Congressman Connolly Straw Poll Results

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1. McAuliffe: 58%
2. Moran: 30%
3. Deeds: 12%

Lt Governor
1. Wagner: 48%
2. Signer: 28%
3. Bowerbank: 12%
4. Edmonson: 12%

Amy Gardner at WaPo:

Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe overwhelmingly won an informal straw poll in Fairfax County tonight against his two Democratic rivals for governor, Brian Moran and Creigh Deeds.

At a jam-packed St. Patrick's Day party hosted by U.S. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), McAuliffe earned 58 percent of votes, Moran took 30 percent and Deeds earned 12 percent. Connolly told the crowd of about 1,400 that a total of 934 ballots were cast.

If nothing else, the vote sprinkled a healthy pinch of fish food into Virginia's political aquarium. McAuliffe outshined his rivals in both organization and spirit at the event, arranging for donors to purchase 400 tickets for his guests, staffing the party with 60 paid campaign workers and prompting the loudest cheers when he spoke to the crowd.

Blue Virginia has more

See here:

McAuliffe - 58
Moran - 30
Deeds - 12

Also can find LG #s there.

Thanks for the link

aznew - Thanks for posting the link with more detail, I just wanted to get something up asap for the people that couldn't attend. I could barely hear the percentages as I was off to the left of the stage.

m0grady - I agree the yard sign blitz etc won't win the election, but who knows what the return on investment is for Terry in terms of earned media and shaping perceptions/expectations of his campaign. I was impressed by his showing and felt Terry overshadowed the other candidates in terms of his personal presence at the event.

I have to disagree with Amy Gardner @ WaPo, I think Brian's supporters were louder, but more people stood up for Terry, for what its worth. This was my first time attending one of Connolly's St. Patrick's Day Fetes and I had a great time with my wife, the food was good, quality beer on tap, got to meet most of the candidates and just feeling the energy in the room made it worth going.

my point is that in two weeks

my point is that in two weeks the only people who will care about this or remember it are the people who are already voting mcauliffe. There will be some hype but I will be short lived I'm sure.

In my opinion this is a no-win situation for them. Their win yesterday has more taint in it than barry bonds home run record and if they lost the story would of been even worse.

I didn't go to it because among other things Im so sick of getting harrassed by campaigns everywhere I go. I wish for once I could be a democrat hanging out with fellow democrats and someone not shoving a petition in my face or asking me if I'll wear a lapel sticker.

Aww... Moran didn't win

What a shame.

Comments like this

cause me to really start disliking and disrespecting you are DOING WHAT YOU DECRY!!

Correct me if I'm wrong

but aren't you a paid staffer for McAuliffe? I mean, that's what I've gleaned from these pages. And if that's the case do you, as a paid representative of someone who claims he wants to run a positive campaign, really want to dis and act snarky toward those who happen to support someone else? Doesn't it put the lie to the claim of "positive campaigning"?

you are wrong - consider yourself corrected

after Josh decided in favor of Terry, the campaign approached him about a job. He never actually accepted one, and since the brouhaha that blew up over the emails the Moran campaign leaked to NLS, Josh has taken himself out of consideration for a campaign job, because he does not want to hurt Terry's campaign.

So now you are corrected, and you will perhaps no longer be wrong?

No need to get snippy

I'm extremely busy these days and can only glean things from my sporadic reading of these diaries and comments when I get a chance, which is why I honestly asked to be corrected if wrong. That Josh is not a paid staffer makes the snarkiness in his previous comment a matter of his own personal feelings; however, it does not make it any more attractive. I would have appreciated your response better if you'd been able to refrain from the distinct sarcasm of the final sentence. Sometimes a request for correction is just that, an honest request.

Doug and Cat

We're all friends here. We're Democrats. But this action was insanely vicious, and should make Brian Moran's supporters rightfully question the integrity of the Campaign if not the candidate. In fact, since the candidate assembled this campaign, it should make you reconsider both.

Y'all spend a few days as the target of a campaign of political retribution by a major candidate for the highest office in the Commonwealth, and maybe I'll show a bit more forbearance for your Emily Post failures than you've shown for mine.

After the primary, all of us need to come together to win in November. Let's keep the hyperbole under control if we can.

