Congressman Connolly Straw Poll Results

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Governor
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.

One number I've confirmed...

...the Deeds campaign tells me, on the record (unlike several other sources) that they paid for 25 tickets, including 17 or 18 for staff.

The McAuliffe number I've been told is 365.

Another delay

What this comes down to for me is that I am further delayed from deciding on who I want to support. I have friends in all camps at the moment, even as staff. I just am not impressed with any of the candidates enough to throw in my support. I'll definitely support whoever wins the primary as all Dems should do. I just don't care right now because no one has really stood out. The speeches feel stale. Too much playing it safe.

Too much playing it safe. I

Too much playing it safe.

I definitely agree with that.

from Amy Garnder's article

it is interesting to note what she quotes from Connolly:

McAuliffe won not merely because of money but also organization

Take it for what it is worth.

agreed.

How many more excuses can Moran supporters come up with for losing? Fact is Moran lost, then he bailed on the event. Get over it.

I don't follow that shady math equation above. If McAuliffe's donors didn't buy those tickets (because it was his donors not McAuliffe himself who bought those tickets) then his supporters would have bought those tickets on their own. I'm sorry but your math doesn't add up.

Organization is key in these straw polls. Moran supporters were excited after his Mt. Vernon showing. McAuliffe supporters are excited now. Let it be.

The constant negativity from the Moran camp is getting old - very fast. We even witnessed a crazed and drunken Moran heckler following Terry at different photo ops and yelling random things. If this is representative of the Moran camp tactics, no thanks.

Remember 2006 St. Pat's event when Webb shocked Miller ?

As I recall Gerry was 100% for Miller as he and most others in FFX were. Jim won that straw poll by a significant margin. Obviously, the circumstances were different but there is one important fact yesterday's event has in common with 2006: The attendees voted against the "establishment" candidate - who BTW also had never before run for office either. That shocker vote revealed that there was large and growing grassroots support for Webb.

I believe another, probably more important, factor is the Three Amigos' RK netroots endorsement of Terry looms very large now. If Brian hadn't already convinced me that, as Josh has said, ignored Josh's plea for a coherent campaign message, I would have told myself that Josh's, Lowell's and Lee's edorsement is good enough for me.

Momentum is extremely important. I think Brian started to lose his momen when if launched his negative campaign against Terry at the JJ dinner and his closest supporters' over-the-top personal attacks, obviously led by his # 1 volunteer (Todd), at the same time that McAuliffe has put together the best organized campaign team of staffers and what I believe to now be thousands of GRASSROOTS volunteers statewide and with a detailed Business Plan now puts Brian at a distinct disadvantage.

Brian still has no "Business Plan" nor does he have the knowledge nor any executive business experience that would help him regain his lost momentum. Nor does Brian have anyone on his team with any such knowledge they could draw from to produce a coherent plan. This year in Virginia "It's the economy, stupid" is what is on the minds of all voters; all other issues are secondary. I believe that the most compelling statement in Terry's plan is "It's all interelated". He has a comprehensive integrated Business Plan that no other candidate can match.

Short version: 1.) Moment lost is extremely difficult to regain and nearly impossible to regain when the lost momentum caused by the candidate himself occurs at the same time the opposition's momentum has taken off.
2.) Endorsement by Lee, Lowell and Josh has accelerated Terry's momentum and Brian has no one who can match that kind of influence.
3.) Va. voters, Democrats and Independents who will certainly vote in the June primary, are sick and tired of negative attacks from Republicans and who will not tolerate nor vote for a Dem. who attacks another Dem. Uva Nick has made this point far better than I have, but the message is the same: Brian, like George Allen, has given Terry's campaign a gift that money could not have bought. Free gifts from Brian only add to Terry's already huge financial advantage.

Not the same

The big excpetion is that your "shocker" candidate PERSONIFIES "establishment"!!!

Good point. I meant the FFX County "establishment".

I should have explained what I meant by "establishment". I meant the FFX County and other NoVa committee leadership, pro. politicians and many grassroots supporters, paid and unpaid, who have until now been assumed by many (not me) to be very predominantly Moran supporters. It is very hard for me to think of Terry as a FFX or Va. "establishment" politician, for what I think are obvious reasons. One of Terry's most compelling arguments (for me at least) is that he confirms what we all know to be the case, i.e., the establishment (both parties) in Richmond is a part of the problem, not the solution. Even entrenched Dems. (Saslaw and Colgan to name two) have not done well for us. We do need an outsider (a good example was Mark Warner when he became Governor and changed the way business had been done in Richmond).

