At about 4:45 in the morning, the Associated Press finally called the Virginia Senate race for RepubliDemocrat Jim Webb, a man who said less than a decade ago that the sight of Bill Clinton returning a salute from a marine made him angry.
I accept the AP's call and I am prepared at this point to call both the federal House and the Senate for the Democrats.
Sources somewhat familiar with the Allen campaign are quietly saying that George Allen may concede today if the final vote spread after all canvassing is similar to election night. I do not believe that Allen will contest the results unless some major error in counting is found. This has definately put the brakes on a possible Allen Presidential run, but has more immediate implications for the GOP.
To be completely honest, I think this loss could be one of the best things to happen to Republicans-not for the sake of losing, but because it gives the Party a chance to return to our moorings and revisit the philosophy of Ronald Reagan that made us a truly national party. We have lost our way in the halls of power, and the American people have forced us to try and find our way again. We can begin to go back to the ideas that motivate our people and embrace a way of governing that works-and sometimes it takes a loss to make that happen.
Stacey Campfield reports that his opponent called and conceded the race earlier this evening. It is wonderful that the election is now finally over and we can move on with the business of making Tennessee the best that it can be.
Well, its official, Stacey Campfield was victorious and Schree Pettigrew was gracious (at least to supporters) in defeat. As nearly everyone is aware, I placed a high priority on this race as Stacey is not only a friend but is a champion of the kind of common-sense conservative ideas that I believe our State and our country are in desperate need of. Because I am thankful to have elected representatives like Stacey, I put a lot of effort into using this weblog as a means to inform voters about this race in ways that I felt they weren't hearing in the negative ads on television or from the other side. In this regard Stacey helps himself through the use of his own blog, spelling errors and all.
Last night Mrs. Pettigrew called Stacey to concede the race. She later called to "unconcede" after a voting machine malfunction was discovered at an early voting location. I strongly believed that this single voting machine wouldn't make much difference, but since I understand all too well how it feels to lose, I don't know that we can hold this against her. However, we are now more than a day since the election and at last report Mrs. Pettigrew has still not called to concede (for real). While somewhat humorous, I hope that she does eventually call to concede for her own sake-if she hasn't done so at the time of this writing.
Stacey has won and it is rather comical to watch Democrats gripe about it.
Democrat Jim Tester has defeated incumbent Republican Conrad Burns in the race for the U.S. Senate in Montana.
Jon Tester (DEM)
Conrad Burns (GOP)*
100% of precincts reporting
It is quite clear at this moment that the race for control of the Senate will come down to a Virginia recount that could fester through weeks of litigation, but I do not expect much. Burns has not yet conceded, but the Associated Press has called the race in Montana for Jon Tester.
Call me crazy, but I am hedging my bets with Ramsey-I think Wilder is finally going down.
Finally, a local race result:
White Pine Alderman
Mickey Smith 293 X Fred Taylor 288 X Ryan Cavanah 247 X Carolyn Voiles 237
I was pleased that Mickey and Fred won. After Carolyn stood with Mickey over at the school all day yesterday campaigning like gangbusters, I thought she deserved a term in her own right (she had been filling a vacant seat). She is a sweet lady...I hope she runs for Alderman again...just not on the same slate with yours truly.
This seat will undergo a recount, because if Mr. Webb were declared the winner he would win by less than one-half of one percent of the vote. Speaking honestly, I expect his share of the vote may increase as more of the votes in the precincts around Arlington and McLean are counted.
Obviously, I want George Allen to win, but that is not what I am expecting to happen. I expect Mr. Webb will win and that the control of the Senate will come down to another disputed race-Montana.
Jon Tester (DEM) 195,235 49%
Conrad Burns (GOP)* 193,506 49% Conrad Burns has opened up a narrow lead. If Burns should hold on after the recount, the Senate would remain in Republican hands by one seat. I suspect Tester will get testy and if I were in a race this close, I don't know that I would blame him. Control of the Senate could come down to some lawyers and judges...how comforting does that sound to you? I'm calm about it...I am just totally assured in the ability of a gang of trial lawyers to determine the fate of the United States Senate...yeah...that's right.
