Virginia Governor's Race and US Election 2017 - America Fights Back?


Interesting. Montreal also just elected its first female mayor on Sunday. 375 years, and the glass ceiling is finally broken! In any case, good job, Americans. Showing the rest of the world a hint that change is coming.


Well, repudiation for starters. I know all the Trump crazies were working their yard signs hard for Astorino. They even had to rearrange their “Don’t believe the liberal media!” signs to make room for him. The local auto garage that flies a Don’t Tread On Me flag had an 8-foot tall Astorino sign.



Westchester, despite having two of my favorite left-leaning families living there, is very conservative, or has been. But it appears my friends are the spearpoint of a trend of New Yorkers moving out to those suburbs, and demanding more affordable housing, something Astorino opposed like crazy.




If exits can be believed (and I’m always a little dubious; people may not want to say “I just hate Trump that much” to an interviewer) one of the big drivers of the blue wave last night was health care.

And if you remember or have noticed, Obamacare typically polls about 50-55% in favor.

But man. Look at last night.

New theory: there’s about 10-15% out there who say they’re not in favor of Obamacare because it doesn’t go far enough.

One message sent last night, if I’m allowed to read the tea leaves: a large majority of Americans want as much government-affiliated/run affordable healthcare as their politicians are willing to grant them.

By that theory, then, Republicans hurt themselves with their repeal/replace shenanigans (which are STILL GOING ON) as much as Trump did.


Talk about poor business acumen promoting your favored politics at the risk of alienating potential customers. I would be reluctant to do business with someone who was politically aligned with the things I’m in favor of if they actively promoted a politician or a ballot iniative on their premises or cars. My neighbor’s pool guy, some grey haired dude driving a beater, had self made and crudely drawn NOBAMA, OBAMANISM signs on his rear window. I guess that’s great if you want to attract like minded assholes to hire you but ultimately it ranks up there with Bad Idea Jeans™ as a long term business strategy.


I took yesterday off and manned my polling location from 0530 through 1900. I was one of those guys handing out “sample ballots” to you as you walk up to the station.

The first six hours were generally pleasant, if cold. The rain started about 11:00 in Chantilly (Northern Virginia), and basically continued unabated until the polls closed at 7:00. I had company most of the time - other Democrat workers and the occasional Dem elected official who would pop by with coffee or a kind word now and then. The GOP rarely had anyone out there, though they did manage to get someone to show up at noon and close to the end (which were the busiest times, along with about 7 in the AM).

Turnout was HUGE - for an off-off-year election. I think there were maybe two of three times in the entire day that there was no one coming in or leaving. Contrast that to the special school board election in August (also a rainy day), when there were hours that would go by with no one around.

It was a pretty good time, in aggregate. I was able to help a number of handicapped folks who were having trouble getting to the door, I was able to summon election officials for several others who couldn’t even leave their car (curb-side voting was offered, but someone had to go inside and alert the staff), and there were a handful of first-time voters that I was able to assist with questions.

The Democrat spirit was plenty strong and in evidence - lots of people coming over and offering random high-fives, words of encouragement, etc. My polling place was an elementary school and while the kids had the day off, it was a teacher work day so the teachers were coming in along with some folks for parent-teacher conferences. At one point this young lady was walking up to the entrance with a cup-carrier full of Starbucks drinks; it was fairly obvious to me that she was on her way to a meeting. She smiled at us (me and the guy who was helping out at that time), and I was about to make a smart-ass comment about her grabbing coffee for us, when damned if she didn’t hand the whole thing over to us. Turned out she was a Dem voter who figured that the cold doofuses handing out the blue paper might want some hot chocolate or chai latte. She was right.

This is my fourth or fifth time doing this, and I have a whole standard setup going on now: folding table, a collapsible sun-shade that is only nominally water-resistant, some bunting, a blue tablecloth,etc. For yesterday I added a blue tarp to put over the shelter so that I could keep the rain off the box of paperwork. It… wasn’t too helpful, to be honest. The rain was a full-up downpour off-and-on for many hours and you couldn’t just huddle under the tarp because you’d never be able to hand out any papers. By then end my coat, sweater, shirt and undershirt were all soaked through, along with my dumb-ass-looking hat. It was about 38F at the end of the night and I was so stiff and shivering that I was having trouble bending my knees and hips.

