2017 Primary Predictions from Bearing Drift’s Political Junkies

Everyone at Bearing Drift is a political junkie so with today’s primary, we thought it would be fun to provide some predictions for the upcoming election, whether it’s a gut feeling, crunching and analyzing the numbers, or gazing into our individual crystal balls.

Brian Schoeneman, Editor-in-Chief

Governor — Republican: Ed Gillespie
Governor — Democrat: Ralph Northam

Lt. Governor — Republican: No idea
Lt. Governor — Democrat: Justin Fairfax

Jim Hoeft, Publisher

Governor — Republican:
Wagner 37
Gillespie 36
Stewart 27

LG — Republican:
Davis 42
Vogel 32
Reeves 26

Governor — Democrat:
Perriello 56
Northam 44

LG — Democrat:
Fairfax 44
Platt 42
Rossi 14

Matt Colt Hall, Senior Correspondent

Governor — Republican:
Gillespie: 57%
Stewart:  28%
Wagner: 15%

Lieutenant Governor — Republican:
Vogel: 46%
Reeves: 39%
Davis: 15%

Governor: — Democrat
Northam: 52%
Periello: 48%

Rick Sincere, Senior Correspondent

Governor — Republican: Ed Gillespie wins with a majority. Wagner and Stewart struggle for second place, but Stewart is embarrassed with less than 10 percent.

Lt. Governor — Republican: Jill Vogel wins with a plurality. Glenn Davis will come close to beating Bryce Reeves but falls short by one or two points.

Governor — Democrat: Tom Perriello wins narrowly over Ralph Northam

Lt. Governor — Democrat: Justin Fairfax sweeps the field.

Shaun Kenney, Editor at Bearing Drift’s Jeffersoniad

Governor — Republican:
Gillespie 65
Wagner 18
Stewart 17

LG — Republican:
Vogel 62
Reeves 27
Davis 11

Governor — Democrat:
Northam 52
Perriello 48

LG — Democrat:
Fairfax 50
Platt 35
Rossi 15

Lynn Mitchell, Photo Editor

GOVERNOR — Republican: Ed Gillespie  (Opponents: Frank Wagner, Corey Stewart)
Ed Gillespie should win for all the obvious reasons: better organized ground game, started early to capitalize on the momentum from his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign that almost toppled Mark Warner, stayed above the fray, has successfully pulled together various factions. He has consistently polled double digits over his opponents.

Senator Frank Wagner is a good man who knows how to govern but, unfortunately, his campaign never picked up speed nor expanded as it should. My apologies to Corey Stewart but he was an embarrassment and ran a disastrous campaign.

Democrat: Ralph Northam (Opponent: Tom Perriello)
At a time when Tom Perriello seemed to take on the role of the hare running around trying to be everything to everyone, Ralph Northam was the tortoise with his methodical and steady campaign that offered security in these politically rough seas. Some call it boring; others consider it safe, but whatever it is he has enjoyed the support of Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. Besides, if Gillespie were to lose in November, Northam is the Democratic governor I’d rather have.

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR — Republican: Glenn Davis. (Opponents Jill Vogel, Bryce Reeves)
A win may be wishful thinking on my behalf — he was far outspent — but Delegate Davis has innovative ideas for bringing in jobs and reinvigorating the economy while thinking outside the box as a businessman who, at age 42, understands today’s technology. He deserves to win but his disadvantage was money, coming in far behind his opponents. He spent the past year traveling the state in his RV affectionately known as Mello Yellow, meeting voters from Hampton Roads to Hot Spring, Northern Virginia to Danville, and Winchester to Bristol. Though I have nothing against Jill Vogel and Bryce Reeves, the soap opera that has swirled around them since December, as well as Reeves’ last-minute mailers advising that judges should be judged on their sexual orientation as opposed to their ability, experience, and knowledge of the job, were exhausting, self-inflicted wounds.

LG Democrat: I don’t know enough about the races to make an educated guess but the buzz appears to be around Justin Fairfax.


Henrico Board of Supervisors – Brookland District — Republican (Open seat): Ben Dessart (Opponents: Gilbert Wilkerson, Bob Witte)
Ben, hands down, outworked his opponents by going door-to-door, meeting voters, attending forums, answering questionnaires, and working with his GOTV volunteers. Even as he graduated from the University of Richmond T.C. Williams Law School this spring, he was still campaigning. Talk about carrying a heavy load! He has lived in Brookland all his life, knows its issues and the people who live there, and is ready to lead. He seems almost to have been preparing all his life for the job with service to the community and leadership within the Virginia millennial Republicans. It’s a first step in what I predict to be future elected office.