Josh, I dont mean to be a

Josh, I dont mean to be a jerk when I say this and certainly leaking those emails was a low blow, but welcome to the NFL.


Get your sorry --- off of the stupid fricking fence.

well that perfect sense, care

well that made perfect sense, care to elaborate?

I'd say the same to those

who cry foul when I point out that this was a low blow.

This was pure Moran sleeze.

I dont disagree with you that

I dont disagree with you that this is pure Moran sleeze. But you want to be a political operative so my advice as someone who was one is to grow a thicker skin and move on. The extended Oprah moments you've had ever since then don't exactly exude this. Take the hit, make a brief statement and move on. The more you, your wife, and your friends go after NLS, the more you look like a bunch of amateurs and not veteran grass roots activists who want to become campaign staff. You've been involved in politics for quite some time now which means you should have a sense of the moran machine and knew this would be a possibility. If you continue being an activist, this isn't the last time you'll get hit like this.

excellent points, all

well taken

good point!

Since the Moran machine will not stop to cut anyone off at the knees who opposes them...

Okay, I'll ask you what I asked of Josh

You're full of passion on this whole issue. I challenged Josh on this and he admitted that maybe he should give the Brian the benefit of the doubt on this and see how things play out. He's being honest and trying to see other possibilities. You've been all over this forum posting negative comments about Brian, at least one of which I yesterday pointed out to you was completely unfounded. You jumped right on board with the sleaze comment and speaking ominously of the doom facing those who cross the "Moran machine". Well, I've known Brian for about 22 years now and I can't remember ever encountering any sleaze or machinery. So back up your comments. Show me the sleaze. Setting aside the Josh e-mail controversy I challenge you to itemize the "sleaze" or tell me who has been brought low and been "cut off at the knees" by the "Moran machine." Show it, or stop talking about this nonsense and try to discuss something substantive.


I missed your comment yesterday. I guess there are so many postings here it is hard to follow them all. Which comment was completely unfounded? I hear now the controversy is Moran's camp not knowing if they purchased tickets to the Connolly event or not. It appears Connolly's office is saying one thing, and the Moran people are saying another. I need to talk with a few people to see if I can publicly disclose how the Moran machine has hurt them. And by the way, I have been discussing substantive issues throughout these and other posts. However, this diary consists of people construing the straw poll results as they want to spin them. I have a right to discuss and spin the results as I see fit - as do the others on here. As I clearly stated several times, the McAuliffe camp out organized the Moran camp in the straw poll. I wish we all just accepted that fact because clearly - that is the substantive issue for this diary.

No, this diary consists of trying to prove some hanky panky

on the part of the Moran campaign, a prospect into which you have bought so wholeheartedly that even when ample evidence to the contrary has been presented by reliable and known sources you persist in believing what you want to believe instead of conceding that there might just be another, wholly innocent explanation of the things you thought inculpatory.

You need to "talk with a few people to see if you can publicly disclose how the Moran machine has hurt them"? Shades of Maury Povich. What in blazes are you talking about? Are Brian Moran and his wicked, wicked machine so omnipotent that you have to try to draw these poor timorous souls from their hiding places in order to reveal the awful truth for fear of what the horrible Moran machine will do to them? You're making him sound more like Snidely Whiplash than a candidate for governor of Virginia, but I'll bite. Go ahead, do your research and come back with these poor victims' stories, but you'll have to manage something better than unattributed anonymous gossip. What's funny is that you're the only one on this website asserting something sinister about Brian Moran. There are others here who differ with him, who don't like him, who think he's not the best candidate, but you're about the only one claiming that he's just one bad hombre. So back it up or shut it down.

I've already posted elsewhere that I disapprove of the e-mails

being released, but you're being disingenuous with your attack on "pure Moran sleaze". You seemed to like him just fine a few weeks ago and wrote approvingly of his appearance at the JJ and in other places. Okay, you're mad that someone violated your privacy and you appear to know who that person was and you know that the person was a staffer and not Brian Moran himself. I get that and you have every right to be upset about it. I'd like to see Brian take strong action against the offending party. But now you've morphed it into "I allus knew he was a bad 'un". This is just flatly not so and your own writings contradict you. Moreover, I've been reading your comments and almost everything you're posting lately is about how pissed you are at Brian and his staff. I'm seeing references to a Moran machine and sleaze and any number of other things which I have never seen supported by anything other than your own particular objectionable experience. Do you really want to start talking about machine politics and political sleaze when you're supporting a candidate whose own background on the national political stage would make any candidate in Virginia look like an amateur? Moreover, right now many Moran supporters are disavowing the actions of this staffer and expressing their dismay, but they're not getting any credit for it; rather, they're getting nasty attacks on their character as if everyone who supports Brian is an unethical member of this mythical machine you're touting.