Old Man Wisdom during a break in the rain

After tearing all the gear down and collecting all our signage, I went home, took a massively-hot shower and ate some dinner. My wife handed me a glass of wine, and I think I was asleep my 9:30 trying to watch the returns. Nice to wake up to good news.


Hey, man, I’m like, right here. :)

Yeah, historically Westchester is pretty conservative (tax cut i-bankers and rule of law police/firemen), but it’s also somewhat unique in being an NY ex-urb, so it’s surprising to me that people would view it as a bellwether of any sort. It’s also still very, very white. So white.

But yeah, when reading Astorino’s position statements, he said something like about how he’s met the legally required minimum of affordable housing, and that definitely set off an alarm bell. But then, I was planning on voting straight Dem anyways.

My polling place was empty, as it always is when I vote in the morning on my way to work, but there were a lot of people trying to drum up votes at the train station. Also looked like some younger people than I’ve remembered in the past couple years, but that may just be a mental bias.

I did notice that lawn signs were pretty dense this year though.


I think it’s also the combination of both Westchester and Nassau County-Hempstead flipping last night. Like, if it was just one or the other, you say “Well, bad candidate/campaign”. When it’s both, you go “Something’s up.”


Awesome job! I may have high-fived the Democratic poll-watcher at my polling site here in the hard of pink lib-dom in Vienna.

Chantilly is right on the border of Fairfax/Loudon, but it’s Loudon, right? or is Chantilly/Sterling the dividing line?


Chantilly is still Fairfax. You go NW and hit Sterling or west to South Riding in Loudon.


BTW, if my “healthcare driving this more than might be apparent” theory is true, that can also explain Jon Ossoff coming up a bit short. We hadn’t had the AHCA celebration in the Rose Garden with Republicans or Senate passage of Repeal/Replace barely thwarted by a single thumbs-down at that point. I really do think that the summer-long healthcare boondoggle in Congress put some existential fear in a lot of voters–and even some Trump voters–along the lines of “Oh shit, it’s on” that drove numbers yesterday.

Repeal/replace sounds fun in theory, but when you see it in practice and realize “I’m gonna lose my healthcare, waitaminute” it’s something else entirely.


I thought it was awesome that Danica Roem’s biggest campaign issue was traffic on 28. There’s something beautifully American about a district that has joyfully sent a guy who describes himself as “Homophobe-in-chief” to the state assembly for 26 years by large margins suddenly turning to a transgendered woman who’s promising to do something about the traffic density on 28 from the toll road on south to Manassas. (Because seriously, she’s right; that’s an effing nightmare to drive!)



Do you actually live there or do you just follow politics that closely that you studied the traffic patterns of a random highway in Virginia?

Asking for a friend.


I lived in Sterling for 4 years when I first moved to Northern Virginia, and any time down 28, but especially to go to visit some friends further south and west was just a nightmare unless it was well after dark.

And even today, if you want to go to the big Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy annex (which everyone should want to go to, because awesome), you’re going to encounter some of that traffic. And any trip to the battlefield park at Manassas, just go ahead and budget an extra 45 minutes to an hour each way for the same reasons.

EDIT: I think lots of suburbs have themselves a “28”, a road that is totally known to millions of locals. Wallapuctus mentions 93, which I don’t know, but I imagine is exactly the same. St. Louis County has Lindbergh or Watson roads. Chicago has Cermak/22nd.

It’s these roads that used to ably handle traffic outside the interstate highways, but have now been asked to handle huge volumes of traffic, with businesses all over them and traffic lights every half mile…


I’d vote for Barron Trump to be Governor of MA if he promised to fix the traffic on 93 so I get it.


Favorite pic from last night, so proud of my fellow Virginia voters