UPDATE 12:44 pm: As you can see, I misread the numbers here and Mr. Tester has a slight lead in this very tight race. I sincerely apologize for this error. We are still monitoring this and we'll keep you updated as to the latest. As for Virginia, I believe it is looking more and more like Jim Webb will eek it out in the Commonwealth.
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition, Stacey beat all that lawyer money and (apparently) all of those big-time consultants the Democrats were rumored to be running in here just to mow him down. He beat Ragsdale's lackey Drinnen, he beat Mrs. Pettigrew, and he beat all of those folks who couldn't find anything better to do than pick nasty things to say about him.
I am so proud of Stacey. For all the abyssmal results for Republicans nationally, this was the race I really gave a damn about. As far as I am concerned, this is the greatest victory I have ever had anything remotely to do with. Last night was a winning night in my eyes all because Stacey Campfield will be a Representative again.
That said, let me give a little credit to Mrs. Pettigrew-ma'am you ran a tough race, and you had a lot of rich and powerful people behind you. If politics is something you are really interested in for yourself and you aren't just put up to running by others, I believe you'll be quite good at it. You should continue to remain involved.
Well, let's give national congradulations where they are due-The Democrats had a very good night, especially in the House.
Net: Democrats +33
Democrats have a majority of 11
Democrats GAIN control of the House of Representatives. Pelosi will be Speaker, but from her victory speech last night it sounds as if (unlike some others in her party) she is not deluding herself into believing that this victory is a victory for liberalism, or the social policies of the left wing of the Democratic Party. The Democrats won this victory by running a series of candidates that ran the gambit in swing districts from center-right to downright conservative-example number one of that trend is the victory of Heath Shuler in North Carolina's 11th District. Shuler is pro-life, pro-gun, and when he lived here in East Tennessee (which was around two years ago-at least the last time his residence was here, if I recall) he was a Republican. To win, the Democrats ran candidates that weren't all that different philosophically from Heath Shuler, so this was no endorsement of the Left.
The Senate is tight as a pin-prick, with Virginia about to undergo a recount (Democrat/Republican Jim Webb-Ronald Reagan's Navy Secretary, has a narrow lead over George Allen), but we can safely call one key Senate race in the Republican column:
United States Senate-Tennessee
Bob Corker (R)
Harold Ford, Jr (D)
Ed Choate (I)
David Gatchell (I)
Bo Heyward (I)
Gary Keplinger (I)
Chris Lugo (I)
Let me personally congradulate Harold Ford, Jr. on one of the classiest and most decent concession speeches I believe I have ever heard. He ran a Hell of a race and I can only say that I wish the man's rhetoric matched his voting record-if it did, he would have gotten my vote. As it was, I simply did not believe-based on his record-that he would be the kind of Senator he was claiming that he would be. The record is all that the informed voter has to go by, Congressman.
This was not an endorsement of the Left, it was a protest vote over a war that should never have been waged, and I hope the Democrats and the Republicans both remember that reality.
We'll have a "bonanza" of election results and analysis later this morning so stay tuned.
Call in the First District-and close U.S. Senate numbers
I hope that readers will forgive me for giving provisional Senate numbers and not calling the race until in the morning. After I make this post, I will retire for the night. I will watch the results but I will not call any further races until in the morning-I am exhausted...please forgive me. First, a call (Stacey will like this one):
David Davis (R)
Rick Trent (D)
Bob Smith (I)
James Reeves (I)
Michael Peavler (I)
Michael Sabri (I)
The World is able to project that David Davis has won an overwhelming victory and will be the next U.S. Congressman from the First District. I know that Congressman-elect Davis will represent our people extremely well, and we hope Washington doesn't water down his values.
Bob Corker (R)
Harold Ford, Jr (D)
Ed Choate (I)
David Gatchell (I)
Bo Heyward (I)
Gary Keplinger (I)
Chris Lugo (I)
I'm taking a refreshing drink to bed to watch the results on this one...it is going to be a very long night. Congradulations to all one one Hell of an exciting race, if nothing else.
These results came directly from the Knox County Election Commission with 81% of precincts reporting. The World is proud to call this race for our friend and a friend of the people of the State of Tennessee, Representative Stacey Campfield. Congradulations Stacey!
Stacey defeated an opponent who was well-funded by trial lawyers and other wealthy Democrat and establishment GOP interests. This was a victory for all people who believe in open government.
