Election day open thread

This thread is for any comments or predictions about any election happening today. I expect turnout in Windsor Heights to be relatively high for a local election; this is the most competitive race for mayor and city council that I can remember. I’ve received GOTV calls on behalf of several candidates.

The Virginia governor’s race looks like a blowout for Republican Bob McDonnell. The conservative Creigh Deeds won the primary on an electability argument, but we might have been better off with a candidate who excited the Democratic base more. Probably we would have lost the governor’s race, but with less damage done down-ticket.

The New Jersey governor’s race is a dead heat according to the Pollster.com polling average, but my hunch is that Republican Chris Christie is going to pull out a narrow win. The independent candidate, Chris Daggett, will be buried way down the ballot with a bunch of no-hopers, and I feel that a lot of his leaners will land with Christie when the ballot is in front of them. Given where the race stood in the summer, it’s a miracle that Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine has any prayer of pulling this out in the middle of a severe recession.

Mark “mystery pollster Blumenthal and Chris Bowers also give a slight edge to Christie in this race.

I am cautiously optimistic about no winning the Prop 1 battle in Maine, although the most recent poll of that race showed the yes position ahead. A “yes” vote would overturn same-sex marriage rights, which the Maine legislature approved and the governor signed into law earlier this year. The No on 1 forces have a strong ground game and appear to have banked a lot of early votes there. The main problem is that younger voters are less likely to turn out for an off-year election, and older voters are less likely to support marriage equality. Adam Bink reports from the ground:

The field team is firing on all cylinders. Biggest concern is youth turnout in off-year. In 2005, an anti-discrimination ballot initiative went our way and we had one campus field organizer for the whole state. This year we have nine. But the numbers are tight as hell, and if turnout is like a normal election year, we’ll lose. Everyone is saying we have to execute a flawless [GOTV] program.

New York’s 23rd district will be an easy win for conservative candidate Doug Hoffman, who forced moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava out of the race over the weekend. Although Scozzafava endorsed Democrat Bill Owens and recorded a robocall on his behalf, this district just has too strong a Republican lean for a Democrat to win, in my opinion.

Looking on the bright side, the parade of national Republican politicians and commentators behind Hoffman will crush future GOP recruiting efforts in districts where they need moderates to win. There could be no clearer sign that moderates are unwelcome in the Republican Party. I expect the fallout to affect recruiting for state-level races as well as Congressional ones.

What do you think about any of these races, or local elections in your community?

UPDATE: Unusually heavy turnout (for a local election) in Windsor Heights today. I voted around 3:15 and was voter number 241. An election worker told me there are 1,211 registered voters in my precinct, so even before the after-work rush, turnout was above 20 percent.  

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Help Needed Defeating Wal-Mart on Battlefield

Last week Virginia's Orange County Board of Supervisors vote to approve the building of a new Wal-Mart Supercenter within the historic boundaries of the
Wilderness Battlefield – and one of the most significant battlefields of the Civil War.  The Civil War Preservation Trust has been fighting Wal-Mart on this location for over a year – seeking an alternative location and compromoise – and after last week they desperately need everyones help to stop Wal-Mart from moving forward and opening the door to further destructive development.  

Even State Senator Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for Virginia Governor, has written a letter to the president and CEO of Wal-Mart pleading with him to move the location off the historic battlefield.  Wake-Up Wal-Mart is helping in this fight and you can too by also writing a letter on the Civil War Preservation Trust's website and also help spread the word yourself.

More from Blue Virginia and the Washington Post below:

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Social Networking with the 2009 Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates

{First, a cheap plug for my blog Senate Guru.}

While 2010 will be chock-full of exciting races at all levels of government.  In 2009, though, there will be two marquee races across the country: the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.  Republicans are favored in both races, but both races should come down to the wire, and Democrats can hold both seats – with your help.

In Virginia, Democratic State Senator Creigh Deeds won an impressive, come-from-behind victory for the nomination this past Tuesday, demonstrating a strong ground game.  The Republican nominee will be far-right-winger Bob McDonnell.  The best description for McDonnell’s brand of Republicanism is that he is a Pat Robertson disciple.  You can learn more about McDonnell at TheRealBobMcDonnell.com.  Deeds and McDonnell have tangled before, in the 2005 Virginia Attorney General race, where McDonnell barely edged Deeds by 323 votes (yes, just 323 votes – that’s not a typo with zeroes missing) out of over 1.94 million votes counted.  This race will be exceptionally close, so every single dollar contributed and every single hour spent volunteering will make a real difference.  A bit of good news is that the first poll taken after Tuesday’s primary, by Rasmussen Reports, shows Deeds with a 47-41 lead over McDonnell, but this could just be due to a primary bump.  Rasmussen’s last poll showed McDonnell leading Deeds 45-30.  Your support will help Deeds sustain his new lead.