You have two choices here. You can move on secure in the knowledge that you've made your point and continue working hard for your candidate, or you can issue histrionic statements about a machine and "pure Moran sleaze" as if that's been Brian's MO for all these years, which you are well aware it has not. If you're going to make machine politics and sleaze the touchstone of the debate then you are inviting a lot more well-founded criticism of your candidate than I've seen to date and you're setting the stage for the supporters of the losing parties to sit out this election.

You refer to our need to come together to support the candidate, whoever he may be, after the primary. How's that going to happen if you keep using words like "sleaze" and "machine" in referring to the Moran campaign? I agree with m0grady. You've taken the hit, you've noted your objections, now let's move on.

You're almost correct

It may have been an isolated internal event. In which case the Moran campaign should take some remedial action.

It may have been officially sanctioned. In which case it is pure sleaze.

My mistake in the above comment was in not giving the Moran campaign the benefit of the doubt.

Either the campaign doesn't have it's house in order, or it has conducted a coordinated effort of political retribution. In either case, this episode shows an objective failure of the Moran campaign, one among many - most importantly Moran's fabled lack of message.

Anyway, back to the issues.

ok now lets get back to the issues after this after this :p

Your taking this fairly well, just remember you and your people don't have to respond to every article on NLS and especially don't do it on Ben's site. My gut instinct says this was a rogue in the moran camp considering how amateurish it was done. I'm incredibly disappointed that Brian hasn't taken swift action yet, or maybe he has and it was done in private and should make it public. Especially since its the most volunteer grass roots oriented of the 3 in my opinion and one would think he would care about civil war and unrest in the blogosphere. Either way this is a failure of the moran camp but saying its a lack of message is a little far. Im not switching my support away from Moran because I still view him as the best candidate for the state and the ticket but until I see who leaked this fired, I have no desire to volunteer with the campaign.

The message issue is only tangential

I've been trying to get the Moran campaign to get one for over a year.

get one what?

get one what?

wait, never mind, i got it

wait, never mind, i got it :p

lack of...

message... Moran has a lack of messaging and to the dismay of his supporters - he does not inspire as many people as the campaign thinks it does. One reason... they just don't listen to his potential constituents and supporters!

and everyone else is?

and everyone else is?

Catzmaw Fell Into The Black Hole Or Walked In

Who told you Josh is a staffer for McAuliffe? For all Josh has done the last several years, you could not bring yourself to give him the benefit of the doubt? You just had to walk into Ben etc's rumor vortex?

Coming to the discussion a little late, aren't you?

I already said I wanted to know whether I was correct or not. Maybe you and others on this site have hours every day that you can sit here and nitpick each other death over every single little insult or error, real or imagined, but I've got an outside life that's been taking up most of my time. I said it was a clear impression left by my sporadic reading of these diaries and comments, asked for clarification, received a correction, and acknowledged it. Is there some reason why you're still going on about it? And please don't lecture me about giving Josh the benefit of the doubt. What are you implying, that there's something dishonorable about BEING a staffer for McAuliffe? Of what doubt am I supposed to be giving him the benefit?

dude, really...

The thing is Ben has documentation to back up what he just said. Unless someone wants to claim that what Ben posted is a hoax, they arent rumors. As unprofessional as Brian's campaign was, Ben wasn't totally out of line publishing them. Josh did omit something very serious when he gave his grass roots endorsement cloaked in the aura of Sen. Webb, who cant stand the clintons or their machine; People did have a right to know about all this before they made up their minds about the merits of Josh's argument. I get that you feel hurt and embarassed but thats not an excuse to turn into what you despise.

Seems like a really low turnout

Is my memory failing me, or were there a lot more people in 2006?