With 1% of precincts reporting, The World declares that the amendment to the Tennessee Constitution defining marriage as being between one man and one woman will pass overwhelmingly and that it will meet the Constitutional requirement of getting at least half the number of votes in the Governor's race and will be added to the Constitution.
The Tennessee Democratic Party has reportedly asked State officials to keep the polls open longer than 7 P.M Central and 8 P.M Eastern because of alleged problems with voting machines and mechanisms. As Gene Patterson reports, there have been some minor problems in East Tennessee today, but nothing that has interrupted the normal process and progress of voting. We'll keep track of this developing story throughout the night.
I have just returned from my voting experience at White Pine Elementary School, where Nicole and I voted together. If what I witnessed at White Pine's Second Precinct is indicative of turnout in East Tennessee (and indeed in all parts of our State) turnout is huge. I simply cannot remember turnout for a General Election in a non-Presidential year being so high.
Just as I expected, when we arrived at the school to vote, Alderman Mickey Smith was out campaigning and greeting voters on the 100 foot line along with Alderwoman Carolyn Voiles. Mickey came up and greeted us as soon as he saw me get out of the truck. He sees me around town quite a lot but today was the first time he had met Nicole. When I introduced her, he joked to her that he felt terribly sorry for her that she had to put up with me every day, and what torture that must be, and he would pray for her! Of course he and Ms. Voiles gave cards to Nicole and myself.
What I was amazed by was the size of the line in the school gymnasium. When we arrived the line was out the door, and I filled out the Jefferson County ballot application while I stood in line. When I got to the station where the poll worker was, she said that I was not registered as living in the city and could not vote in the municipal election-Nicole however was registered as living in town-obviously we live in the same house. I contested this and the good lady put in a call to Dandridge where the situation was resolved on the spot-I did vote in the municipal election.
After the short tangle with the poll worker, I waited in line with Nicole for another 20 minutes and let her vote first and then I cast my ballot on the new electronic machines in Jefferson County that I found even more user-friendly than in Knox County. Between the two of us, it took us about six minutes to vote.
There have been reports all day of voter intimidation in Virginia in the form of phone calls to voters claiming that they are registered in other States and saying that if the voter(s) in question showed up at the polls they would be arrested. That is false, of course, and it is disgusting that anyone would engage in this sort of behavior regardless of party.
I do not think the George Allen campaign is behind this intimidation, but clearly someone is playing suppression politics. The reason I don't believe the Allen campaign is behind all of this is because the area codes for these calls are coming from States like Califirnia and Montana, so The World has been told by sources on the ground in Virginia. Whoever is doing this-you might think that you are helping conservative and Republican forces, but you are doing more to hurt the cause than anything else I have heard of in this election season. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
Out-of-State threats on election day is the height of low-brow politics. The Virginia Senate election belongs to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia and it is theirs to determine and to own, whatever the result-the same is true in Tennessee.
As a few readers might know, I go to coffee every morning at the Sanitary Drug Store here in White Pine. The men who meet for coffee there Monday through Saturday are some of our community's most seasoned and active citizens. They are members of the local Lions Club, the American Legion, the Masonic Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, or other civic or fraternal organizations. A few have been town Aldermen in the past and may run again-one of us is considering a first run for Alderman in 2008...somehow I'll bet you can guess who that might be. One of the regulars is Alderman Mickey Smith, who is up for re-election today-he wasn't at coffee this morning and I suspect that this is because he may be working the polls over at White Pine Elementary.
After I left morning coffee, I took a few minutes to stroll around town. I must not have been the only person who did not vote early because I could not or would not get all the way to Dandridge. I noticed hand-written signs on several of our local businesses-"Gone to vote, be back later," or "voting, will return in a few minutes." Based on these observations, I am gleaning that turnout today will be very high. I expect a line when I cast my ballot around 3:30pm Eastern time today.
Even among the seasoned citizens at the Sanitary Drug, there was some confusion about when the polls open. Several of the guys said the polls in Jefferson County didn't open until nine this morning and they left the drug store a few minutes earlier than usual to go vote. Another group of us tried to inform the second group that the polls opened an hour earlier than they were saying and that they were already open.