In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Governor Jon Corzine will square off against Republican former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.  Christie is very much at home in the Republican Culture of Corruption.  Republican Christie has faced scandals involving no-bid contracts, abuse of the state pension system, pay-to-play, and even allegedly cutting a deal to get his younger brother’s sentence reduced after being implicated for fraudulent trading practices on Wall Street.  Despite Christie’s mountain of scandal, New Jersey’s lagging economy has hurt Governor Corzine’s poll numbers.  Recent polling gives Christie a 7 to 13 point lead over Corzine.  Research 2000, May 25-27: Christie 46, Corzine 39; Rasmussen Reports, June 4: Christie 51, Corzine 38; and, Quinnipiac, June 10: Christie 50, Corzine 40.  In other words, Christie has an edge, but the fundamentals of the race moving forward favor Governor Corzine.  As the economy gradually picks up over the coming months and voters learn more about Christie’s corrupt background, New Jersey’s blue state status will shine through and Governor Corzine should tighten the race back up.  Your support will help Governor Corzine tighten the race up even faster.

Below are the links to how you can connect with the gubernatorial campaigns (and – please – contribute anything you can to these campaigns, and spread the word!).  Republicans are expecting (and expected) to win both of these races.  However, after being upset in the NY-20 special U.S. House election and losing a U.S. Senator to a Party switch, the GOP is reeling.  Losing either (or both!) VA-Gov or/and NJ-Gov would be a major body blow and simply crush Republicans heading into the 2010 calendar year.  If Democrats across the country are able to support these Democratic campaigns, we can flush the conventional wisdom down the toilet and deliver two more embarrassments to the Rush-Newt-Cheney Republican Party and two more losses to the Michael Steele RNC.

Creigh Deeds for
Governor of Virginia
Deeds
Website
Deeds
Facebook
Deeds
Twitter
Deeds
YouTube
Deeds
Blog
Deeds
CONTRIBUTE
Jon Corzine for
Governor of New Jersey
Corzine
Website
Corzine
Facebook
Corzine
Twitter
Corzine
YouTube
Corzine
Blog
Corzine
CONTRIBUTE

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Update on Congressional races still to be decided

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Mark Begich took the lead as the early votes were counted, and seven-times-indicted Ted Stevens has conceded the Alaska Senate race. That makes seven Democratic pickups, with Georgia and Minnesota yet to be determined. The Democrats hold 56 Senate seats, and two independents (Joe Lieberman and Bernie Sanders) also caucus with Democrats.

The polls in Georgia have shown Republican Saxby Chambliss ahead of Jim Martin by three or four points. It’s all going to come down to turnout–I doubt much voter persuasion will occur between now and December 2. Barack Obama moved his field staff from Ohio down to Georgia, and many other groups, like Democracy for America, are helping Martin too. The state’s largest newspaper has endorsed Martin.

Chambliss has to be favored in this red state, but if the Democrats have a superior GOTV effort, Martin could pull off an upset.

The Minnesota recount has begun. Al Franken went into it 215 votes behind Norm Coleman (out of more than 2.5 million cast, or 0.008 percent). As of Wednesday evening, he had narrowed the gap to 181 votes. The state has a good “voter intent” law, meaning that if a person can determine the voter’s intent, the vote will count even if an optical scanner did not record it.

I can’t say I feel overly confident, but this study suggests Franken may have a good chance of taking the lead during the recount.

One wrinkle is that Franken successfully sued to get information about voters whose absentee ballots were rejected in one county. His campaign wants that information for all of the counties so that wrongfully excluded absentee ballots can be counted. However, it’s not clear whether those votes will ever be counted, even if the ballots were rejected because of clerical error.

As for the House races, we narrowly lost in CA-44, a district we did not target that was not considered competitive.

CA-04 has still not been called, but Democrat Charlie Brown trails carpet-bagger Tom McClintock by about 600 votes, and it seems unlikely he will be able to make up that margin.

It looks like we will pick up VA-05, which was viewed as quite a longshot before the election.

Louisiana will hold two runoff elections in December. Corrupt Democrat “Dollar Bill” Jefferson will most likely hold the second district. The fourth district is competitive, and Dick Cheney recently headed to Shreveport to campaign for the Republican.

UPDATE: I forgot Ohio’s 15th district, which is going to count provisional ballots. It seems like Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy has a decent chance of beating Republican Steve Stivers.

Democrats will end up with something between 255 and 259 House seats out of 438. Not bad at all.

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Why hasn't EMILY's List gotten behind Becky Greenwald?

Maybe someone out there who knows the inner workings of EMILY’s List can explain to me why this group has not put money behind Becky Greenwald, the Democrat challenging loyal Republican foot-soldier Tom Latham in Iowa’s fourth Congressional district.

I have been going over the list of Democratic women running for Congress whom EMILY’s List is supporting, with a particular focus on the six challengers most recently added to this group in early August. I do not mean to knock any of those candidates, and I recognize that every race has its own dynamic.

However, after comparing Greenwald’s race to those of other candidates, I remain puzzled that EMILY’s list is not more involved in IA-04.  

Follow me after the jump for more.

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