Thursday, May 17, 2007

Now that there's a Democrat in the race

According to the New Dominion (h/t Now at the Podium), the Democrats have an (unnamed) candidate to run in the general election for the 24th State Senate seat. It's been at least two and a half hours since then, and surprisingly, I have yet to see a Hanger supporter seize upon this as "proof" that only their man can win the general election. Still, we all know they'll get around to that line of argument eventually, so allow me to debunk it now.

The fact is, this will be a three-way race in November; the candidates will be Libertarian Arin Sime, the unnamed Democrat, and either Hanger or Sayre. Conventional wisdom holds that Hanger, as the moderate, will be better positioned in the general election. The trouble is, Hanger and Sayre only disagree on one major issue - taxes. Thus, the only voters Hanger can gain in a general election that Sayre cannot are "big-government conservatives," i.e., folks who tack right on social issues but are OK with tax hikes of the Warner and Chichester variety. The problem for Hanger is that there aren't many of those voters left, far fewer than the anti-tax voters who will leave him in droves for the self-described pro-life libertarian Arin Sime, who will be in prime position to attack Hanger from the right.

In other words, Sime and Hanger will battle for the support of the conservative majority in the 24th, leaving the Democrat to have the liberal minority entirely to himself (or herself), and putting said Democrat in position to "sneak up the middle" if Sime can take enough votes away from Hanger.

Sayre, by contrast, will be able to hold those voters with him. Sime will have to oppose Sayre from the left, in which case he and the Democrat will be fishing in the same pond. So in a general election, Sime and the Democrat will battle for the liberal minority while Sayre has the conservative majority all to himself, and as such, he (Sayre) will cruise to victory.

Hanger will have no such luck in a general election. The nature of the district and the state of the race make him the weaker general election nominee compared to Sayre, not the stronger one.



Blogger Spank That Donkey said...

Just to name a couple issues that Sayre and Hanger also disagree on.

#1 Sayre opposes Hanger's efforts to give instate tuition to illegal aliens.

#2 Sayre will work to increase Augusta County's State Trooper strength to the authorized 19 troopers, something that Hanger has had a decade to do, and has neglected. This is vital to combat the trafficking of Metamphetamines into our region.

#3 Hanger supports accelerating forward the voting rights of felons, vs. the established system of having those rights reaffirmed by the Governor.

There is more, and it's not just taxes!

May 18, 2007 at 12:55 AM  
Anonymous Valley Observer said...

DJ--great post. Having Sime in the race makes it quite interesting.

The question being posed is, whose votes will Sime draw off? Some say that if Sayre wins, Sime will affect the Democrat.

If Hanger wins, the CW is that Sime will draw votes away from him since Sime, in many ways, is a conservative. But, will it be enough for a Democrat to win?

May 18, 2007 at 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dem, according to Harrisonburg paper agrees with Scott on taxes. He wants to lower them too. I guess the only one out of touch is Hanger?

May 18, 2007 at 1:30 PM  

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