Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Virginia's 7th Primary Election


David Brat defeated incumbent Eric Cantor and became the GOP nominee in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District.  Mr. Cantor has been in office since 2001 and is the current Majority Leader.  

Of the 7th’s some 473,000 active registered voters about 65,000 went to the polls.  About 56% of them voted for Mr. Brat as 44% voted for Mr. Cantor.   Hm, this means the District’s GOP nominee in this Fall’s election was decided by a very small number of people.

65,000 is about 14% of all potential voters.  I guess the remaining 86% spent the day eating pizza or just didn’t care.  Oh, not all of them voted for Brat.  This means the decision was made by 56% of that 14% or 7.8% of possible voters.  Once again, the candidate has been determined by fewer than 1 in 10 voters.  Ain’t democracy grand.  

Okay, there are some Democrats in the 7th.  Let’s take them out and re-crunch the numbers.  The 7th seems to vote about 57% Republican, that yields about 270,000 potential red voters.  I assume no Democrats voted in the GOP primary.

65,000 votes is 24% of 270,000.  That is better than 14%, but means that one our of every four Republicans speaks for the party (76% don’t care who their party nominates).    Oh, don’t forget the vote went two ways.  The winner was determined by 56% of 24% or  13.4%.  A bit over one in ten possible Repub voters spoke for the rest and selected the nominee.

So what?  Oh, with respect to issues lots of folks would like to see the Feds act on, now you know why national polls don’t really mean squat. GOP, the majority in the House, races are more akin to Virginia’s 7th than not.  There just aren’t that many swing Districts left.  Until the House is dominated by members who agree with the majority of folks on major issues, those issues will not be addressed.  Do you think the electorate in the 7th would vote for immigration, gun control, or gay rights?      

For those that are interested, about 17,500 Repubs turned out as 76% of them re-nominated Mr. Wittman in the 1st Congressional  District (out of about 491,000 registered voters).