Friday, August 08, 2008

First District Upset

Winner Candidate Incumbent Votes Vote %
Phil Roe
25916 50%

David Davis X 25416 49%

Michael Sabri
325 1%

The Republican Primary was the biggest surprise of the night, with David Davis losing it by the same margin he won two years ago-500 votes (Note: The Kingsport Times-News is reporting that the numbers were even more slim, with Davis garnering 25, 458 votes).

I voted for David Davis-but I also believe Davis took this race for granted. I watched this race from the ground while just beginning my own campaign in local office that will culminate in November, and Phil Roe just ran the better campaign. Even worse for Davis is the reality that Roe ran a far superior operation in the closing week of the campaign than he did. David Davis believed that his position as an incumbent would save him, but he simply failed to account for Dr. Roe's tenacity, as well as for the fact that he was not elected with any sort of mandate in 2006. He is widely disliked in the First District-and not merely by what passes for the Left around here. There are plenty of conservatives who have long had it out for Davis, and one of his more conservative opponents in the 2006 race privately told me that he could tolerate losing to anyone in the field, but losing to David Davis really goaded him.

Davis simply failed to understand that he is just not that popular, but that he could still win in spite of his unpopularity if he actually campaigned anywhere near as hard as Phil Roe did.

David Davis' biggest problem now is that he isn't blaming his own shortcomings, he is blaming Democrat crossovers for his defeat:

“We believe there was a lot of Democrat switchover vote,” Davis said. “It is legal in the state of Tennessee for Democrats to go switch their allegiance in a primary.

I despise crossover voting. As a matter of principle, I will not vote in a Democratic Primary, even if all of the Republican races are unopposed. I do not believe it is my place to have a say in who the Democratic Party should nominate since I am not a Democrat, nor do I believe Democrats should be able to have a say in nominating Republicans.

However, until we wise up in Tennessee and close our primaries, crossover voting will be a reality in any congressional race in the First District. Democrats know that the Republican Primary is the only game in town, and the Congressman from the First District will always emerge from that contest. Until our laws are changed, a candidate should prepare for the inevitability of crossover votes and plan a strategy to deal with them.

David Davis lost this race, and for the blame he must look in the mirror.

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At Saturday, August 09, 2008 3:00:00 PM, Blogger Conservatore dall'est said...

Hello My Dear Friend:

First, I must say that I respect David Oatney and his blog most highly. A blogger myself from time to time, I am engulfed by the shadow he sets with his tenacious daily reporting and opinions. You my friend are a journalist while I am simply a pubic servant abusing the mouthpiece known as the internet.

That said, I have been with Phil Roe since the beginning of his 2008 campaign. I assure you that Democrat turnover votes had nothing more to do with Roe election in 2008 than they did in his defeat in 2006. Every candidate has friends, colleagues, and supporters who don't usually vote in the GOP primary but will to support their friend. This is not unusual.

David Davis lost this race because he truly believed he was divinely placed there. The words I speak here are very important: David Davis was more concerned with becoming a high ranking GOP in the Congress than he was in representing the District. When a freshman candidate is posing with GOP leaders the day before his re-election rather than beating down the doors of his district, that is a clue as to the entry of his true purpose.

True Reagan Republicans backed Roe - please don't let sour grapes and bad sports convince you otherwise.

My best always,


At Saturday, August 09, 2008 7:02:00 PM, Blogger Banner said...

Davis Davis earned this defeat. Now it's time to be a MAN,show some CLASS and go gently into that good night.

At Sunday, August 10, 2008 8:09:00 PM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

I can't really disagree with a thing you said here.

In the end, I supported David Davis this time around because I feared Phil Roe's lack of legislative experience and was afraid his race was more about wanting to be Congressman than upholding conservative ideals.

But I just didn't care for David's attitude...

I remember when he came and visited me in White Pine, and even sent staff here on constituent visits a few times-I was thrilled. I noticed that he quit coming around when the Primary got closer and he felt assured of my support and the votes of the people here in White Pine.

I won't forget it.

At Sunday, August 10, 2008 8:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I will wade in here and blast DAVIS for his inability to run a successful campaign and to try and sacrifice to the media those who helped him.

Vance I have met you and through David feel I have come to know your stances and character. Good advice you give.

As far as 2006 I will say very clearly that Richard Venable could have been what Davis is now - a spoiled kid looking to win by cherry picking but he did not he chose to bow out gracefully.

As far as Roe goes he will be primaried in 2010 and depending on his opponent could meet the same fate as Davis because most of the Roe Roe Roe your vote was more about a dislike for Davis rather than a love for Roe and if Roe doesn't do spectacular things then he too will be a one term has been in the 1st.

Finally let me address one last thing and let everyone know that I along with most of the other "political novices" do not and did not condone the actions of the Davis camp.


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