Final: VA Primary Election Post

Now we know the answer to that question: Not Virginia.

Though I have to admit that playing a role in the defeat of Terry McAuliffe feels sinisterly good, there's nothing worse than working on a losing campaign, election night. It'd been a while since I had to feel that sting of defeat-- since losing while working for Howard Dean in 03-04. Over the past 3 cycles and about a dozen candidates I've worked for to elect in primaries and GE elections, it was all winning. Last night felt like Iowa in '04 with Dean again.

But the online campaign for Brian Moran had it successes. Yea, we torpedoed McAuliffe, but we also developed a social activist platform at that added the activism of personal fundraising pages on ActBlue and online phonebanking, alongside social networking & groups and blogs. OV was a huge success for online mobilization around Moran's campaign. We'll have more progressive candidates using the platform soon enough, along with SEIU. WSG just hired another stellar Rails developer to push the activist platform even further-- yes, eventually, leading here to

As for the Moran campaign strategy, I think we were a bit shocked at how shallow the support for McAuliffe was in depth, and rather than going nuclear on him for a couple of months, both online and throughout the media, a more short-lived and stealth strategy could have sufficed.

The Moran campaign definitely took its eye off of Deeds while taking down McAuliffe. Ultimately, there was a swing group of about 15% that wanted, above all else, to defeat McAuliffe, and when the momentum and polls started breaking for Deeds, those voters strategically swung behind his candidacy without little regard for the issues.

There's a really well-written post that describes the difficulties ahead for Deeds vs McDonnell, from 2005, Attorney Generals Race. I'm sure we'll have time to delve into it more in the coming months.

The campaign of Creigh Deeds was very well run. While Brian Moran's campaign did the grunt work of taking out Terry McAuliffe, they watched and waited. Yes, they got a huge stroke of luck with the Washington Post endorsement, but luck is only half the equation of a win like this to occur. The Deeds campaign took the opportunity and executed a perfect strategy. Congratulations to all those involved in the Deeds campaign.

Now, Creigh Deeds, lead the Democratic Party to victory in Virginia in 2009!

Tags: Brain Moran, Creigh Deeds, Terry McAuliffe, VA 2009 (all tags)



This should have beena metaphor for something

by Blue In SC and MD 2009-06-10 05:58AM | 0 recs
Re: This should have beena metaphor for something

Reminds me of the beginning of the Message to Scientology" video from Anonymous.

by kestrel9000 2009-06-10 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

This was likely a turnout anomaly: election fatigue among the left, while enough of the moderates were still angry enough about Obama's election to motivate their voting in higher numbers. Just an idea that came to mind.

by MainStreet 2009-06-10 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Absolutely no evidence to back that up.  Turnout of 6% for a non-federal, Democratic primary in Virginia is HUGE.  More than double the number of people that voted in the 2006 Dem Senate primary voted this year, and there is nothing to indicate that there was a lack of voting on the left.  That turnout is especially amazing considering the weather.

But it's foolish to think of Virginia as suddenly a "blue" state.  McAuliffe and Moran are both way too easy to peg as "liberals" and would have been crushed statewide, and many liberals, myself included, recognized that Deeds was our only hope to defeat Bob McDonnell, an absolutely terrifyingly conservative Republican.  I guarantee you, Deeds won amongst liberals.  You don't win by 23 points in a Dem. primary, even with solid moderate turnout, without winning the left.

by bannana873 2009-06-10 07:18AM | 0 recs
bannana873 is completely correct, and...

...I, too, am a liberal who voted for Deeds, for the exact same reason:  only he can win statewide.

It's not all about the candidates' actual ideologies, but more precisely their profile.  I can picture a NoVA liberal winning statewide with the right profile, say with a personal and public biography and a moderate temperament that appeal downstate despite the candidate's liberal politics and NoVA origin.  But neither TMac nor Moran offered that.

So Deeds it is, and I am very happy.  He's not conservative by any stretch; he takes the conservative side on a couple issues while taking the liberal side on many others.  He's a Democrat who can beat McDonnell, and I'll take that.

by DCCyclone 2009-06-10 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post
McAuliffe obviously cares about the party. Wonder why you didn't mention this. 10/740671-Terry-McAuliffe:-A-Classy-Mo ve
by JasonMoreland 2009-06-10 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

I never saw trench warfare like that before in my life in a Democratic primary.

playing a role in the defeat of Terry McAuliffe feels sinisterly good

Ya think? :)

by kestrel9000 2009-06-10 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

I can't describe how tiresome it is seeing every single Democratic primary described in unrelenting good vs. evil terms.  From the election results, looks like I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I still find it funny that I spent 5 days in Virginia and saw absolutely zero yard signs for Deeds, and then he wins by this margin.  An impressive performance that bodes well for the general in my view.

by Steve M 2009-06-10 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Unfortunately Jerome, your job (and Brian's job) wasn't to defeat Terry Mcauliffe. Your job was to elect Brian Moran. And you came in last. By almost 10k votes.

Even in the post-mortem, the blame for Brian's loss is on Terry's weak support? Terry's support was still apparently stronger than Brian's. And to say the WaPo endorsement was luck. Did the WaPo flip a 3-sided coin? Or did Creigh earn the endorsement by being the most statesmanlike and focused on winning the general with solutions?

I supported Creigh, but I thought this was of note: In the aftermath, Terry's website sends people to contribute to Creigh. Brian's website...doesn't.

Perhaps if Brian (and his staff) had been more focused on getting their candidate elected, than by "playing a role in the defeat of Terry McAuliffe," the results would be different.

by JohnCos 2009-06-10 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post
Brian's web site is sending supporters to contribute to Creigh. The ActBlue page is here.
We were dealing with a nasty server issue this morning that slowed down rolling out some updates.
by Texas Nate 2009-06-10 11:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Thanks Nate. I'm glad it got fixed.

by JohnCos 2009-06-10 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

You'edeveloped a social agenda and a network, eh?

Good. that's what you're supposed to do. That's how it works.

by spirowasright 2009-06-10 08:53AM | 0 recs
Moran Campaign lost votes


I'm an Arlington voter who was strongly pro-Moran and anti-McAuliffe at the beginning of the campaign. I did end up voting for Moran after talking to him personally, but if it had been for his personal assurances I probably would have voted for McAuliffe.

The main reason for this is the tenor or Moran's campaign was incredibly negative and turned off a lot of people who wanted to support Moran. McAuliffe's campaign on the other hand showed what a professional campaign should look like and how a Democratic primary should be conducted. You could learn a lot from them Jerome.

by Obama08 2009-06-10 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Not knowing what it's like to work on a winning campaign, I can totally sympathize with you today.  The point is you played your hand, you had fun, you made contacts, and you're still around to work for the next guy.  

by Vox Populi 2009-06-10 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Moran had NOTHING to do with Mac's loss.  Mac and Deeds would have split the (small) portion of the vote that Moran garnered.

by lojasmo 2009-06-10 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Final: VA Primary Election Post

Just want to congratulate everyone involved -- this has been a terrific Democratic primary and the party is strong.  We're unifying quickly here in VA to beat blow-dried nutjob Bob McDonnell. Also want to invite everyone to join the new Facebook group "Progressives for Creigh Deeds":

by Doctor A 2009-06-10 04:36PM | 0 recs
Terry has showed alot more class...

Than Moran and a good chunk of his supporters...both during the campaign and since the results came in last night....

Unfortunately your post-mortem is a good example...

by SaveElmer 2009-06-10 04:53PM | 0 recs


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