Number attending

had to be far in excess of 1,000; I understand there were over 1,100 advance ticket sales, and plenty more paid at the door. I parked in the ditch at the far, far end of the paved area. In other words, the function was extremely well attended.

So I wonder, how many simply did not vote? McAuliffe had a blizzard of signs up on the way in, as if it were the shad planking. Most candidates were in attendance, only those of Governor spoke. Most of the blogging community were there.

It was ~1400 attended

So quite a few didn't vote. By the way, at Shad Planking, please don't eat anything you can't identify.

This was the biggest turnout...

...that they've ever had at the event, JC.

Shocker - NOT.

When one camp buys a full 1/3 of the tickets and gives them away, it's bound to get people there.

I can't wait to see the excuses offered up for these results

pass the popcorn.

I got it...

McAuliffe bought it
Deeds is from out of town
Moran, um, McAuliffe bought it

Well, if the Wapo report is accurate it's clear that McAuliffe did bring a lot of friends. But that still doesn't account for such a significant loss by Moran - it's not like Fairfax is far from his home base.

Politics is a tough game, but I can't help but wonder if people are starting to cry foul when they see the Moran camp releasing private email conversations for public consumption and ridicule. That's really dirty, even if there is a point to be made. Moran needs to play tough but he's going to lose more support if he continues to pursue this vindictive and dirty strategy.

As for Deeds, it is accurate that he's not from around here. So there was no way he'd pull the votes to compete with the locals. But he was too far behind - he'll have a lot of trouble winning a primary with such little support in NOVA.

Creigh and NoVA

Eric - I'm not sure how much of the NoVA vote Creigh will need, though I suspect you are right that he will need more than this straw poll reflects.

Both McAuliffe and Moran have been hitting it pretty hard up there, while Creigh has been busy, uh, oh yeah, actually representing the people in Richmond. I suspect it is too late for him to do much in the way of attracting the political class at this point, but most voters won't care about this stuff.

The challenge for Creigh in NoVA, as I see it, is figuring out how to appeal to voters in the urban crescent without the benefit of the local political muscle behind him in NoVA and Hampton Roads to at least hold serve with the two Katzenjamer Kids, maybe pulling 25-30%, and then let his strength throughout the rest of the Commonwealth carry the day for him. I haven't run the numbers, but that seems to be the idea, I would think, and nothing in this in this straw poll tells me that can't happen.

Oh please

Thats not a valid excuse for Creigh in my opinion. This is a statewide campaign for governor, not some paper route you do after school or a summer job mowing lawns. You cant run an effective statewide campaign at the top of the ticket and keep your day job. This is real, this is serious, and this is happening now. Bob McDonnell and Brian Moran had enough sense to resign their offices so they could do this full time. As much as I like and admire Creigh, this pledge comes dangerously close to an act of cowardice that gives him an excuse not to own up to defeat if he doesn't win. Brian is racking up an awful lot of endorsements in Hampton Roads and Southside. Creigh cant just blow off NOVA because Moran and McAuliffe are carving it up. He has less than 100 days left til the primary and he needs to make them count. To give you some perspective, when I worked for the coordinated and we hit the 100 day mark in September, we went to a full 15 hr per day 7 day a week schedule, no days off no matter how justifiable a reason we had (and for some people, that included family funerals). If Creigh wants to win, he should do the same.


That the Moran camp is "playing dirty" and being "vindictive" are flying fast and furious here on this board and on the BC list, but I have yet to see ANYTHING that offers proof of any of this.

Until such proof is made public, I think you holier-than-thou-ist newfound McAuliffe boosters need to watch what you say, or you're going to turn into what you claim your nemeses are.

I am not a McAuliffe supporter

nor am I a Deeds supporter nor am I a Moran supporter.

I will tell you right now I have seen things inappropriate and worse from the Moran side of the equation. That I choose not to blog about everything I see is irrelevant. I have chosen to express my concerns directly to Brian and to key people in his campaign.

Just like when Terry did something I thought was inappropriate I communicated my reaction directly to that campaign.

Politics ain't beanbag. Tough challenges are appropriate, and serve the eventual nominee and the party.

