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Virginia Primary Day 2019: Open Thread

Today is primary election day in Virginia (polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm; vote at your regular polling location). There are hotly...

The new reality of primaries in Virginia

On April 16th, 2018, almost fifteen hundred Albemarle County citizens packed the halls at Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Virginia. They were participating in...

VA-01 Democratic Candidate Ryan Sawyers Calls for “Open Primary” to Choose...

Should primaries be the standard method for choosing Democratic nominees? Should other methods - "firehouse primaries," conventions, caucuses, etc. - also be considered and/or...

More Primaries, Fewer Conventions

By David Jonas One of the best things about 2017 has been the dozens of candidates who have stepped up to run for office to...

Virginia Primary Day 2017 Results: Live Blog

It’s 7 pm, and polls are now closed in Virginia. In this live blog of the election returns, I’ll primarily be checking the State...

Virginia Primary Day 2017: Open Thread

Today is primary election day in Virginia (polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm; vote at your regular polling location). There are...

The Idea of “Open” Primaries (Another Thing That Doesn’t Make Sense...

A few days ago, I wrote here about how the media's focus on who "won" some narrowly-decided primary between the two Democratic presidential candidates...

Twas the Night Before Christmas, and All Through Virginia…

Even though I swore off doing another series of diaries at Blue Virginia on past, present, and future trends in politics, I've been thinking a lot about where our Commonwealth stands. Governor McAuliffee is ready to keep up the fight on Medicaid expansion in Virginia, while also laying down the foundation for a fight with the General Assembly over redistricting. As we prepare to enter into 2015, here are some random, at times disjointed thoughts on Virginia's present and future.

1. On the expansion of Medicaid, the issue isn't just about what the Commonwealth will do for the least fortune among us. Thinking about a practical blank check from the federal government to do more today for struggling Virginians is a timely issue on the eve of Christmas. There is also an argument for asking why Virginia should be paying for the Affordable Care Act without receiving its full benefits.

But after the Supreme Court's ruling, Republican governors and legislatures in state after state rejected the expansion. Rejecting the Medicaid expansion, however, doesn't exempt a state from the taxes and spending cuts Obamacare uses to fund the Medicaid expansion. A September analysis from McClatchy estimated that "if the 23 states that have rejected expanding Medicaid under the 2010 health care law continue to do so for the next eight years, they'll pay $152 billion to extend the program in other states - while receiving nothing in return." That's a helluva gift from (mostly) red states to (mostly) blue ones.

In the next term, the Supreme Court will rule on the claim that the law does not allow for subsidies for health insurance plans purchased on the federal exchange. Depending on the ruling, the Republican Party's opposition to participating in the health care law will mean even fewer dollars going to Virginian families.

2.  I haven't seen a detailed analysis of the Medicaid eligible population by House or Senate district, but the numbers I've seen based on localities indicate that this is not just a moral issue in 2015, but a political winner in areas like Prince William County.

3. Medicaid expansion links well to redistricting reform. While usually such insider baseball is not the stuff of political campaigns, it bolsters the imagine of the Republican Party standing opposed to progress and reform.

But if that's where we are in 2015, where are we going? Virginia is changing rapidly, and I think the great Yogi Berra's observations ring true. "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

What's the vision for Virginia Democrats not just in 2015, but long term?

Winners and Losers: 8/10/10 Primary Edition

There were some definite winners and losers coming out of yesterday's primaries in Connecticut, Colorado, and Georgia. Here are a few.

Winners
1. Barack Obama: The President endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado over former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. If Bennet had lost, you can bet that Fox and the rest of the conservative, corporate media would be playing it up as a sign of Obama's "weakness." With Bennet's win, I'm sure we'll see all the Obama bashers eating their hats? No? Gee, that's shocking! Heh.

2. The Colorado Tea Party: A huge winner last night, as their favorites Ken Buck and Don Maes (who believes "a popular Denver bike-share program is a 'very well-disguised' part of a plan by Denver mayor...John Hickenlooper for 'converting Denver into a United Nations community.'"), defeated party-picked pros, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton and former Congressman Scott McInnis.

3. Colorado Democrats: Sen. Bennet should now have a fairly clear, {albeit not} easy path to reelection, having gotten the opponent he was dreaming of facing. Among other things, Buck believes that rape and incest do not justify abortion, that the "greatest threat to the United States" is Barack Obama (e.g., not Al Qaeda), who believes in eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education, and that people should vote for him because he "doesn't wear high heels". Congratulations on your {hopeful} reelection, Sen. Bennet! Ha. :)

4. Connecticut Democrats: With the victory of wacky World Wrestling Entertainment owner Linda McMahon over more moderate, more sane Republican Rob Simmons, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal should cruise to victory in November. Also, Connecticut Democrats are now in excellent position to take back the governor's mansion.

5. Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes (D): While Republicans slug it out in a bitter nomination contest for Georgia governor (between Palin-endorsed Karen Handel and Newt Gingrich-endorsed Nathan Deal) that remains too close to call this morning, former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) emerges strong and with a unified party behind him for the fall election. All that translates into a good chance for Democratic victory this November.

6. Nathan Daschle: Read here for more about why the Democratic Governor's Association executive director is in a great mood this morning!

7. The Red and the Blue: Former University of Pennsylvania school mascot ("The Penn Quaker") Brian Becker, a close friend of mine since we were 6 years old, won his first race for elective office last night. Brian won 57%-43% and is now the Democratic nominee for Connecticut State House of Representatives from the 19th District (West Hartford, Avon, Farmington). As the Penn victory song goes, "Hurrah for the red and the blue!"