Today’s lunchtime surfing caught some interesting analysis, coming from known and unexpected sources. Given that it is all I can do to balance my checkbook, I am always on the lookout for folks that know statistics to give me understandable metrics on today’s races. The first observation came from NLS in reference to the Va 29th Senate seat in my hometown of Manassas and currently held by longtime state Senator Chuck Colgan. In a piece on the Bob Fitzsimmonds announcement, NLS notes:
This is probably the most important race in Virginia, as far as party control of the Virginia State Senate is concerned. 22 of the 40 Senate Districts voted Bush/Kilgore/Bolling/McDonnell/Allen/Yes while only 12 Senate Districts voted Kerry/Kaine/Byrne/Deeds/Webb.
In other words, Democrats could win all 12 seats that voted straight Democratic statewide, and win all 6 seats with split results, and they would still need 3 of the straight GOP statewide districts to take control. Right now, they control exactly 3- including this very Colgan district and the other two being the Houck and Reynolds districts. So if Democrats lost this seat, they could not win a majority this year without finding another Bush/Kilgore/Bolling/McDonnell/Allen/Yes district to win. That’s not impossible, but very difficult.
The second came from a long inactive blog making a reference to the upcoming struggle in Va Senate 34 between Chap! and JMDD. In a June 2006 prediction of a Chap! candidacy NOVA-9 gave Chap! the edge, noting:
In 2003, Democrat Ron Christian got 47% of the vote. In the same year, Petersen, running for re-election in a rematch against former Del. J. Rust, got 59.5% of the vote. Among the precincts they shared (almost all of Petersen’s Delegate district) Chap! got 60.5% of the vote, while Christian got 49.7%. If Chap! runs near 10% better than Ron Christian did among Chap!’s old district (which is 32% of the Senate district) and keeps Christian’s percentages elsewhere, he’ll win with 51%.
In 2001, Mark Warner got 54% of the vote in this district. In 2005, Time Kaine got 59%. In no precinct did Kaine get a lower percentage than Warner did. If Democrats improve by 5% over their vote four years ago, as they did between 2001 and 2005, Chap! will end up around 52%.
Obviously one doesn’t know what will happen in these races-that’s why we actually hold elections. However, I think it is safe to say this will be a very different type of statehouse campaign season in Northern Virginia. Typically, during statehouse elections there are just a race here and there that really get folks blood racing. This year, in Northern Virginia alone I can think of at least four campaigns that in other years would be the marquee races. I reckon the Hot Stove League will be doing overtime this fall…better lay in a bigger supply of potent potables around the cracker barrel!