Check here for the latest news and insights from TBE contributors as this primary season draws to a close. In the meantime, tell us what you think in the comments.
9:11 pm Steve Albertson
Congrats to all the pro-primary folks: the low information electorate has spoken. When the number of people who voted for BOTH Corey Stewart and Barbara Comstock approaches the margin of victory in the Senate race, you know that margin isn’t based on a considered judgment, but on not knowing anything about who was running for Senate. Well done.
Get used to images like these…we’ll be seeing virtually nothing but this for the next five months. The Republican electorate may not have known anything about who they were nominating, but they sure will find out.
9:00 pm Jeanine Martin
VPAP.org has called the races. The Senate results are here with a map by county. The House primary results are here. To quote cousin Willie, the Party’s over. In the meantime, please dig deep and send money to those Congressional districts where we have a chance of winning, Rob Wittman in the 1st, Dave Brat in the 7th, and Denver Riggleman in the 5th. (We should be able to hang onto the 6th and the 9th.) And the national party is already well funding Comstock in the 10th for now.
8:48 pm-Jeanine Martin
Corey now up by 3k votes. The most Redneck counties along with Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William went for Corey. Arlington and Alexandria went big for Freitas. Not sure what that says. But it’s not good for the Republican party.
8:25 pm – Steve Albertson
Looks like Nick’s lead is down to 300 votes. It’s going to be a long 5 months.
8:24 pm – Jeanine Martin
Of course the Democrats want Corey to win. They know he will bring down the Republican Party with him. We will be very lucky to hang onto 3 Congressional seats, more likely it will be two.
8:15 pm – Steve Albertson
You might be right, Mick (though I don’t give a lot of credit to the idea that any Dems are afraid of losing to Corey). But I do know we could have avoided it had we nominated our candidate via a convention. And we could have ensured our nominee would have been someone who could actually win.
8:13 pm – Mick Staton
I’ve heard two stories today on the effect Democrats voting in our primary would have. The first one has heard of Dems voting for Corey as they think he will be easier for Kaine to beat. The other has heard of Dems voting for Freitas because, on the chance Kaine might actually lose, they don’t want to be responsible for helping put Corey Stewart in the Senate.
I think it is going to be a wash.
8:05 pm – Steve Albertson
Stewart is showing a lot of strength in the localities bordering his home county of Prince William…where more than a third of the electorate lives, and where they are slow in reporting vote totals. Don’t get cocky, Team Freitas. There’s a long way to go tonight.
8:02 pm – Steve Thomas
Shak is on his way to concede.
8:01 pm – Steve Albertson
I’m calling the 10th District race for Rep. Barbara Comstock. There’s no way Shak Hill recovers from the 25 point deficit he’s currently got. Congrats to Team Comstock! And thanks to Shak Hill for his willingness to serve, and his commitment to the cause.
7:54 pm – Steve Albertson
At the moment, we’re looking at a lead by Nick Freitas over Corey Stewart of roughly 6,000 votes. Of course, the dysfunctional liberal enclaves that don’t have their act together and can’t manage to report votes quickly still haven’t reported. We may see a replay of the all-too-familiar pattern where the Republican (or the traditional Republican, in this case) watches his lead grow through about 8:30 pm, and then as those liberal enclaves slowly chip away at his lead over the remainder of the night.
7:46 pm – Steve Albertson
FYI, VPAP and the SBE are using flawed data (probably a data mis-transcription) that now show EW Jackson in the lead. That IS NOT the case. It has to do with results from Virginia Beach where Bishop Jackson is shown to have 81% of the votes. In fact, it looks like Jackson hasn’t even won a single precinct there yet. If you look deeper at the precinct level, you can see that Freitas appears to have a pretty healthy lead in the vote-rich Beach.
7:27 pm – Mick Staton
Early returns show EW Jackson not pulling anywhere near the support I thought he would. if this keeps up Nick could pull it out for the win.
6:51 pm – Willie Deutsch
Important questions we will find answers for tonight.
How does tonight’s voter pool compare to 2017?
Are Corey voters a locked in constituency, or did they just not view Gillespie as conservative enough?
— Willie Deutsch (@WillieDeutsch) June 12, 2018
6:50 pm – Willie Deutsch
— Willie Deutsch (@WillieDeutsch) June 12, 2018
6:46 pm – Steve Albertson
Bold (not really) prediction from RPV tonight:
As the polls close tonight, one thing is certain: Tim Kaine, aka Senator Shutdown, will attack our nominee with baseless accusations.
Senator Shutdown will attack our nominee because he still refuses to explain why he went back on his word and voted to shut down our government. Tim Kaine has yet to answer for putting the comfort of illegal immigrants over the well-being of Virginia families. We wait for his justification of leaving our men and women in uniform and CHIP recipients out to dry. Senator Shutdown will predictably attack our nominee because he does not want to talk about his horrid, failed leadership over the last six years.
Tim Kaine will undoubtedly try to shut down any debate by throwing ad hominem attacks at our nominee
6:25 pm – Jeanine Martin
After being at both polls in Lovettsville, I predict wins here for Freitas and Hill. I know, I’m not stepping too far out on a limb considering this Western Loudoun with two very Republican/Conservative precincts.