But there are limits which should not be gone beyond. Releasing private emails out of context to a person known to have a personal animus against the person whose emails were leaked is over the line. That is public. And the only source for those emails was the Moran campaign. So on the public record their hands are not completely clean.

Has McAuliffe's campaign been over the top? More than a few people commented negatively on how many people he brought to JeffJack and how he used them. Quite a few of us criticized the comment about Joe Trippi at the legislative roast.

But like it or not, more than a few uncommitted people are reacting positively to the level of organization they see out of mcAuliffe's campaign.

When TMac has met with bloggers, twice, everything was on the record.

When the Moran campaign had an event, all the statements made in the time before Brian arrived were off the record, even though there was nothing said of a confidential nature as far as I and two other uncommitted bloggers could determine. Why was it off the record?

I think advocates on all sides of this contest need to tone it down - argue facts, but also understand that facts are subject to interpretation. Stop assuming that your side is simon-pure clean and the other side is totally corrupt.

Someone is going to win the primary. And at that point all of us are going to need to come together. And if the rhetoric stays too vitriolic, deals in personal attacks on candidates or supporters, that is hurting the entire party. The more visible it becomes - and on blogs it is ALL visible - the more likely it seeps into MSM where it wll have the impact of turning off independents, hurting the party not only in statewide races, but also in HOD races.

Peace. Please.

Who is assuming?

I think it's clear what's going on here. I don't have to know all the specifics to understand the basics of the dynamic developing in this race.

Who is assuming that "my side" (and I am a grassroots Democratic activist, first and foremost, not part of any team--I pick and choose who I support each election cycle as everyone else, I am not pre-programmed) is "simon-pure and clean and the other side is totally corrupt". Again, this is a good example of assigning motivation and intent to me that does not exist.

I am on the BC list, and there is so much utter garbage flying back on forth on that list I mostly ignore it and I don't know any of the details of this alledged email, nor do I (or for that matter 99.9% of Virginia Democratic primary voters) give a rats ass about the details.

I want us to be wise and frugal with our newfound success in Virginia in electing the BEST candidate for Governor who will continue the traditions and efficiencies that got us where we are as a party, but also did an excellent job of managing the state government. That candidate to me, is clearly Brian Moran.

I agree with you completely on your last point. I am not personally attacking anyone. I am sick and tired of sitting back and hearing all the garbage that I am, and I'm not going to stay quiet any longer. The people RIGHT NOW who are over the top and hurting this party and our chances in the general election are not in the Moran or Deeds camp.

Ken, blogs are an important place where political activists contemplate, argue, and process campaign events, strategies, messages, etc. But the penetration of what is said here into the electorate? I'm not buying that yet. Not every campaign has Macaca moments....

afraid I have to partly disagree

because there are those supporting Brian who have been over the top. The emails leaked to NLS is only one example.

And you'd better start buying, because right now political reporters do read blogs. Some of the stuff flying around Virginia blogs has been crossposted at DailyKos, and major media organizations have people keeping an eye there. And I know several people who cover Virginia politics who will at least from time to time check out the major Virginia blogs. What happened several years ago was more than Ben T having a lot of flipping wigs - the story quickly got into the Washington Post. And as far as that story, it actually gave license to a number of Richmond and otherwise based people who had had occasion to see shall we say unpleasant things from Allen over the years now had occasion to mention SOME (and believe me, not all) of what they knew about our then junior Senator.

Fair point

But does it really affect the average impression of Democratic primary voters about the biography and the campaign/issues of the candidates any more than it would have if blogs didn't exist? I am not sure. I know we play a role, I just don't buy that blogs are a major factor in the general impressions voters end up having when the walk into the voting place.....YET. The potential is undoubtedly there for blogs to play a huge role, what with the advent of Twitter, Facebook, and soon-to-arrive other sites & technologies that are changing the way people communicate about politics.

I see us as the pamphlets of the 1800s---healthy readership, but not reaching everyone.

I certainly agree that the Moran camp HAD been over the top, or certain bloggers in that camp, I should say. Not, by any means, however, all of them.

Sorry Doug

I have to disagree with your last statement. In fact, I'm going the opposite direction.

