Virginia will hold an open primary on Tuesday for local, state, and federal elections. But don’t expect many voters to show up.
Turnout in Tuesday’s open Virginia Senate Republican primary, for example, will likely be mired in the single digits.
When Mitt Romney went one-on-one against Ron Paul earlier this year in the GOP presidential contest, there was a 5.22% turnout. The only statewide races to break the low turnout mold during the last seven years were the 2008 presidential primaries.
In 2005, Jerry Kilgore won the GOP nod for governor with 3.98% voter turnout but lost the general election to Tim Kaine. Now-Sen. Jim Webb defeated Harris Miller the next year with 3.45% turnout in the Democratic Senate primary and went on to defeat George Allen that fall. In 2009, Creigh Deeds won the Democratic nod for governor in a race that featured 6.29% turnout. Deeds lost to Bob McDonnell in the general election.
Still, we’re covering this election.
Republican George Allen is seeking to regain his old Senate seat against former Governor and DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, the spread shows all polls tied up for the seat. Incumbent Democrat Jim Webb is stepping down from this position.
Allen enters the primary election favored over three lesser-known Republicans. Allen's challengers are tea party leader Jamie Radtke, state legislator Bob Marshall and minister E.W. Jackson.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Virginia does not register voters by party, so the contests are open to all voters.
PolicyMic will be covering the Virginia primaries live. Bookmark this page and click “refresh” for the latest updates.
LIVE UPDATES: 9:45 p.m. Cantor Easily Wins: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor easily won his Republican primary race in Virginia, brushing aside a challenger he had trounced in the November election two years go.
Cantor is second only to Speaker John Boehner in the leadership of the House's large Republican majority. He had 79% of the vote over Floyd Bayne.
Bayne got less than 7% of the vote in 2010 election when ran as the Independent Green nominee against Cantor.
Cantor faces Democrat Wayne Powell this November in Virginia's heavily Republican 7th District. Powell, a Richmond lawyer and retired Army colonel, clenched his party's nomination after other Democrats dropped out.
9:17 p.m. Numbers continue to come in and 94.5% are now reporting. Allen's final total looks likely to be slightly more than 65%.
9:02 p.m. Ella Ward has won the Democratic House race in District 4.
Jim Moran has won the House race in District 8.
8:48 p.m. Campaign video of E.W. Jackson, who had been campaigning against Allen (and lost):
National Republican Senatorial Committee
To: Interested Parties
From: National Republican Senatorial Committee
Re: Virginia Republican Senate Primary
Date: June 12, 2012
“I congratulate George Allen on winning the Republican nomination and look forward to Virginians electing this experienced leader in November.
“The Virginia Senate race will be one of the most important battlegrounds this Fall, and voters will have a clear choice between two competing visions for the future of the Commonwealth and our country. George Allen represents a common-sense path forward for Virginia by focusing on job growth, energy independence and a balanced budget, while his opponent former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine represents the status quo of higher taxes, bigger government, and more wasteful, Washington spending.
“Virginians deserve a Senator who will put their views and values ahead of blind partisanship and party loyalty, and that is why I am confident they will elect George Allen in November.” – U.S. Senator John Cornyn, NRSC Chairman
8:45 p.m. George Allen releases statement regarding his primary victory:
“Today, thousands of Virginians sent a message to President Obama, Tim Kaine and their allies in Washington that they have had enough of the failed policies coming out of Washington. The way to get America creating jobs again is to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of America with pro-job growth policies, unleash our American energy resources and creativity, and rein in an overreaching, overspending federal government.
“This November, Virginians have a choice between two very different futures. My opponent supports the failed economic policies coming out of Washington and has a record of supporting bigger government and higher taxes, while losing 100,000 private sector jobs. I trust the people, not Washington, and have a proven record of reducing tax burdens, cutting regulations and creating jobs in Virginia.
“While it won’t be easy to change the ways of Washington, the stakes are too high to sit on the sidelines. That’s what motivated Bishop E.W. Jackson, Delegate Bob Marshall, and Jamie Radtke, and I commend them and their supporters for their passion and concern.
“Just as we brought Republicans and Democrats together to reform welfare, cut taxes by $600 million and create over 300,000 net new private sector jobs, we will bring Virginia’s voices and values back to Washington. I welcome Republicans, Independents and Democrats to stand with me in November to secure the promise of the American Dream. We can spark a genuine American Comeback based on Freedom and Opportunity for all. It’s our time for choosing – let’s lay claim to victory for Freedom in November.”
8:43 p.m. Here is an example of the Republican attacks against Tim Kaine, which are already ramping up.