Lynchburg City — Commonwealth’s Attorney — Republican: Bethany Harrison (Opponent Tim Griffin)
Bethany Harrison currently serves as Lynchburg Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney, well respected and endorsed by those who work with her. She is part of the CA office, supervises nine attorneys and 19 support staff, and is responsible for prosecuting the city’s more serious crimes since 2006. Because of all that, she has a head start on her opponent who has worked in Amherst and currently is in Bedford as Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney. Ironically, his campaign has gone after Ms. Harrison with false mailers as well as rumors about her Republicanism (she has been a long-time Republican despite their desire to paint her otherwise). Campaign manager Dexter Gaines has done a good job working with Ms. Harrison to run a clean campaign focused on the issues. She is what the party needs if we are to continue into the future.

House of Delegates — District 64 — Republican: Emily Brewer (opponent Rex A. Alphin)
Emily is the real thing. A lifelong resident of Suffolk and a small business owner, she has been in millennial Republican leadership and has done her fair share of knocking on doors for others. This time it’s for her. She started early and hit the ground running in her bid to win the House seat, and I predict all that work will pay off tonight. She will be on the way to her future in elected office.

Tune in tonight to see who was correct, and who came closest in their percentages.

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  • Don Plaster

    It might just be Virginia Beach, but I worked 4 polls this morning, engaging voters in support of Glenn Davis and several people said they were voting for Glenn, others liked my reasons for supporting Glenn, and nobody said they were voting for Jill or Bryce.

  • Jim Portugul

    Mr. Schoeneman, it is so easy to see why you are the boss.

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  • Dcgorillafighter

    I did not know RINO drift was still in business. Go Corey Go!

  • Rethuglican


  • Carl Kilo

    I think y’all’s predictions show just how out of touch you are with the common voter. Especially in SWVA/Coalfields. For a blog that is supposed to be The Flagship of Virginia Politics this has to be embarrassing. For all the Corey Stewart bashing published here…to see the actual results should show y’all how out of touch your views are. I can’t wait to see the county by county map. I feel safe saying your comments about Corey and his supporters didn’t make you any friends in rural Virginia this cycle.
    Good luck in the future and enjoy Ed’s victory! Cheers from deploryable SWVA.

  • Fist Rockbone

    Wow! Can’t believe how inaccurate your projecting projections were..all of you. As a Gillespie supporter, I was shocked Stewart ran so strongly, across the state. Two takeaways for me: Either traditional/establishment-type VAGOP’ers accept and embrace the pro-Trump wing of the party, or we lose big. This goes double for the so-called expert prognosticators here. Second, we need to accept that the Dems will likely do a much better job of lining up behind their ticket than the GOP will theirs, and this could cost us the HOD. This means supporting our nominees, even if we don’t agree with them 100%. None of this “I’ll vote for so-and-so, but I’m not campaigning or donating to them”. This election will be won or lost by what we do in July-October, and not what we do in November.

    • Maybe the pro-Trump wing should accept that they are a minority and that their white nationalist fantasies are doomed to fail among the wider electorate. If they care about small government, lower taxes and spending, and a stronger America, then they should support the establishment. If not then there is nothing compatible between the GOP and them and they should shove off.
      The threat of losing is by the way meaningless. Trump lost VA by 5 pts. Romney was closer but also lost. So essentially you’re telling traditional Republicans they’ll lose regardless, I’d rather lose knowing I defended my principles honorably in a fair election then sell out to the strongman cult that is currently Trumpism and lose anyway.

      • Fist Rockbone

        And thus you prove my point. Maybe the pro-Trump wing doesn’t see themselves as the minority of our party. Their candidate is sitting in the White House. As far as “principles” go, what you are saying is “my principles” are the only ones that count, and we can all be “principled losers”. This kind of thinking hamstrings Republicans of all stripes. Those who couldn’t get behind McCain. Those who couldn’t get behind Romney, and now those who can’t get behind Trump. I wasn’t a Trump supporter in the primaries. I was a Cruz delegate to the convention, even after Trump won the primary. But I supported Trump in the general. I campaigned and donated too. I am happy Ed won. I think he’s the best candidate to move forward with. WFB rule applied. Now it is Ed’s supporters responsibility to also apply the Reagan-rule, and do everything we can to bring Corey Stewart’s supporters into the united party, and that begins with supporting our Republican President. If we don’t, we can and will lose statewide again, and even risk losing the HOD, which would be an unmitigated and cascading disaster. 2020 redistricting done by the Democrats, and VA officially joins the NE of the US. I am sure there are many “principled” tax-slaves in these states, but they are still tax-slaves.

