Here are a few “winners” and “losers” from last night. This list is certainly not comprehensive, so feel free to add your own in the comments section!
Gerry Connolly: He gets to face the same opponent – Keith Fimian – he defeated easily (55%-43%) in 2008. That doesn’t guarantee him victory in this wild and crazy election year, but Team Connolly has got to be happy right about now that they don’t have to face Pat Herrity this fall.
Vincent Harris: The Too Conservative blogger and political consultant took a lot of crap for his (paid) support for Keith Fimian, but in the end Vince laughed last, as Fimian won easily (56%-44%) over Pat Herrity last night for the 11th CD Republican nomination.
Jim Moran: As The Green Miles wrote last night, “Whenever VA08 Republicans are posed with a choice between a candidate voters might actually like and the candidate who most rabidly espouses radical hard right ideology, they choose Teh Crazy every time.” Last night, “Teh Crazy” was purist conservative Patrick Murray, who defeated “progressive” Republican Matthew Berry 52%-48%. The only question now for November is Jim Moran’s margin of victory.
UPDATE: Norm Leahy points out that Eric Cantor was a big “winner” last night. Unfortunately.
Scott Rigell and Glenn Nye: In the 2nd CD, wealthy used-car salesman (and former Barack Obama donor) Scott Rigell won the Republican nomination to face Glenn Nye this fall. However, Rigell only received 39.55% of the vote, not particularly impressive. Also, there’s a third-party, conservative candidate in this race, Kenny Golden. If Golden can pick 5 or 10 percentage points among all those conservatives who didn’t support Rigell last night, it could boost Nye to victory in November.
Chris LaCivita: His candidate this cycle, State Senator Robert Hurt, cruised to the Republican nomination in the 5th CD. On the downside, Hurt received under 50% of the vote and will likely face a conservative, third-party challenger (or two) in addition to Rep. Tom Perriello this fall.
2nd CD Tea Party: Their endorsed candidate, Ben Loyola, received just 26.6% of the vote last night, losing handily to establishment candidate (and former Barack Obama donor and “Cash for Clunkers” recipient) Scott Rigell. Then, as Bearing Drift reports, the fun really began, as the Hampton Roads Tea Party Chair called the bottom three candidates – Scott Taylor, Ed Maulbeck and Jessica Sandlin – “selfish” for not dropping out and throwing their support to Loyola. Way to unify the party heading into the General Election!
5th CD Tea Party: Couldn’t coalesce around a single candidate to challenge Robert Hurt, but instead had 6 – count’em! – candidates to splinter the vote among themselves. The predictable end result, as most of us have been predicting for months now, was Hurt winning easily over the crowded Tea Party field. Is this disorganization and lack of discipline the Achilles Heel of the Tea Party movement, just as with many other movements?
“Joe” the “Plumber”: The candidate he endorsed, Laurence Verga, received a grand total of 802 votes (2.27% of the total) in the 5th CD Republican primary. It appears the “plumber” just got flushed (or clogged, I can’t decide on the metaphor here).
Krystal Ball: Her only real hope of winning this November was to have Catherine “Bullet Box” Crabill as the Republican nominee or at least as a third-party protest candidate. At the minimum, a poor showing last night by Rep. Rob Wittman would have been encouraging news for Ball. Instead, we saw Wittman annihilate Crabill and cruise to an impressive victory. Bummer for Ball.