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The Question Moran, Deeds and McAuliffe Must Answer

by: AdamSharp

Thu Dec 04, 2008 at 09:45:48 PM EST

( - promoted by Aimee Fausser)

2009 will not be 2008. I hope that remains the most insightful statement on this blog for no more than a day. 

But Democrats must remember that none of the three white guys running for the gubernatorial nomination will make history if they win. No overcoming racism or breaking glass ceilings for these boys.

Because none of the three, therefore, have a moral argument for their candidacy, we can move on to a more fundamental, pragmatic question: can they win?

Lost in the shuffle of Obama winning Virginia is a realization of how he won Virginia, and how Democrats can win the Executive Mansion for a rare third straight time. The key to winning a statewide election in Virginia is winning a majority of the Commonwealth's 11 congressional districts.

The question, then, for Messrs. Deeds, Moran and McAuliffe is this: Can you realistically win 6 districts? 

AdamSharp :: The Question Moran, Deeds and McAuliffe Must Answer

In 2001, Mark Warner won the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th and 11th districts on his way to beating Mark Earley by 96,943 votes. He barely lost the 2nd, 6th (yes, he had 49.1% in the 6th) and 1st.

In 2004, John Kerry only won the 3rd and the 8th districts and lost to George W. Bush by 262,217 votes. Kerry barely lost the 11th (49.7%), but was not even close anywhere else.

In 2005, Tim Kaine won the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th and 11th districts and beat Jerry Kilgore by 111,615 votes. Kaine's 49.3% in the 4th was the only other district that was close.

In 2006, Jim Webb broke yet another rule by only winning the 3rd, 8th, 10th and 11th districts, though he had 48.3% in the 2nd. Webb beat Allen by 9,329 votes, however, because he beat Kaine's margin in the 8th district by 13,000 votes. Absent a "macaca" moment, Webb would have lost because he did not win enough congressional districts.

In 2008, Barack Obama made history by winning Virginia, but he only won, you guessed it, six congressional districts: the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 8th, 10th and 11th. He also had 48.8% in the 5th and 48.1% in the 1st.

Obama won Virginia by 246,527 votes, but 64% of his win margin came from one district, the 3rd, where he beat McCain by 157,573 votes! (Let the record show that no other Democrat has even received 157,573 votes in the 3rd, let alone have a margin that large.)

So I don't want to hear Democrats, especially the three white boys running for governor,  talk about Virginia being a blue state. First, we're not a state. Second, Obama's win was an outlier, and will not be replicated by these three gentlemen.

A typical Democratic margin in the 3rd district in a non-presidential year is about 60,000 votes. An 80,000 vote margin in the 8th is very good. A 25,000 vote margin in the 11th is feasible. Those are the only congressional districts Democrats reliably win.

A successful Democratic candidate, therefore, must do threee things. First, maintain or expand the 165,000 vote margin in the 3rd, 8th and 11th district. Second, win three of the following districts: the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and 10th. Third, keep the Republican margin in the 6th, 7th and 9th to under 165,000. 

Mark Warner did this well in 2001, with his 44.4% in the 7th being his worst showing. Kaine substantially improved on Warner's numbers in  the 8th and 10th, but slipped in the 9th (43.8%). Webb flat-out failed and only won due to the 8th district.

I think Creigh Deeds can best emulate the Warner/Kaine model by winning the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th districts while keeping Bob McDonnell's margins low in rural areas (the 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th). I don't think any Democrat wins the 2nd against McDonnell, and Deeds did better in the 9th than in the 2nd in 2005.

I see Moran winning the 3rd, 8th, 10th and 11th districts, but falling short in the 2nd and 5th. I also don't see how he can hold McDonnell's margins in districts like the 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th.

I see McAuliffe winning the 3rd, 8th and 11th, running close in the 10th, and being hammered everywhere else. 

Which candidate can win 6 congressional districts?
Creigh Deeds
Brian Moran
Terry McAuliffe


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what about the Deeds - McDonnell AG race by CD and the Byrne - Bolling CD numbers in 2005?

do you think that they have bearing on your anal repulsive devotion to sheets of spread (and of course race outcome prognostication)?

just getting you warmed up ninja ;-)


Good question
The sad part is I didn't have to look up which top-ticket candidates won each congressional district ... I just knew it. I did have to look up the percentages and the margins.

In 2005, Leslie Byrne won the 3rd (67.9%), 8th (69.4%)and 11th (54.7%), and ran close in the 10th (49.6%) and the 5th (47.3%).

Creigh Deeds also won the 3rd (66.8%), 8th (68.7%) and 11th (52.9%), and was close in the 5th (48.4%), the 9th (47.8%) and the 10th (48.8%).

So all Creigh has to do is expand his margins in the 3rd, 8th and 11th and win the 5th, 9th and 10th, and he's the next governor. Provided, of course, Democrats are logical about this and nominate him.

[ Parent ]
How come you never wrote quality stuff like this on Whackjob?  

Give the people what they want
What was the tagline at DWJ? "Bread and circuses for the digital mob"?

I did write this sort of thing at DWJ ... once or twice. Then I saw the kind of stuff that got 50-60 comments and left the spreadsheets alone.

Also, one of these days NLS will go to Vegas and never come back. Someone has to be ready to replace him.

[ Parent ]
Recent Diaries
It's Gotta Be Creigh
by: AdamSharp - Apr 17


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