A mid-day update on Virginia

Since there is little we can do about it.

Turnout appears high in the DC suburbs, a (very) good sign. So far, trending below 2017 in Charlottesville and some parts of Tidewater, not good. No word on rural turnout, which will indicate if Youngkin is getting the surplus he needs to overcome significant early vote deficit.

Great data graphic

This map of early voting in Virginia (from non-partisan VPAP) is fascinating.

Virginia percentage of early votes

The darker blue—more votes already in—are mostly heavily Democratic areas. The yellow areas in the west and the “panhandle” are the Republicans. Early voting was huge, six times’ the last gubernatorial election in 2017. Of course, that was pre-covid, and perhaps the exigencies of 2020 cause a permanent shift in voting patterns. [EDIT: I have learned that early voting in 2017 required an excuse.]

It’s reasonable to conclude that the Democrats have banked a big lead here.

We are certainly going to see a “red shift” if these early votes are announced before the day-of votes. [EDIT: Most of these votes have been counted and will be reported before the day-of votes. However, with the day-of votes, the Republican areas, less dense, report faster. Expect a red shift; and then a smaller blue shift back.] The question is how much. I don’t know at what point we can be certain of the results, but one clue will be turnout in those Republican areas. If historical trends continue, this is about 40% of the total vote for the election. Republicans need very big turnout tomorrow: twice as many people as they got to vote early. Democrats only need about 1 for 1 (one voter tomorrow for every voter who voted early). I know which phone bank I would rather be at.

Notes from the October 17 meeting

We spent much of the meeting finishing up cards for Virginia. They have all been sent with Virginia postmarks. Hope they work. There have been some sky-is-falling articles on Virginia lately, which I want to put in perspective. First, whatever problems we have in VA are not from lack of money. No one can explain to me what the plan is for money that can not even be spent.

Of course, early vote this year can not be compared to 2020, not just because of Presidential year versus very-off-year, but because the 2020 election was conducted mostly by mail. This year’s is not. Half of requested mail ballots have been returned. In those ballots, likely Democratic voters are a 50-point lead. However, in early in-person voting, the Dems have only(!) a 20-point lead, and combined this is a somewhat smaller D advantage than at this point in 2020. No one seems to be looking at 2017, which is the most valid comparison.

Young voters are even less well represented in the early vote than usual. So, there are opportunities to drive up our turnout by whatever means we get this group out. Our peers are, as usual, voting early if not often.

Rachel Bitecofer brought up a point I would not have thought of. The Youngkin campaign is going all-in on culture wars, running an ad about an unfortunate 12th-grader who got nightmares from reading Beloved. (He did recover well enough to become an attorney for the Republican Party.) This approach means they have given up on driving down the heavy-D margins in Northern Virginia. It isn’t a good sign for their campaign.

There is no meeting on October 31! I will make separate post on Judy’s event for Pamela Price. Those of you with sweet tooths (teeth?): we are planning to put candy outside as part of the neighborhood Covid-safe Trick or Treat project.

Virginia postcards for Oct 17 meeting

It’s the endgame for Virginia 2021. The latest Fox News poll has the Democratic statewide ticket up 5. Let’s run up the score and preserve or expand our margin in the Legislature.

I have put 200 postcards on the porch. These are the ones that are shiny on the address side, but I have slapped on a mailing label that you can write on with an ordinary pen. I also found that Sharpie worked, if you have some unwritten already.

The upcoming meeting will be heavy on writing cards. We have 100 addresses; Postcards for Virginia has more for Ben Moses. I will ship everything we have done Sunday to my sister for a Virginia postmark. Any straggler cards, I think we should just pop into the mail here.

Minutes of September 19 meeting

I started with a review of the California recall. Not much vote counting has taken place since the initial flurry, so we still have Newsom up 27, up 5 in the OC, and behind by a fraction of a point in Fresno County, as of Tuesday morning. Since the meeting, I read this article that rural California is crushed by the results. Note the tired trope that a minority who live in large, sparsely-populated areas are equal to or better than a majority that lives in the cities.

We have received an invitation for a virtual Bryan Osorio Meet-and-Greet for next Sunday.