6:15 pm – Steve Albertson
Remember: @CoreyStewartVA can’t condemn the Alt-Right and White Nationalists because he needs them to win. And Jason Kessler sure does love him some Corey.
— Jᴀsᴏɴ Kᴇɴɴᴇʏ (@jasonkenney) June 12, 2018
5:30 pm – Mick Staton
I would think high turnout in Loudoun helps Babs, as more moderate Republicans come out.
Of course, in a primary like this, “high” turnout is relative.
5:30 pm – Jeanine Martin
Loudoun turnout helps Shak Hill and Nick Freitas.
4 pm update from @LoudounCoGovt : GOP turnout up 35.1% compared to June 2017 primary, while Dem turnout up 11.5%. Ballots cast so far today: 10,490 in GOP primary; 14,222 in Dem primary
— vpapupdates (@vpapupdates) June 12, 2018
4:30 pm – Mick Staton
A cardinal rule of campaigning is that you can’t go negative against your opponent until you have built up your own positives first. Negative campaigning drives up your opponent’s negatives, but it drives up your own negatives somewhat as well. That was Ray Allen’s flaw. While they were busy running attack ads against Brat, Allen had done nothing to raise Cantor’s positives. His candidate was refusing to debate Brat, refusing to hold town hall meetings, and generally ignoring, not just his opponent, but his district as he flew around the country, raising money for other candidates and preparing a future run for Speaker of the House. By the time they dumped a bunch of money into attacks ads Cantor’s favorables were already in the tank, and the upset of the century was taking form.
4:26 pm – Steve Albertson
Not sure who this favors in the 10th Congressional District race, but it’s definitely a plus for Nick Freitas in the Senate race:
As of 1 pm, Loudoun County reports GOP turnout up 36% compared to June 2017 primary, while Dem turnout up 9%.
— vpapupdates (@vpapupdates) June 12, 2018
3:41 pm – Jeanine Martin
If Stewart wins today, I expect we will see many more of these demonstrations over the coming months. (“Flag Burning Demonstration Draws Contentious Crowd“). It will be terrible for the Republican brand.
3:08 pm – Jeanine Martin
First, I hope all those fans who are at the Caps rally remembered to vote before they left for DC. They may not be home before the polls close. (“Fans Converge on National Mall for Stanley Cup Championship Parade: ALLCAPS“)
In the 10th district Comstock will pull it out but it will be much closer than anyone would have thought, thanks to the worst consultant ever, Ray Allen. He should never have told her to support those disgusting, lie-filled, radio spots. Comstock should have held her head high and run on her record. She should never have lowered herself to do those ads. Didn’t she have a PAC or individuals who could have done those ads? All those lies have hurt her.
I desperately wish I could say Nick Freitas wins this because he is the future of the Republican party if we are ever to have one again in Virginia. If he had more name recognition and the voters knew he had the support of the NRA and Americans for Prosperity, and if every voter saw his great speech in Richmond, they would vote for Freitas. He is the Liberty candidate. He believes in Liberty and Justice for ALL Americans. He is inspiring, he talks the talk and walks the walk. He has been endorsed by great conservative leaders like Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul. https://nick4senate.com/endorsements/
Corey Stewart will pull it out today in a close race and cost us 5 Congressional seats in the fall. Ben Cline should be able to keep the seat in the 6th and we will keep the Fighting Ninth. Wittman has some small chance, but who will support Corey AND Rob Wittman? Very, very, few. The Blue Wave will be even stronger this year than last year, because of Corey Stewart. He will turn Virginia dark blue. Democrats in Virginia won’t need Trump to inspire them to get to the polls, they’ve got Stewart and his support of the Confederacy and White Supremacists! Kaine wins with somewhere between 65% and 68% of the vote.
Scott Taylor will win today and lose in November.
3:03 pm – Steve Albertson
Mick, I think you missed the terrible decision making by the Worst Consultant Ever™ back in 2014. It wasn’t that he ignored the unknown Dave Brat…it was that he didn’t ignore him, and instead spent tons of Eric Cantor’s money to raise Dave Brat’s name ID. Here’s what I said in the 2014 Cantor/Brat post-mortem:
On top of seeding the electorate with die-hard enemies over the years, Allen then ran one of the worst possible campaigns, where voters were treated to displays of obvious dishonesty about Dave Brat, over and over again, doing nothing but driving up Cantor’s negatives while driving up Brat’s name ID. One absolutely telling factoid: of all the counties outside Richmond that comprise the 7th district, Cantor won only Spotsylvania, Culpeper, and Orange. The counties where Cantor won happen to be the three counties outside the Richmond media market, meaning that the less they saw Cantor’s TV spots or heard his radio ads, the more likely people were to vote for Cantor. WELL DONE, RAY!!
Here, I think he’s done some of the same, spending tons of money on attack ads is going to have the effect of making known someone who was previously unknown, and the outlandish nature of the attacks (i.e., trying to make it seem like Shak is a pedophile) is likely to do more to drive up her negatives than his. We saw the same thing in 2014 in the 7th. While I agree that it won’t be enough to put Shak over the top, I do think the results will be a lot closer than they would have been if Comstock hadn’t listened to such bad advice.
