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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

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The stage is set for November

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No big surprises on primary night 2012 in Virginia.

If you took the “under” in my 9% voter turnout prediction for voter turnout, you were safe when it comes to the Virginia Senate Race. Turnout came in right around 5%.

You would’ve lost if you took the “under” of 9% in the 7th Congressional District. Eric Cantor brought out a tad bit more than 9% in his primary battle with Tea Party candidate Floyd Bayne.

A couple of tid-bits from the night..

*Check out my twitter feed for a few of the stand out comments from the Cantor/Allen victory rally.

*Allen asked for all his primary opponents to come together after their “inter-squad” scrimmage. Jamie Radtke, who was far and away his closest challenger put out a facebook message to her supporters, but makes no mention of Allen.

*Tim Kaine took the opportunity to hammer Allen’s record during his time in the Senate. His campaign hosted a rally of their own tonight in Richmond as well.

*You can check out my full wrap on primary night on NBC12.com

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 12, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Primary day in Virginia

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Greetings from beautiful Orange, VA!

Decision Virginia is coming to you this morning from James Madison’s Montpelier. My family and I are guests of the Center for the Constitution, where I am helping produce a series of educational videos on the Constitution. While I am moderating the panel discussions on the Bill of Rights, which will later be part of an online video course through the Close Up Foundation, Karey and the kids are exploring the incredibly beautiful grounds. Including the gardens which are right behind President Madison’s home.

Montpelier is a terrific, perhaps hidden secret in the Commonwealth. It is an easy jaunt from Richmond and there is quite a bit for the kids to do. Our kids are little and my wife has been able to find plenty of places for them to run around and have fun. Their favorite part has to be when the fireflies seem to erupt from the lawn in a fantastic show each evening. Plus the bugs are easy to catch.. even for my 1 and half year old. (Don’t worry we let them all go. No fireflies were hurt in the making of this blog post.)

Unfortunately our little retreat from reality must come to an end this afternoon as we shuffle back down I-64 so I can be home in time to cover today’s Virginia Senate/Congressional Primary. It is a primary that has been largely ignored by the general public, but features two of Virginia’s most prominent politicians, former senator and governor George Allen and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

I have reported a bit on both races. Check out my story on Cantor’s challenge from Tea Party activists Floyd Bayne, and my story about George Allen’s ability to wade through a volitale electorate.

Despite the incredibly important impact this primary could have on the Virginia political scene, there is little evidence that many people will participate. Virgina hasn’t had a Senate primary in recent memory and the last few congressional primaries in other districts have offered minimal interest from the voting public. The expected low turnout would appear to be a to the advantage of the Cantor and Allen, who have built-in name recognition and get out the vote mechanisms that would be successful in a little watched primary. Astute political observer Beau Cribbs points out that voter turnout in the 2006 Virginia Democratic Primary was only 3.45%.

However their opponents would argue that low turnout may be to their advantage, because while their supporters may be a smaller portion of the electorate, are more passionate and willing to brave a rainy day to get out to the polls.

Regardless, Cantor and Allen have not taken anything for granted. Both conducted a voting blitz in the closing days of the primary and have been filling up mailboxes and the emails of their identified supporters. While a win is a win, not winning by a large margin could be perceived by their detractors as a sign of vulnerability heading into November.

Cantor and Allen will be together to celebrate the election results in downtown Richmond tonight.

If you are planning to vote today, the State Board of Elections has put out this handy guide with information on what you need to know to make sure your vote counts.

The questions right now is turnout. How many people will pay attention to today’s vote? I am going to put the voter turnout over/under at 9%. Will it be better than that? (My guess is a little over statewide, a little less in Cantor’s district).

Give me your thoughts in the comments or on my facebook page or tweet me your guess.

We will have complete coverage of the returns tonight on NBC12.

Written by Ryan Nobles

June 12, 2012 at 8:47 am