Okay, we’ll admit it: we’re jealous of you. Why, you ask? Because you are in the future, reading this, while we are stuck in the past, writing it. You are in the process of enduring, or have already endured, Virginia’s primary day, while we can only gaze longingly upon that red-circled Tuesday on our calendar. You have either voted, or forgotten to vote, or boycotted the entire process in disgust, while we sit here dreaming of voting (because that’s what nerdy political columnists do).
But since we cannot travel into the future and take part in the exciting electoral orgy, we must relegate ourselves to doing the next best thing: predicting the winner of every single primary race across the commonwealth. Now, since polling for primary races is almost non-existent, and even the most dedicated observer cannot possibly fathom the intricacies of every local race, we’re going to winnow things down with a number of simple principles:
1) The incumbent always wins. While this may not be strictly true in all cases, in state primaries it’s so common as to be axiomatic. Thus we will automatically award the 15th, 28th, 29th, 33rd, 54th and 90th district races to Republican Delegates Todd Gilbert, William Howell, Beverly Sherwood, Joe May and Bobby Orrock, and Democratic Delegate Algie Howell, Jr., respectively. (Although, to be honest, we are secretly pulling for challengers Dave LaRock, in the 33rd district, and Rick James, in the 90th, for obvious reasons.) Astute political observers will note that we excluded one prominent incumbent from this list — which conveniently brings us to the next rule.
2) Generic email addresses = doom. If you can’t afford your own domain name, you really don’t have a chance. (C’mon, GoDaddy will set you up for 99 cents a year!) And so we have to bid a fond farewell to 6th district hopeful Jack Weaver (R-earthlink.net), who will surely succumb to his high-bandwidth opponent Jeff Campbell. We are also writing off the 16th district’s Les Adams (who has a poorly constructed website, yet still operates under his law firm email), who is going to lose to Republican Ken Bowman. Then, of course, there’s 63rd district Democratic incumbent Rosalyn Dance, one of the few living politicians who still uses an AOL address as her primary email. Hmm… out of touch much?
3) Money rules. Using this time-tested rule of thumb, we hereby award districts 85 and 86 to top fundraisers Gary Byler (elephant) and Jennifer Boysko (donkey), respectively. We are also using this metric to give the Democratic nod for Attorney General to Mark Herring, who outraised his opponent Justin Fairfax by a factor of infinity.
This leaves only two tight races for us to decide: the Democratic races for Lieutenant Governor, which pits state Senator Ralph Northam against Obama administration tech guru Aneesh Chopra, and the 63rd district delegate race, a battle royale between four-term incumbent Dance and upstart progressive heartthrob Evandra Thompson. These races are both gut calls, but we’re going with Chopra and Thompson. Chopra because he’s going to win, and Thompson because we’d like her to win (but she probably won’t).
So tell us, future readers, are we right? And if we are, were we smart enough to put some serious money down on our predictions? Man, the suspense is killing us!