2:41 pm – Mick Staton
10th District Republican Nomination Prediction: Barbara Comstock
Barbara Comstock has angered many Republicans with some of her votes and some of her stances. Since running as a conservative in 2014 she has been a reliable vote for Paul Ryan and the leadership whenever they need a continuing resolution or another omnibus spending bill passed. Her vocal call for Trump to step down from the presidential campaign didn’t win her any fans, and her vote in favor of having the military pay for transgender surgeries was the last nail in her coffin for some Republicans.
Shak Hill has tried to capitalize on Barbara’s unfavorable’s but has had to do it on limited funding. Comstock has out-raised Shak by about $3 million and she is not sitting on it. Ray Allen seems to have learned the lesson of the Brat/Cantor race, where he ignored Brat and assumed the little known professor would be just a blip on the radar. Comstock’s campaign has spent almost half her war chest (around $1.6 million) to take on Shak and has not been shy about going negative.
Comstock has also been the recipient of many major endorsements, including from the Trump administration which seems to be keeping their promise to Mitch McConnell and the Congressional leadership of not supporting any challengers to incumbent Republicans this cycle. With endorsements from Trump Deputy Campaign manager, David Bossie, National Security Advisor, John Bolton, and VP Mike Pence, Comstock seems to have blunted the #NeverTrump attack. That, combined with her enormous fundraising advantage and her willingness to spend it will be too much for the challenger to overcome.
2:31 pm – Steve Albertson
While recent polling has appeared to give Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia Beach) a solid two-to-one lead over challenger Mary Jones, what we’re hearing from informal exit polling tells a somewhat different story. It seems anti-incumbent anger is enough to drive the turnout disproportionately against Taylor (though not necessarily for Jones). Whether it’s enough to topple Taylor seems unlikely, but my bet is that the final numbers are going to be a lot closer than most think.
2:27 pm – Willie Deutsch
I’m seeing a lot of voters in central and southwest Virginia flipping from Corey to Nick. With Nick Freitas, conservatives in that part of the state now have a conservative candidate they can be excited about.
2:24 pm – Steven Brodie Tucker
Caroline County seems to be overwhelmingly pro-Freitas on the back of his NRA endorsement, his military service, and residents’ dislike of Stewart.
2:01 pm – TBE Staff
Corey Stewart would have you believe President Trump supports him, complete with a Photoshop job of a 2 year old photo (before Stewart was fired from the Trump campaign for using it as a platform for his own benefit).
— Corey Stewart (@CoreyStewartVA) June 11, 2018
1:48 pm – TBE Staff
— Bryce Reeves (@ReevesVA) June 12, 2018
1:35 pm – Steve Albertson
Looks to be very weak turnout except in the 10th and 2nd districts, where the Republican Congressional primaries (Comstock versus Hill in the 10th, Taylor versus Jones in the 2nd) seem to have juiced the enthusiasm a bit.
By and large low turnout favors the stronger name ID candidate, Corey Stewart, but higher turnout in these two districts in particular (neither of which were strong bases for Trump, whose style Stewart attempts to mimic) probably doesn’t do Stewart any favors.
1:27 pm – Mick Staton
Senate primary prediction: Corey Stewart
In 2017, Corey Stewart shocked everyone when he came within a whisker of defeating Ed Gillespie in the Gubernatorial primary. Gillespie had more money, and much better name ID, having come so close to beating Mark Warner in 2014. Frank Wagner did help pull Ed’s numbers down, but not by much, but then Ed went on to one of the worst shellackings in the General election Virginia has seen in a long time. Stewart supporters are convinced that if Corey were the nominee he would have won the Governor’s race and would be in Richmond making Virginia Great Again right now.
Those supporters are back and just as committed as they were before, only this time the dynamic has changed. Now Corey is the one with the better name ID, and his opponents will be splitting votes as this race shapes up to be a referendum on the PWC Chairman. Nick Freitas is the up and comer with a great story but limited name ID, and his libertarian bent on social issues may turn off some social conservatives. E.W. Jackson has won a state wide nominating contest before, beating Corey and a host of others in 2013 to win the LG nomination with a staunchly conservative platform and a fiery, passionate speech from one of the best orators around, but his loss to Ralph Northam and lack of funds make this an uphill climb.
In this contest, Corey has the edge in both name ID and money, out-raising both Freitas and Jackson combined, and that’s how this race will go
1:18 pm – Steve Albertson
I think the Senate race is going to be very close. Corey Stewart has been banking on his name ID from previous failed statewide races, and the advantage we Republicans tend to give to the guy who is “next in line.” But he’s had enormous negatives in every poll of which I’m aware. In the closing days of the campaign, that led to some outrageous lies in radio ads targeting Nick Freitas, whose positive name ID had been surging. We’ll see if its enough to stem Nick’s upward trajectory, but based on what I’ve seen (almost all of which recently has been anecdotal, admittedly) I think Nick pulls out a narrow win.