        • I did not say “my principles are the only ones that count” I asked if we had shared principles. Which apparently we don’t, and to be clear the GOP was founded on small government and individual freedom. If you want white nationalist identity politics go get your own party, maybe even the one originally founded on it ( that would be the good Old Jacksonian Party that will probably win this november).
          As far as Trump being the majority in the party, this is clearly false as Trump consistently failed to win a majority of primary voters. The anti-Trump vote remains the minority, additionally about every GOPer who has run as a hard core “True Trump” supporter or identified their campaign on the same issues that powered Trump have consistently lost. Corey Stewart is the latest addition.
          And even in last years General election, the majority of voters voted for someone other then Trump.
          The Trumpist vote in the GOP is still the minority, once through attrition, enough Moderate Rs and Conservatives fed up with a non-serious GOP leave the party to become unaffiliate or even join the Dems, then maybe the Trumpkins will finally be able to claim to “be the Majority”. But until then they remain a minority both within the Party and even more so in the general electorate.

          • Fist Rockbone

            Um..there appears to be some revisionist history going on here, which explains much.
            “and to be clear the GOP was founded on small government and individual freedom.” Um, I rather thought the party was founded on anti-expansion of slavery, and was willing to use the full force of the Federal government to compel individual states to return to the Union, hardly limited government principles. I am pretty sure the whole small government argument came into the discourse with Goldwater, and became main-stream with Reagan. But you can go ahead an believe what you will, but history doesn’t support your claims.

            “The anti-Trump vote remains the minority, additionally about every GOPer who has run as a hard core “True Trump” supporter or identified their campaign on the same issues that powered Trump have consistently lost.”

            Um…please cite which losing campaigns, beyond that of Corey Stewart, you are referring to.The rest makes no sense. Are Trump supporters the minority, or the Anti-Trump R’s the minority?

            I don’t know about you, but I am a life-long Republican. Cast my first vote for Reagan. I seem to recall many “traditional” and “main-stream” Republicans mewling about Reagan as you are about Trump. I would also like to think that “winning” is a “shared value”. WFB seemed to think so. So did Reagan.

            and my last thought: Enough with you appropriating the talking points of the Left. Patriots ARE nationalists. Take your “white” qualifier and stick-it. Perhaps it is you who needs to join the Democrats. You certainly write like one. Get yourself a black ninja-suit while you are at it. I’m sure Antifa would love to have you.

          • No. Opposition to slavery is about as limited government as you can get. Again it had been firmly established long before the GOP came into being that the Union was permanent ( Jackson and Taylor threatened to hang secessionists). Additionally the GOP was pro-states rights, but the South violated the agreement by the passage of the Fugitive slave act.
            The South essentially seceded when it became clear they no longer had the political ability to force the Federal Government to either expand slavery or preserve it through enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act. Also again, the war started when Southern states fired upon US military positions, specifically Fort Sumter.
            GOP was small government long before Reagan and Goldwater.
            Ignorance of the GOP’s history is why neo-confederates should’ve never been let into the party. Go take your Lost cause mythology and Corey Stewart to another party.
            Fighting to preserve the Union is hardly anti small government. As one person said “If it is worth a bloody struggle to establish this nation, it is worth one to preserve it.”

            As far as losing campaigns, Carlos Beruff ( FL Senate race) Kelli Ward ( AZ Senate race, past loser to McCain and future loser to Flake). And of course Trump’s poor showing in Virginia last year in which he got less then 40% of the vote, the anti-Trump vote easily being a majority.

          • Fist Rockbone

            Neo-Confederate? I supported Gillespie. I am a son of the other commonwealth. But let the history lesson continue: Was TR “small government”? How about “Ike”? Nixon? Rockefeller? For a party steeped in “small government, States Rights” as you argue, we sure nominated & elected a whole bunch of big government types.

            And Reagan would have never been elected without a whole bunch of southerners switching parties.

          • The most conservative President we’ve ever had was Calvin Coolidge, long before Reagan, and long before the South switched parties.

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