I had originally thought that only a very limited number Moran supporters/bloggers were over the top and that the Moran campaign was more or less an innocent bystander. But the more coordinated the attacks were and the more coordinated the DKos diaries (and recommendations) there have been, I've moved from the belief they're innocent to the belief that they're pulling some strings. It's not all top down mind you, but it's clear that they're providing direction, coordination, or simply making statements knowing that certain people will act on that information.

And then this business with Josh happened. Private emails to specific campaign staff DO NOT accidentally end up on the internet. That was intentional, vindictive, and dirty. And it was a direct attack upon a supporter - not on McAuliffe himself. Yes, there were some implications on McAuliffe, but this was a clear attack on a supporter which has the tacit support of the highest levels of the campaign. Let's put it this way: if a reasonably high ranking staffer (yes, it's well known who released the email) leaked a private email about strategy they'd be fired on the spot. No one's been fired. No one's apologized like this was a mistake. They know who leaked it and have done nothing - meaning the top levels are comfortable with the public release of this private email.

I'm not saying Josh's actions were as pure as the driven snow. Moran's team and supporters should have called him out regarding a grassroots endorsement and then immediately taking (or almost taking) a job with McAuliffe. But to release private emails that serve no real purpose but revenge upon a supporter? Low. Dirty. Disgusting.

The Moran campaign continues to play dirty and if anything they've gotten worse, much worse, the past week. There is no "HAD" here. It's still happening.

"It's well known who released the e-mail". I really need to know

As I said to Josh in a private e-mail to him, I would not normally want to know who the name of the dishonorable culprit. But because Josh and I are family. Josh began to call me "brother early in the Webb campaign, which greatly honored me. Therefore any attack against my brother is automatically a personal attack on me. Although I will not do or say anything either publicly on the blog, or semi-privately on the BC message group list, I really feel a need to know the name of the perpetrator ( I suspect two people, but I could be totally wrong).

I know neither Josh nor Dave will reveal that info. on this blog because they most likely won't tell me privtely either because they are both truly honorable and ethical people. But I still feel a need to know. Bottom line for me on this is: Who is the soorce that makes this "well known" and who is the dishonorable person who did this ?


Now Tom

Are you saying that I'm not honorable or ethical so I'll tell? :-)

Seriously though, I think I'll keep quiet. For the time being.

Sorry for the awful wording, Eric.

Some day I might actually learn to do better proofreading. You, like Josh, are one of the most honorable and ethical people I know. Thanks for not taking my unintended implication too seriously.

Your reply did remind me though that asking a person to reveal a source can also be a form of invasion of the source's privacy.

Besides, I don't really have a "need to know" the culprit's name. I think I got carried away with my emotional reaction to an offense against a very close friend. I still consider an attack on my friend a personal attack on me, but there's not really anything I could (or should) do about the offense if I knew the name anyway.

All I can say, Eric

Is that the proof is in the pudding. Where is the pudding? I am a blogger, although not terribly active or inclined to get into the back and forths.....but Brian's staff has known that I am either sttrongly leaning or committed to them for quite some time---I have never once EVER received any communication from the campaign that contained ANY slights against anyone, never received any "messaging" that they wanted me to use, or anything of the sort, and others I've talked to who are far more involved and active for Moran on the blogs say the same thing.

So, it's all talk as far as I'm concerned.

I am more concerned about what Josh is saying, even if I don't think he's handling it the right way, either. But, as he pointed out, we're all friends and we're all Democrats. We need to start acting like it, and we'll blow McDonnell away. We're all human too, and we all get upset at times.

Thanks for the exchange.

Privacy Violations

I am not on the BC list so I don't know what is going on there. I'm not a supporter of Terry McAuliffe, and I like and respect Brian Moran a great deal. But what bothers me is that somebody violated Josh Chernila's privacy by releasing emails to Ben Tribbett about Josh's looking for a job.

The issue of the timing of Josh's endorsement might be valid, but leaking an email is unethical, dumb (because whoever did it had to know there would be blowback - and if they did not know that, they are beyond dumb), and a violation of somebody's privacy. There are other ways that this could have been handled. The issue of releasing a private email bothers me.

If Brian gets to be governor, he will have access to state employees' private records, control of the state troopers, and access to the tax records of every citizen in Virginia. I would like to know that he does not condone or tolerate his staff violating people's privacy.