Pre-mortem on Hurt.

Here’s a thought: If Robert Hurt loses the election next week, then his loss will be chalked up to his refusal to participate in most of the debates. Would that really be why he lost? Probably not. But that’ll be an easy hook, so we’ll just go with that.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

11 replies on “Pre-mortem on Hurt.”

  1. Or it could be because he DID participate in the debates. He was wooden and rehashing his talking points; Tom was great.

  2. Yeah, Tom was great. He’s as glib as they come. Kinda like Obama. And Tom’s been about as good at keeping his promises as Obama has been at keeping his. :-/

  3. Waldo-
    Beware of putting the cart before the horse. Obama is coming to town- it just might give Hurt the final push to victory.

  4. Granted I am young and black, thus likely more exposed to two groups that are more supportive of the President, but I am hearing a lot of excitement and people talking about going to the polls when they weren’t going to because of the President’s visit.

    Then again, these are two groups that most don’t expect to vote and are being screened out of the “likely voter” models, so maybe this anecdotal experience is of some significance. I can’t imagine Obama’s visit firing up many more people to vote against Perriello than weren’t already going to so. Most of the R voters were already angry (don’t get even get me started on their anger) and ready to vote.

    Albemarle-Charlottesville is a place where there were about 45,000 Obama voters (vs. 25,000 McCain). All those voters and the many other who crossed over in this area are one of the primary reasons Perriello won. The 5th in many ways resembles the state in terms of how to win. Large margins up north, Charlottesville-Albemarle, while keeping things reasonably close (a relative term) elsewhere is what allows Democrats to win. Kaine and Perriello both did it. Obama came just a few thousand votes shy of doing it. Friday’s visit is meant to bring out as many of those 45,000+ in Charlottesville-Albemarle and surrounding areas as possible. There may even be some spillover effects to neighboring areas.

    I would probably say that one should look to Fluvanna County come election day to figure out which way this may go. The results there are typically about where the district comes out as a whole.

  5. Beware of putting the cart before the horse. Obama is coming to town- it just might give Hurt the final push to victory.

    I didn’t put any cart before any horse, Tom. I have no idea how this election is going to turn out.

  6. No, I don’t think that is the reason for a Periello victory (if it occurs).

    Hurt’s problem has nothing to do with him. It has to do with the state of the GOP. The party, especially in the Fifth, has become hostage to a group of extremists. Hurt has been boxed in by these people. Since the primary, the man has literally said three things. 1. I oppose the stimulus. 2. I oppose health care reform. and 3. I oppose “cap and tax.” He glosses it over with some anti-Obama lines and a throwaway line or two about the Constitution. This is due to his staff telling him not to alienate any of the primary voters or Tea Partiers.

    I don’t care what the audience is, whether it’s a debate, a festival or a GOP gathering. That’s literally his pitch to voters. He has not offered one positive proposal to anyone. He’s really done nothing in the northern half of the district. He and his advisors are literally banking on a massive vote in Pittsylvania, Bedford and Campbell in the neighborhood of 75-25 in all three of those localities.

    If the GOP was not captive to this cadre of Tea Partiers, Hurt would have run a more effective campaign. He’s a nice guy who’s actually well-read. He’s quite effective in a one-on-one setting. I don’t know of anyone in Pittsylvania who dislikes him on a personal level…even the most partisan of Dems will tell you he’s a nice guy. I have a feeling that if this was the 1980s or 90s GOP, he would be in C’ville, Albemarle, and all points in between chatting up everyone he saw. He’s also be willing to speak his mind and not be boxed in by the Tea Party talking points. Instead, he’s been non-existent in most northern parts of the district except for very controlled settings. He’s just running TV ads and doing everything he can to gin up a massive vote in the populous Southside counties.

    If he loses, it’s on his staff. They have dumbed him down to a caricature of himself that ticks off three talking points and avoids a lot of people. The Robert Hurt in the Senate of Virginia is known as a positive guy who works well with others, and he is not known as an ideologue. Tuesday will be interesting.

  7. Come on- let me read between the lines! Am I far off base on the desired outcome?

    I’m a Democrat—of course I support Tom. But if I wanted to say that I thought that he was going to win, I would have said so. Instead, I said that if Hurt wins, this would be why.

    GoTD, I certainly think that’s closer to the truth. If Hurt loses, I think it’ll be because he ran a weak, one-note campaign, too cowed by the extremists in the party to move to the center. He makes a better state senator than a congressional candidate. That’s meant as a compliment, although I imagine it doesn’t come off as such.

  8. Not being too seriousu just noting the heading of your observation. I would assume that pre-mortem refers to the impending demise of Hurt’s run, based on the definition of the word. I didn’t pay attention to the race, as I live just outside of the 5th; I’ve seen enough to know that Tom has burned some bridges south of Cville.

  9. @tomr: “burned some bridges south of Cville”

    Interesting choice of words, since one of Perriello’s big talking points down Southside is the Robinson Bridge down in Danville. As in, never stops talking about it. :-)

    Also, I think Waldo made it pretty clear what he was saying by using the word “if.”

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