I didn't mean to imply "establishment" in the context of the national political establishment, which of course now includes DNC chair Tim Kaine. As an aside I think Kaine is an interesting mix of party establishment and grassroots/netroots politician. Maybe it's fair to say that at least in Va. politics the term "establishment" doesn't mean much anymore, given the huge importance of people like us who work hardest for candidates who inspire us with their particular messages and how we each view how well they will deliver.

One of the things that inspired me the most about Jim Webb is that he would not lower himself to the dirty politics level. Jim insisted on taking the high road and refused to go negative against Miller, who was of course a bone fide (FFX) establishment politician. Negative attacks on a fellow Democrat is the number one reason I switched from Brian to Terry. But setting aside that problem for a moment, what bothers me most about Brian is the fact that he IS a Virginia establisment politician and simply citing the party line (which I'm sure he honestly believes in) is not a good campaign strategy. Brian has yet to come up with a comprehensive and integrated campaign pitch that states his particular priorities and details on how he would implement his proposals in a way that would distinguish him from the state party establishment.

Again, thanks for pointing out my error in not explaining what I meant by "establishment". I hope this helps clarify the context of my points, and look forward to your and others' comments.

T.C.

Well then....

...the 280 votes Brian got last night---there's your "FFX establishment" for the most part! Lots and lots of the folks out for McAuliffe didn't have any real role in the FFX establishment, so I think we can safely assume that Moran STILL has them.

Seriously

Could you please point out for me some of these negative attacks Brian's been making? Maybe I just haven't paid enough attention? What has he said or done that's been SO awful? I really need to know this if I'm supporting the guy, I suppose. I've heard him criticize Terry's attempt to run and why he's running, but to my knowledge it's not been unfair. Am I uninformed?

Please inform me!

Good Night for Wagner and Signer

Wagner confirms she is the front runner for LTG, and Signer blew away the competition as the alternative.

Way to go Mike!

Consider the geography...

I agree that Wagner (my candidate) showed that she is the front-runner for LG. I am less sure what it means for the other three. For Signer -- the only NoVa LG candidate -- to get 24% is probably not very surprising. On the other hand, for Bowerbank to only get 12%, when he has been in the race the longest and has spent the most money so far, is really very unimpressive. I am a little intrigued that Pat Edmonson got 12% in an area that is not her home base. My sense of things at this point is that Signer and Edmonson are fighting over who is going to be seen as the "progressive" in the race, and my guess is that every vote that she received is one that might otherwise have gone to Mike.

I'd bet that part -- though by no means all -- of Signer's support is a reflection of his being the hometown boy. Let me hasten to add that that does not diminish the legitimacy of a good showing in a Democratic stronghold -- just that it is not clear that the results can be extrapolated to the rest of the state.

In a sense, having a straw poll in your back yard is a no-win proposition. If you do well, people say, "Oh, sure, it is in his own back yard." If you do less well, people say, "Gee, he sure didn't do well in his own back yard."

No hometown advantage for local Lt. candidates

I've heard more people talk about Wagner up here than Signer. I only just started hearing about Signer when blogs started posting his Coffee Talk videos (I know they're called something else, but I forget the name). And then last week, I ran into someone gathering signatures for Signer at the Harris Teeter. My point being that it is all rather recent.

Edmondson is getting a lot of GLBT support

because she is unabashedly supportive of our issues, and unabashedly liberal on a lot of issues. I sure like that, but unfortunately that style of candidacy in Virginia faces very long odds. I like Pat Edmonson and Mike Signer both, but there's something about Jody (and it ain't the popcorn) that's got me.

It's funny, I was a Dean-Byrne-Webb-Obama primary voter, and now I'm for Moran-Wagner. Supposedly the "establishment" candidates, but who to me feel very much like the best grassroots choices.

I still think this race is a long way from being in the minds of most primary voters, and if Brian Moran focuses on his theme of PUBLIC SERVICE, he's got a great shot. Virginia Democratic primary voters are not usually swayed by overwhelming displays of financial resources and power & influence. It's the reason you're in this, stupid!

Can I get a robocall from someone that supports McAuliffe...

like I got with Moran a few weeks ago?

I think that particular robocall proclaimed that the Mount Vernon District straw poll was an indication that Moran was the front runner. This win by McAuliffe must indicate that he will be smiting his opponents and drinking their blood come Primary Day.

If we can get this robocall set up as soon as possible, that would be great. I still haven't made up my mind yet and I need all the help from others to tell me what to think and how to vote. Issues be damned...straw polls baby!

i concur

i concur

ironic

i just got a robocall from the Moran campaign touting all the local (fairfax) dem endorsements... no mention of the straw poll