8:33 p.m. In the other House of Representatives race, James "Jim" Moran leads Bruce Shuttleworth by 69% to 31%.
8:31 p.m. Allen's challengers had argued that he is not conservative enough and therefore a poor choice to face Kaine in November. None was able to compete against Allen's near-universal name recognition. After Allen's victory, Republicans immediately attacked Kaine. “George Allen represents a common-sense path forward for Virginia . . . while his opponent former DNC Chairman Tim Kaine represents the status quo of higher taxes, bigger government, and more wasteful, Washington spending,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas).
8:27 p.m. Allen has been officially declared the winner of the Senate primary, and he'll face off against Tim Kaine in the general election. With 83.2% reporting, Allen has 64.7% of the vote. Radrke trails with 23.5%, Marshall has 7.0%, and Jackson has 4.8%.
8:25 p.m. Update from the Tim Kaine campaign on Twitter:
Great to be with supporters in Richmond tonight! Thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm as we enter the general election.— Gov. Tim Kaine (@timkaine) June 12, 2012
8:13 p.m. Turning back to the Senate race, George Allen now leads by a healthy margin, still with 65.07% of the vote.
8:12 p.m. In another election held in Virginia for Glouster County Sheriff, Republican Darrell W. Warren, Jr. has defeated Jim N. Ledbetter, Jr. by a total of 82.51% (3,534 votes) to 17.48% (749 votes).
7:57 p.m. With 53% of polls reporting on the Dem side, Ward and Moran still up.
7:55 p.m. With 65% of polls reporting on the GOP side, Allen still up big with 65%. Radtke at 25%.
7:39 p.m. On the Democratic side, with 31% of polls reporting, Ella Ward leads with 81% in District 4, Jim Moran in District 8 with 70% and 17% reporting.
7:35 p.m. With 41% reporting on the GOP side, Allen still on top with 65% of the vote.
7:30 p.m. On the Democratic side, with 21% of the vote reporting, in District 4 Ella Ward leads with 75%, while Joe T. Elliot, Jr. holds 24%.
In District 8, Jim Moran leads with 69%, while Bruce Shuttleworth holds 23%
7:22 p.m. With 22% of precincts reporting on the Republican side, George Allen leads with 64% of the vote. Jamie Radtke holds 26% of the vote.
Voter turnout stands at 1%.
7:15 p.m. Why does this all matter? The House races are generally quiet, but the Republican primary for Senate is key, as the seat is one that could determine which party holds the majority this fall.
7 p.m. Polls Are Now Closed.
6:30 p.m. Six Reasons Why George Allen Will Struggle in This Elections Season, courtesy of PolicyMic Pundit Paul Anderson:
It’s a historic day in Virginia, as George Allen attempts to win back the Senate seat that he lost to Jim Webb, an unknown challenger who was drafted by bloggers to run and came back from down by 20%+ to knock off the incumbent.
The first step is getting past Senator Bob Marshall, a socially conservative state Senator, and the head of the Virginia Tea Party Patriots, Jamie Radke. Allen is expected to breeze past both of them, and will face former Governor Tim Kaine in the general election.
I’ve always thought that the Macaca thing was a bit overblown.
Not because it wasn’t offensive and obnoxious, but because George Allen has done much worse! Here’s a quick rundown:
1) Cut off a doe’s head and asked his friends, “Where do the black people live?” and then put it in a black family’s mailbox. Today, this would be a hate crime.
2) Used the n-word repeatedly in the presence of a nurse
3) Used the n-word around a black college teammate, who he also told that he moved to Virginia “because the blacks know their place.”
4) Used the n-word it while buying a puppy, in reference to the consumption of turtles.Excerpt: "I asked him about waterfowl landing at the lake," Taylor recalled. "He said if they hatched out into ducklings, they would all get attacked by the big turtles. I said, 'Why don't you kill and eat these turtles?' He said: 'We don't eat them. The [epithets] eat them.'”
5) Accused by respected Virginia professor of using the n-word.
6) When asked if he had Jewish ancestry at a 2006 debate, Allen “recoiled as if he had been struck” and accused the questioner of “casting aspersions.”
And many more!
There are many Southern politicians who were racists when they were young. If they’ve changed and they admit it, then I think we can forgive them. There’s something great about a redemption story, and when public figures change for the better, it inspires others to do so.
The problem is that George Allen has never admitted anything. His 2011 apology failed to acknowledge any past racism. He’ll face a tough race in 2012 with massive African American turnout in Virginia along with an immigrant population in Northern Virginia that has grown quite a bit since he uttered “Macaca."
Virginia's Senate race will be closely watched in the fall ... just not right now:
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