention and a primary (closed, open whatever). I assume a primary is more expensive to conduct, is that why the Central Committee is considering a convention.
As an aside it would seem the Pres./Gov. plan is the fairest convention plan because it truly represents the Democratic strength in each area.


Doug, working a caucus to sign up caucus attendees on the local committee is not a ludicrous idea - and it works. Political hacks are not the only attendess at a caucus. When you have a contested race for president, governor or senator, there are always a group of motivated supporters who attend their caucus on behalf of their candidate and who are not part of the local committee. And I now it is successful because I have done it. One of the reasons local committees were so vibrant and had large memeberships around the state in the 1980's and early 1990's was because of the caucus system. Look how many folks from outside the system came bursting in when folks like Chuck Robb, Ira Lechner, Doug Wilder, Bill Clinton, and Howard Dean were running for political office. They touched a nerve with supporters and their supporters worked hard to get folks to attend the caucus on behalf of their candidate. And if you check memberships on the local committees around the state or on the state central committee, you'll find that a lot of those folks joined the party after having attended a caucus on behalf of a candidate they wanted to support. And even if you don't do this at the caucus, you still have the pledge forms that each participant completes at the caucus and you can contact folks after the caucus. And I think you are more likely to get a caucus particiant to join a local committee as opposed to a primary voter.

As far as the voter file is concerned, how many committees are calling folks on the voter file or contacting them by mail who voted in a Deomcrtic primary and asked them to join their local committee? I suspect very few - based on the sorry state of most local committeees these days.

I agree party building is a year around event - and soliciting caucus participants to join a local committee can be a part of party building as well.

So, if you are having trouble building up your local committee in Mt. Vernon, perhaps you could try soliciting folks at your next caucus. Let me know how it goes.

Party Person

Doug in MV,

CloudsInMyCoffee is right and you are (partially) wrong. I want to make two points:

First, I know by your other postings that you have no use for caucuses as a means of nomminating the Democratic Party's candidate and don't know why they're used at times over other means of nominating. By advocating a primary over a caucus every time, you seem to have no problem with Republicans coming in and helping the Democrats determine who our own party's candidate will be. Sometimes I really don't think you understand party politics very well, and don't see any need for having any party discipline.

Second, Clouds is correct by saying that a caucus is a means of party building. I've been involved in caucuses for the state convention, and I recall very well that some of the people who were delegates to conventions had never been involved before in Democratic politics (outside of just voting Democratic at the polls) and became interested and ended up joing the local party because of that experience. And if they didn't join the party, they certainly went on to becoming good local precinct workers (and I can name some in MV for you who fit that category!).


Thank you Party Person for the back-up! The bottom line is that if you don't ask people to join a local committee, they won't! When I got involved in my first caucus, I had no clue a local committee even existed. And the reason I joined was that i showed up with twenty people at my first caucus to vote for myself and my slate of candidates and a memeber of the committee asked me to join. I along with eight I other people I brought with me signed up for the committee on the spot!

Doug in Mount Vernon

Any committee that doesn't already contact ALL its primary voters and asking them if they are interested in joining the committee or helping out is not doing its job.

I am not 100% all the time against caucusing. But yes I do prefer primaries as they, in fact, do much more to build party in an area like NoVA. In a small county with a huge GOP performance advantage is the kind of place where I would support them.

Clouds, in Mount Vernon, we have over 1500+ volunteers who we regularly contact about volunteering, and we use and motivate our people better than anyone else around that I know about.

So, when I say we "struggle" I am meaning that in the sense that I want us to make inroads into the precincts that don't turn out on off years, but thanks for the encouragement.

And yes, btw, in Mount Vernon we absolutely call every primary voter we have on record, invite them to volunteer, attend committee meetings, etc. The fact is, most don't want to be on a committee to work, but like to volunteer, attend fundraisers, social events, etc.

"a vacuous wind-bag who outspent her"

Apparently the GOP can only nominate them, huh? Well, sounds like Kilgore to me as well, but the point still stands: Brian Moran has every chance of winning as Creigh Deeds does.

And I am not supporting either candidate or having any intention to at this time.

Because that would simply be ridiculous.

And btw, as Howard Dean supporter, and among others you mentioned, I might remind you that several of these were nominating primaries, not caucuses, Clouds.

Doug in Mount Vernon

One more thing:

As for the party crossover issue, then why not support Cuccinelli's party registration bill? I would.

But then I grew up in Pennsylvania where only Dems participate in Dem primaries, and same with GOP.

I like that. Why don't we do it?


i love the USA!

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