Make note of this for future Statewide elections: If you are qualified to vote in Tennessee and you live in the Central Time Zone, your polls are open from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. If you live in the Eastern Time Zone, polls in your county are open from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M.
While many (if not most) of the readers of this blog are from Tennessee, I am very well aware that folks read this weblog from all over America, Canada, and the world.
Weather can often have an effect on turnout in a close election. With that in mind, tell us in the comments section how the election weather is in your part of the country today. The forecast for East Tennessee is for showers nearly all day and a 100% chance of rain. It remains to be seen how the weather will impact the final turnout.
On this election day, I think it is worthy to remind people that there is no voting technology in the world that is perfect. Many people complained years ago that the common paper ballot was easily falsified and made fraudulent (it was), just as they complain in our uber-modern age about the "inaccuracies" of the electronic voting machines now in use in most Tennessee counties and in many other jurisdictions. When counting hundreds of thousands or even millions of votes, there are bound to be a few difficulties here and there, but that doesn't mean that people should not have faith in the accuracy of the count or that their vote will not count.
The trouble in this country is that in the last three elections (2000, 2002, 2004) the results from President on down (in some cases) to the State legislature have been so close that the not-very-widespread errors in the vote count that happen in every large election have been the subject of dispute. They don't normally make a difference in the outcome, but recent votes have been so close that the abnormal suddenly becomes all to common when the difference between victory and defeat is a few thousand or even a few hundred votes.
All of that is well worth noting because the latest polls in the Tennessee Senate race have been so conflicting that each poll is giving voters different information. Hence, voters in the Volunteer State face the very real possibility that as the results for United States Senate come in tonight, the race could come within "the margin of sue." I am told that the lawyers have already been dispatched just in case such a margin comes to pass.
When an election is that close, there is no voter that can rightfully say "my vote has no impact" or "my vote does not count." After the last three elections, no one in their right mind could possibly say this and know what they are talking about. It is in a close election that we realize just how much our vote really does matter.
If you haven't done so already, exercise your franchise and vote today-it really does count.
If I have found a good reason to vote for Bob Corker, then the allegations of vote fraud already occuring in Memphis just might tip me over the edge. The Ford family has a powerful machine in Memphis, one that Junior repeatedly denies exists, even though we (the people of Tennessee) know from experience that it does and that members of the family have committed fraud before.
Not content with extending voting rights to members of the recently departed community, apparently the Ford Machine is pushing to extend voting rights in the State of Tennessee to citizens of the State of Arkansas.
On the last day of Early Voting here in Shelby County, Ms. Lillie D. Davis, an Arkansas resident, arrived at an EV location to vote. She presented her identification to the poll worker which happened to be an Arkansas DL with an Arkansas address. When challenged by the poll worker, she explained that she lived in Arkansas but voted in Memphis. The poll worker simply said okay and allowed Ms. Davis to vote.
I can't tell you how completely abhorrent I find this kind of activity. The right to vote is something that I think is sacrosanct in our free society, but it is actually a privilege in the sense that it is based on where you live and your ability to prove that you are who you say you are. Not just anyone can vote, but voters qualified to vote in their State, County, and appropriate precinct. In other words, if you are not "from around here," you don't vote around here.
I know this is going to draw the ire of Democrats, but I don't care-it is the truth: Democrats are notorious for this sort of behavior. I remember when I was in college in Ohio, the local Democratic Party placed flyers on the apartment doors of everyone in the complex where I lived, knowing that it was full of college students. The flyers explained that the students didn't need to live in the district to vote, but they could receive a provisional ballot, and it "instructed" them how.
What the flyers did not explain was the strictures of Ohio's Provisional Ballot Law. You can only receive a provisional ballot in Ohio if you can prove that you are validly registered to vote in an Ohio ward and precinct. In other words, you had to present an Ohio voter registration card so that the poll worker knew what precinct to transfer your votes in Statewide races to. Asking for provisional ballots up to that point (1998) was so rare, I am told, that most of the poll workers were not even aware of what to do to transfer these votes. The Dems took full advantage of the situation, stationing hacks at polling places near campus demanding that people who could not prove their proper voting status be given provisional ballots in the name of preventing "disenfranchisement." The result was that there were so many of these provisional ballots that could not be traced, while Dems demanded they be counted in the name of "voting rights."