Osorio flyer, ticket link

There will be an in-person Meet-and-Greet for Tom Malinowski, running for re-election in NJ–07, on Sunday, October 17. [Location available on request, this is a public website.] He won by 1.2% in 2020, so depending on redistricting this can be a cliffhanger seat. Malinowski is a UC Berkeley alumnus, where he won a Rhodes Scholarship.

Recommendations for the Carolina Federation, which is trying to duplicate Stacey Abrams’ Georgia miracle in North Carolina.

Judy brought to our attention the race Pamela Price is running for Alameda County DA. The other candidates are from the same-old law enforcement background.

The Price Is Right Birthday with Danny Glover & Nina Turner
Pamela Price online event

Ticket link. Price’s website. (Not sure what Nina Turner can contribute except expertise in “How to lose a winnable race”.)

After the informational part of the meeting, we moved onto our next election: Virginia. We have postcards and disclaimer stickers available on the porch. Let’s keep up with the big victories over the bad guys. If you need more addresses, Postcards for Virginia has lots. Askew, Guy, Moses, Kathy Tran (2017 Indivisible Elmwood winner) and every other close and Blue long-shot race. Our ActBlue site is collecting for Askew, Guy, and Moses. Link, as always, top of this website.

And, to my mind, the Pulitzer Committee for Cartooning can just stop right now and give the prize for this one by Steve Sack.

Sack cartoon: COVID calls in | Star Tribune
Steve Sack cartoon

Three data points from the recall

Good job. Although in the end, I don’t think our postcards were the difference between winning and losing. The Republicans got stomped beyond my most optimistic prediction. (Margin is 27 at the moment.)

I want to point out three data points that are not getting the attention they warrant.

First, the recall is losing in Orange County by 6 (it was over 10 in the early mail ballots). In 2018, the big Democratic year where we flipped the OC Congressional seats with several upsets, Newsom won Orange County by 0.4. I am excited about our prospects to re-take some of the seats that the GOP took back in 2020.

The Republicans have no one to run against Newsom in 2022. Our second datum is 44%, Larry Elder’s share of the replacement vote. He crushed his pre-election polling and humiliated real politicians like Kevin Faulconer and John Cox. Elder is doubtless salivating over the new, even more lucrative, media earnings that will be bestowed on the leading Black White Supremacist. But a great many people didn’t make any choice for the replacement. Whether it’s Elder against Newsom in 2022 or another Trump follower, it’s clear the GOP base is all in on promoting someone who will capture at most one-third of the statewide vote.

The LA Times has spared me the effort of doing the following chart myself. Basically, the Recall Map by County is the same as the COVID–19 Map by County.

Plot of vaccination percentage vs no-on-recall percentage

As an alternate way of seeing the data, maps from the NY Times.

Covid case per capita by county
Recall results by county

[N.B.: Yes, Biden won Orange County by even more than the recall, while the Dems lost House seats there. But that was before the full identification of state and local Republicans with Trump.]

Minutes from September 5 meeting

I gave a cautiously optimistic update on the California Recall, and expressed some annoyance at the constant requests for money from Democrats in tight campaigns who are perfectly well funded but ascribe some totemic meaning to contributions that will somehow reduce the opponents’ votes.

Bruce provided more useful information. The Courage California ‘No To The Recall’ page for texting and other volunteer activities. PDF (from a Slack conversation) on how to help our Indivisible colleagues in Texistan.

The implications of bringing abortion to center stage for Republicans with their already-waning share of the educated and suburban vote are probably, in a cynical way, favorable for Democrats.

We discussed locations for anti-recall flyering. We have some left, and also large posters. After the recall our attention turns to Virginia. (Not a place the Republicans want to run on opposition to Roe.) We have reprinted the postcards with the “Paid for by” disclaimer pre-printed, and on paper that should be easier to write on. For those who are using the original batch, I have lots of “Paid for by” stickers if you need them.

In memory of 9/11 and in honor of one of the century’s first real heroes, Rick Rescorla, here’s Charlotte Church (at age 13½) singing Men of Harlech.