Bursting the Crossover Fallacy of the Fimian Victory

Keith Fimian won the GOP primary in Va-11 yesterday with a convincing victory over Pat Herrity. My congratulations to Mr. Fimian, and I look forward to having the chance to help him unseat the incumbent in November.

That said, let me offer some ruminations on yesterday’s results and the scourge of crossover voting.

I am sure there were some Dems who crossed over and voted for Fimian.  But I have yet to hear of any credible evidence showing a  concerted flood of Democrats crossing over to vote Fimian, and certainly not enough to get him a win.  Some offer Fimian’s victories in some of the most liberal precincts in Fairfax County as proof of wide scale crossover voting.  This conjecture strikes me as bordering on the ridiculous.  Just because these precints vote liberal does not mean they were banned from a GOP primary.  Someone was going to win them, and with a small turnout primary it is absolutely within the realm of possibility for the candidate with the devoted following to win.

Example-Virginia Virtucon yells hijack and holds up as proof of the crossover the fact that the Vienna precincts are tres liberal, yet Fimian won each of them.  That is true, but he won the four precincts by a total of 76 votes.  With the numbers this small a candidate with a strong following can win in counter-ideological areas. 

Virtucon says ” Can anyone believe that republicans voted for Fimian in the most liberal parts of Fairfax?

Yes-GOP voters do live in liberal precincts.  I think the proper statistical perspective is found (where possible) in running the GOP numbers in this primary against the Va-37 special election in January.  I think you will find that the GOP numbers for this primary did not exceed the GOP numbers for that special election.  Take a look at precincts in my neck of the woods like Burke, Burke Commons, Fairview, Terra Centre-precincts that lean Democrat-you see turnouts that were lower than the Steve Hunt totals in January.

In fact, I would hypothesize that said candidate has a better chance of winning in the counter-ideological areas because the non-sympatico voters will hold him in such low regard that they would not come out for him come hell or high water.  The resulting small core of mobilized voters who do come out give him that chance of unanticipated precinct level wins.

I fail to see how simply winning in a liberal precinct means there was massive Democratic crossover.  Surely if there was such a concerted effort the turnout numbers would have been much higher than they were.

I think the real question is less that Fimian won in these precincts but that Herrity lost.  One would think that Herrity, who is perceived as being less ideological than Fimian, would have at least carried these precincts.  Was it a bad campaign?  Bad time of the year? Did Herrity not get his message out? All of the above?  I don’t know, but I do know that losing the nomination and losing in precincts like this will not build Herrity up as a political powerhouse.

I voted for Herrity yesterday, but for my own highly subjective reasons.  I am unsure why he got into the race, but in losing he now has the “opportunist” banner stuck snugly on his forehead.  A special election loss for the Chairman’s position was one thing-tacking on this primary loss is another.  Brother Herrity is going to have to work hard over the next year and a half to resfortify his position in Springfield and prepare for his 2011 reelection campaign.  Unless things change or he gets in front of some popular movement I don’t see Pat Herrity as being the prime candidate to take on Sharon Bulova in 2011…simply due to this defeat.

So today let us gather behind Keith Fimian for the noble task of bringing responsible representation back to DC from the 11th District of Virginia.  I urge folks to accept the fact that Keith Fimian just flat out beat Pat Herrity.  He out mobilized him, out quicked him organizationally, outspent him, and found an issue that resonated with the likely electorate.  The Crossover/Hijack theory is fallacy, and one best left on the ash heap of history if we are to find success in November.

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2 thoughts on “Bursting the Crossover Fallacy of the Fimian Victory

  1. I suppose I’m a crossover voter. I’m called a rino, by people in the party I used to belong to and love. I voted for Pat Herrity simply because I thought he was the better man and would make a better congressman than Keith Fimian. My choice of whom to vote for in the general election is MUCH less difficult now than it would have been if Herrity had won, even though I’m NOT enthusiastc about Connolly.

  2. Bwana:
    I would tend to agree that the claim that Democrats voted in the Republican and voted for the percieved weaker candidate is false. I opened and worked a Vienna poll yesteday for the Herrity Campaign and at least at the particular precinct, this was not the case.
    Like you I supported Pat for my own reasons, primary electability – I just do not believe Mr. Fiminian has the “ganyas!” or “juevos!” to beat Congressman Connelly. I would love to be proven wrong – I made a similiar prediction on the Cooch and Shannon AG race last year and you see how that turned out.
    I would agree that Pat needs to concern himself with his own re-election and concentrate on that and hold office for awhile and rebuild his following. I am proud of the fact that I supported him and I am honored that he asked for my support and when and if he ever should ask for my support again, I would gladly give it. Pat Herrity is an example of what is good and right in an a person who holds public office. These days we need more people like him to be in office.
    Thank you,
    BFIV

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