The same situation is happening in Memphis and, near as I can tell, happens in every election cycle and it is rampant. I so despise this kind of activity that I am considering a vote for Corker for no other reason than to cancel out the Memphis voting fraud.
My college football rankings this week-the Michigan Sucks edition
Here are my votes for this weeks IRACF College Football poll:
1 Ohio State 2 Michigan 3 Louisville 4 Texas 5 Auburn 6 Florida 7 Southern Cal 8 California 9 Notre Dame 10 Arkansas 11 LSU 12 West Virginia 13 Tennessee 14 Boise St. 15 Rutgers 16 Wisconsin 17 Oklahoma 18 Wake Forest 19 Georgia Tech 20 Virginia Tech 21 Oregon 22 Boston College 23 Maryland 24 Texas A&M 25 BYU
I was so disappointed in Tennessee...I was really hoping for a trip to the SEC Championship Game and I thought that if Tennessee could win this game they just might beat Arkansas as well. We'll see what happens to Philip Fulmer at the end of the season if the Vols lose another game.
At this point (after Louisville's upset of West Virginia) the top three teams in the nation are locks provided one of them does not lose a game between now and the third Saturday in November in two weeks. There are those who believe that an Ohio State loss to Michigan will result merely in a flip in the BCS standings-standings which, for a change, reflect the reality in college football.
I don't believe the human pollsters will allow for the National Championship game to be a redux of Ohio State and Michigan, even though those of us who are fans of that great rivalry would love the thought. What that does mean is that unless Louisville loses between now and the end of their season, they are going to Tempe, Arizona. It also means, however, that they won't win the National Championship-they will be the formality that the Champion must complete to march around with the crystal football.
The real national championship game will be played in two weeks in Columbus, Ohio, as part of a normally scheduled season-ending rivalry game. I suppose those of you who haven't yet figured out what a huge fan I am of the Scarlet and Grey can now be let in on that reality. Others of you who know me well already know that fact and know that it isn't a matter of fair weather rooting. In two weeks I will whip out my #14 Bobby Hoying jersey that I have not worn since I was in college and break it in all over again. Do you reckon it still fits? Ohio State and Michigan for that national championship-Woody Hayes is somewhere laughing. The tempermental old Irishman is spinning in his grave. He hated Michigan and played many a game of consequence against them, but he would have lived for a game like the one that will happen in two weeks.
Like any good Tennessee fan, I hate Florida. I root for Florida to lose every time they take the field. I really hated them when Spurrier was there. Some of the edge is gone now that Urban Meyer is the Head Coach because I had great admiration for Meyer when he was at Bowling Green so I can't bring myself to "hate" the guy-but I still hate the team he coaches.
Like any good Ohio State fan, I don't hate Michigan-I despise the Michigan Wolverines with every fiber of my very being. If I can avoid it, I will not so much as set foot in the State of Michigan. I once went to Ann Arbor for a Del McCoury concert-Del could get me to go where I normally would not. Aaron Harris was with me, and he can verify that when we passed by Michigan Stadium I was quite public in flipping the bird. That doesn't mean that there aren't Michigan players or coaches (Bo Schembechler-even though he was a traitor) I don't personally admire...but hate is a mild word to describe my feelings about Michigan football.
That game won't be just a game-it will be a classic for the ages, I believe it will be one that serious football fans will remember where they were when it was played in 20 years. So I am giving everyone advance warning-make plenty of your favorite snacks that day-make nachos, order pizza, make homemade subs. I am asking Nicole to make peanut butter Buckeyes-an Ohio State campus tradition-especially for the occasion. Whatever you do, you may want to complete your snack preparation before the game starts because if you intend to watch it, your rear end may glue itself to your seat-this one will be tighter than the air hole on a Michelin tire.
If you have ever called me during the day and not reached me, I can guarantee you that I'll be home watching this game (unless I can actually find someone throwing a football party leading off with The Game)-I will not guarantee that I will answer the phone, however.
Batton down the hatches boys, war will be declared. It's gonna be fun.
A conservative journal of social, cultural, and ecclesiatical affairs grounded in a realistic Catholic Christian worldview. It is my hope that this site will be a reflection of Christ,the teachings of His Holy Church, and of the basic vision of a Christian social morality.