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View Diary: Virginia Republicans double down on ultraconservative white guys for 2013 (61 comments)

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  •  We have got to recognize (9+ / 0-)

    the importance of governorship and legislative offices at the state level.

    Right now, over half a million more people voted for democrats for congress than for republicans - yet the Rs won about 25 more congressional seats than democrats did.

    It all boils down to redistricting.  And redistricting boils down to who controls the governorship when the next census is taken.

    If we lose sight of this, the problem could continue to snowball until democratic votes are pushed completely out of the House, regardless of how voters vote.

    •  Not exactly ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, VirginiaBlue, Aquarius40

      It all boils down to redistricting.  And redistricting boils down to who controls the governorship when the next census is taken.

      In many states .. it boils down to the legislature .. or the governor/legislature combo

    •  Lots of comments by people outside Virginia and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aquarius40, kindler, hayden

      some inside without strong ties to the state miss an important point. Virginia, as a state, is reasonably reliably "blue" only during federal cycle elections. In any statewide race during a national election cycle the state is blueish. A point many non Virginians, and even some new or not particularly interested in state matters, is that Virginia is not just a "mid term" state—it is intentionally an out of federal cycle state.

      I'd have to research for citations, but I am reasonably sure that was part of a segregation era move to ensure only "real Virginians" would turn out to determine governance of the state. The four year term state offices are determined the year after the national presidential election and an election the year after federal mid terms determines others.

      The out of cycle elections serve the intended purpose reasonably well. I know lots of people in NOVA that will turn out for federal cycle elections but "forget" or are "too busy" to turn out for state office. Except for some occasional wake up calls it is possible to live in NOVA, particularly the Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax inner suburbs, and pretty much ignore "Richmond" entirely.

      This particularly applies to the large immigrant population of those counties where (links to some of my favorites) Latin American, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, and all sorts of other ethnic stores and restaurants can provide a cushion against "Richmond."

      A trip to Richmond is indeed another world for a hard core NOVA resident. All sorts of choices we take for granted just vanish. For me the rare trip that far south is an echo of memories of the Deep South I've almost forgotten; sweet tea and having to ask about unsweetened, a casual and rather genteel racism and a much more generally black/white world than NOVA's high diversity world for a very few examples. While that is a bit strange for a NOVA or even Hampton Roads resident, it is much closer to most of the rest of Virginia than "alien" NOVA.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:55:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an interesting point. (0+ / 0-)

        But hush!  If this got around, the next thing you know, the Rs will change the dates of all the gubernatorial elections that coincide with a presidential election!

        •  Virginia is not entirely alone, though unique. (0+ / 0-)

          I was wrong about the era and motive, though I do remember some expert opinion pieces on how the "off-off" cycle aided in insulating state elections from national issue voters for changes in the integration era.

          The background is found in William & Mary Election Law Society's "Virginia’s Off-Off-Year Elections." It actually goes back to 1851-1852 events. It did have this interesting effect according to that piece:

          The off-off-year cycle is probably one reason that Republicans were able to get a strong foothold in Virginia sooner than they did in many other southern states. In the early 1950s it became apparent to Democratic Senator Harry Byrd Sr., the political godfather of the Byrd organization that controlled Virginia politics for half a century that the Virginia Democrats were probably more in agreement with national Republicans on many issues than they were with national Democrats. In the presidential election of 1952, Byrd helped the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket win Virginia, but then turned around in 1953 and convinced those same voters who had cast ballots for Republicans the year before to vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Thomas B. Stanley. This quadrennial pattern of presidential-gubernatorial electioneering repeated itself in 1956-57 and 1960-61, skipped 1964-65 due to the extremism of Barry Goldwater, and then reverted to a new pattern 1968-69, 1972-73, and 1976-77 when many of those conservative Democrats who had been flipping decided to just stay with the Republicans both years.
          in "[Why do Four States Have Odd-Year Elections? ]" by Karl Kurtz we see the assumption—and probable frequent actual effect—along with debunking that as the direct motive in the four states with odd year state elections (Louisiana, Missisissippi, New Jersey and Virginia).
          When a reporter asked us why Louisiana, Missisissippi, New Jersey and Virginia have state elections in odd-numbered years, Tim Storey and I replied that it was probably the same reason that states have moved their gubernatorial elections into non-presidential election years: to insulate them from national political trends. After doing some research, though, it turns out that the reasons are sometimes more prosaic and quirky.

          The author notes it is in New Jersey that a hint of "the motive" of insulation appears:

          Interestingly, though, this case provides some evidence of the desire to insulate New Jersey politics from national trends. Gov. Alfred E. Driscoll testified before the constitutional convention as follows:

          ...the election for a Governor and for Assemblymen should not coincide with a Presidential election.  The importance of a gubernatorial election merits an election that will not be overshadowed by a national contest for the Presidency.  The problems confronting the State are frequently distinct from those confronting the nation...

          I would suggest a progressive, in the traditional sense, effort should be made to combinie these elections both to save money and increase turnout of the electorate to get a better "voice of the electorate." While the TP/GOP rants about near mythical election fraud and taxpayer dollars wasted our side could well demand better election management and savings.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:12:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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