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Alabama Elections Directory 2006

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Election Day Elsewhere

Today is Election Day. But as in most states, there will be no voting in Alabama. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't some interesting races on the ballot around the country.

Virginia and New Jersey will elect new governors while New York City, Detroit, San Diego and other large cities will have mayoral elections. Additionally, there are referendums and initiatives on the ballot in California and Ohio which could have far reaching consequences depending on their result.

Political Wire has a good primer on some of the more important contests of the day.

From an Alabama perspective the race to watch is probably the Virginia's governor's race. Popular Democratic Governor Mark Warner can't run again and the race to succeed is considered a toss-up. However, if Democratic candidate Tim Kaine emerges victorious it will give Democrats (especially in the South) hope that they can rebound against the recent GOP tidal wave throughout the region. While the VA race is not especially analogous to the upcoming Alabama governor's race, it would give state Democrats some hope as they attempt to reverse recent Republican gains.

Of course if GOPer Jerry Kilgore can snatch the Virginia governorship away from Democrats, it could signal that Southern Republicans are still dominant even though the national party is currently beleaguered.

The National Journal's Hotline on Call blog looks to be a good source for results once the polls close.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Virginia Gov. is one to watch. Kilgore (the Republican) is weak on abortion and taxes. He says he's pro-life, but has exceptions for rape and incest that has upset a lot of social conservatives.

But he has also refused to sign a "no tax increase" pledge after repeated requests.

These two issues are enough to sink him if Kaine does a good job at GOTV.

There is also the third candidate factor. Liberal Republican Russ Potts will take a few points, but probably hurt Kaine more than Kilgore.

If Kilgore loses, it will be because of his weak stand on abortion and taxes.- a lesson for the Alabama GOP.

If Kilgore wins, it will probably be because Potts took votes away from Kaine.

We'll see!

1:21:00 PM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

Those are interesting observations. The VA race also serves as a proxy battle of sorts between current Gov Mark Warner and US Sen George Allen. Both Warner and Allen want to run for president and if their candidate wins each could claim credit and give their presidential bids some closer attention.

4:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well Kaine won outright and Crozine did too. AS a democrat i can't wait until 06 in Bama. Bush is hurting republicans

10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kilgore and Forrester lost because they alienated their conservative base. Kilgore was weak on social issues and taxes. Forrester forcefully came out during the final weeks of the campaign and bragged about being Pro-choice and a moderate.

The conservative GOP candidates for Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General in Virginia won. This means that many of their supporters voted for Tim Kaine because they were anti-Kilgore, not pro-Kaine.

Bush definitely weakened Kilgore and Forrester.

The lesson for Alabama is that if Bob Riley wins the Primary against Roy Moore, the GOP will lose the Governorship and probably a lot of down-ballot candidates in the fall of '06.

Riley has too much baggage. He should drop out in favor of a Harri Anne Smith-- a fresh, conservative face. Staying in the race smacks of too much ego. He simply has too much baggage to win in the fall.

Bush will hurt him, Moore will hurt him, Amendment 1 will hurt him-- and that's before the Democrats start running their TV ads.

12:12:00 AM  
Blogger PoliSciZac said...

I am not sure I agree with that last comment. From what I could tell, Kaine used many conservative appeals on issues like gay rights, death penalty, and immigration. He might not have been quite as far to the right as some purists would want, but overall I think he ran pretty hard to the right.

And about NJ, there are simply not enough conservatives in the state to elect a candidate. I'd guess that a majority of the GOPers in NJ are pro-choice, and if you look at the GOP politicians who have been successful like Whitman or Kean they have all been moderates.

Saying that Forrester should have appealed more to conservatives would be like telling Lucy Baxley she has to run hard to the left to win in Alabama.

1:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kaine was definitely not running as a conservative. He ran a very moderate campaign. But Kilgore did the same thing. He refused to go to the right of Kaine in real substantive issues for conservatives (spending, taxes, life).

I think Kilgore tried to prove that he was a better Tim Kaine than Tim Kaine. He just didn't show much contrast to energize his base.

What you may not have noticed is that in addition to losing the Governor's race, the Virginia GOP lost a few conservative legislative seats in Northern Virginia as well. These seats were held by Republicans-- one of them was a long-time social/fiscal conservative incumbent from Loudoun County.

Kilgore lost Loudoun County-- a historically blood-red Republican county just outside of D.C.

I think the facts are plain. Kilgore lost because he failed to energize his conservative base, not because Kaine duped a bunch of conservatives into thinking he was with them.

1:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember that the GOP-controlled Virginia Senate and House passed the largest tax increase in Virginia history last year.

This was done only a year after voters in Northern Virginia rejected a tax increase proposal.

Kilgore was slaughtered in Northern Virginia.

GOP take note: When democrats run to the middle, they have a better chance of winning. But when republicans run to the middle, they have a better chance of losing.

10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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