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June 12, 2006

A Final Look at Tomorrow's Primary

Within 24 hours, we should know who will lose to Senator Allen in November. Think I sound cocky? Somehow, I do not think that Chad would.

Many Democratic bloggers and Republicans agree that George Allen would have his way in a race against Harris Miller. But what about James "George-Allen's-so-called-Worst-Nightmare" Webb? There is a lot of disagreement there. First, you have the Democratic bloggers, typically Not Larry Sabato (though less so than in the past), Raising Kaine (Relying on a straw poll? Really Lowell, you should know better), and Virginia Centrist (Democrat in an election + Markos Moulitsas = Kiss of Death). They all have noted the strong support from blogs and blog readers and believe that James Webb will have an easy time tomorrow.

I believe they are missing one thing, and many conservative bloggers have picked up on this. Kilo in particular:
I like the idea of last minute radio spots. [sic] To bad they are not the culmination of ads that were airing this whole campaign. Time spent drawing cartoons could have been better spent. Tomorrow night we will find out if Jim Webb and his not ready for prime time players are successful. This battle is in NOVA. The few thousand voters in my part of the state wont carry much weight.
I must say that most of the signs I have seen recently (albeit, I have seen so few of them that I wonder if this primary will even see a 2.5% turnout) have been in favor of Harris Miller. James Webb cannot depend on blogs because they tend to see an audience of younger people; voters, by and large, are older than people familiar with blogging. But we shall see. The polls seem to suggest many different things, so this race could go any way.

As for some predictions, they tend to be wide and varied as well:
Red Bull - Webb 54%, Miller 46%, 3% turnout
Too Conservative - Miller 53%, Webb 47%
Virginia Centrist - Webb 63%, Miller 35% (who is the other 2% going to?)
Howling Latina - In the 1st District, Webb 62%, Miller 38%
Daily Whackjob - Miller 93%, Webb 7% (he pulled it out of thin air, but seeing the range of the other predictions, it might be just as likely as any other predicted value).
My Prediction - While the blogosphere has been overwhelmingly pro-Webb, I cannot ignore Northern Virginia, and my gut tells me this will be a Miller win. Harris Miller 55%, James Webb 45%. I also predict that the Democratic side of the blogosphere will be scrambling for the next few months if Webb does not get at least 55% of the primary vote and/or if turnout is less than 2.5%.

Tomorrow, Democrats will be busy figuring out who George Allen's opponent will be. But us Republicans can sit back and be entertained for once, perhaps vote if the ballot box beckons. Regardless of the result, June 13th should be a very interesting day.

UPDATE 6/13 8:20 AM: Waldo gives perhaps the best analysis of the two Senate candidates I have read yet, either from the MSM or, in particular, the blogs.
U.S. Senate Democratic nominee candidates Jim Webb and Harris Miller are two very different candidates. Each man's greatest strength is the other's greatest weakness: Webb is a strong candidate with a weak campaign, while Miller is a weak candidate with a strong campaign.
He goes on to say:
The question that has to be asked - the question that all informed Democrats voting today are surely asking themselves - is this: Do I want a great candidate or a great campaign?
Personally, I believe a a great campaign is more important than a great candidate, and it does not help Webb and Miller that George Allen is both; he is charismatic and favored by conservatives for his consistent voting, but also knows how to do things right on the campaign trail. Still a strong campaign beats out a strong candidate with a weak campaign; Waldo says he will put his support behind whoever wins today, but I suspect even more so now that the guys at Raising Kaine and Virginia Centrist will be disappointed at the end of the day.

UPDATE 2 6/13 11:10 AM: Shaun gives another good analysis of today's primary, and even notes how one of the biggest criticisms of Miller might actually be beneficial for Democrats.
My concerns if Miller wins? He'll show well (lose, but show well) against Allen and weaken his presidential bid, Miller will self-finance which means the DCCC will push more money into other races nationwide, and based on how well-run the campaign has been Miller will coincide nicely with Mark Warner's bid for president.
What fear of Webb? Miller might make this (and possibly otheres) an interesting race.

FINAL UPDATE 6/13 6:15 PM: Not Larry Sabato is calling the race for James Webb. Forty-five minutes until the polls close. Will NLS maintain his 99.5% accuracy, or is he about to pull a Rather? Unless the race is extremely close, we should know before bed time.

And it appears that Webb's after-election party is taking place at the Crystal City Hilton. Anyone want to let the Webb crazies know that that is where the yearly Conservative Political Action Conference was held many times (most recently, two years ago)?