We Need a Primary for 2018

This Saturday, the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee will be voting on the method of nomination for 2018 United States Senate election. Per usual, the pro-convention side is beginning to beat the war drums for a convention.

However, Virginia Republicans must choose a primary to encourage participation amongst ALL Virginia Republicans, preserve party funds, and to protect us from fringe candidates who would destroy our party’s chance to gain a seat in the U.S. Senate.

It just makes more sense to hold a primary because more people can participate. Voters don’t have to travel 5+ hours (if you’re going from Lee County to Richmond it’s more like eight hours) to get to a convention hall.

Republicans of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions can participate. Members of the military, the elderly, those who work out of town, and those who are on vacation have more of a chance to participate in a primary. Everyone is given a chance to vote when a primary is chosen.

Conventions are expensive, not only for the attendees who have to spend money on food, gas, and hotel rooms, but also for the party itself. I don’t even want to imagine how much it costs to rent the Richmond Coliseum for a weekend. We need to preserve RPV funds if we are going to retire Tim Kaine from the U.S. Senate.

We also have to choose a primary to protect the party from the fringe candidates that conventions are likely to produce. Harkening back to last week’s primary, I fully believe that Corey Stewart would have beaten Ed Gillespie in a convention. Or even worse, a convention could nominate the completely unelectable (and downright horrid) Laura Ingraham.

Also, think about the PR nightmare that these convention candidates could cause. What if Stewart goes on this wild rage for the Confederacy again (if he runs for U.S. Senate)? It could result in a convention hall full of Confederate flags and gray uniforms. It would look like the Battle of Gettysburg was occurring in the middle of the Richmond Coliseum. Not even Olivia Pope herself could spin that PR nightmare.

Before the other side loses their minds, I do want to point out that it is true that sometimes primaries produce terrible candidates (Dave Brat) and sometimes conventions produce good candidates (Ed Gillespie). However, we cannot risk nominating another E.W. Jackson-esque candidate. Simply put, we would lose.

The United States Senate election of 2018 will decide the direction of our country for years to come. I trust the Republican Primary voters in Virginia to choose an electable nominee.

  • AnninVA26

    Regarding Stewart…his voters will sit home this November and not support Ed. It would be the same if Ed were chosen in a convention. I think that we need to choose our candidate by convention this time for a host of reasons – the main one being that democrats will participate in the republican primary if we don’t. Kaine will run unopposed and that will give them the option to do so. We don’t want that……….

    • Ed was chosen at a convention in 2014 and came very close to defeating the incumbent, Mark Warner, in the general election. I remain convinced a candidate can and should be able to win either nominating method. Once a nomination is secured, that candidate must unify the base quickly and move forward to win the general. The time to battle ideology is during the nominating contest. Once that’s done, it’s time to move forward.

      • Jim Portugul

        I agree. That being said, if the candidate cannot unify, then I believe the fault lies with the candidate. That is the main reason I consider Obama and Trump both presidential failures. They could/can not unify. Trump still has time to surround himself with real people to change course.

        The question now is Corey holding out for a return to the Trump administration in exchange for party unity? Maybe, maybe not.

        Ed carrying K St. and Bush 43′ baggage is really beyond impossible, along with the restored rights voters. Is it best to just throw Ed and Carly to the dogs and move on to 2018?

        Although disappointing lately with his votes in the House, Congressman Rob Wittman doesn’t carry the loser title. Rob does need to answer about his recent votes in the House however.

  • Rick Shaftan

    Here is an example of someone who belongs in the other party. Another snob who hates conservatives more than he wants to beat Democrats.

    • Rick – do you live in North Carolina or New Jersey? I can’t recall.

  • BrianKirwin

    Except the 10,000 petition requirement is insane. Getting on a Presidential ballot requires half as much.

    • Agreed. The petition threshold is way too steep.

  • Chad Davis

    I just want to beat the Democrats in November! We’ve battled ourselves more than them since 2009.

    I propose this truce…Stewart voters please vote Gillespie for Governor in November; and RINOs stop hating conservatives who don’t like illegal immigration or other Washington Post causes.

    • I would hardly state that wanting to show the party for its best values: the free market, liberty/equal opportunity, and rule of law/personal responsibility, is a terrible thing. Not sure where this “Washington Post causes” comment comes from, if directed towards BD writers.

      • Chad Davis

        It means if a Stewart voter (for the record, I did not vote for Stewart) disagrees with causes dear to the Washington Post’s heart like amnesty for illegal immigrants or redefining marriage, we don’t have to attack them as bigots. The Democrats already do that.

        For BD writers, I’ll give you some slack in responding if they first call you cuc******tives.

  • Randall Wenger

    Forgive me for stating the obvious, but the problem with primaries is that the most moderate candidate seems to win them 90% of the time because:
    A: Virginia is an open voting state (i.e., Democrats can vote in Republican primaries.
    B: The Conservative candidates all split the vote percentage.

    Bottom line: If we want a conservative to represent us, we need to galvanize around them through the convention process. If people have to drive 5 hrs to support a candidate, then they are putting skin in the game. More power to them.

    • Stephen Spiker

      That’s not true at all. Conservatives can win in primaries. Moderates can win in conventions.

      Hell, in 2017 the most conservative candidate won the primary.

      • Jim Portugul

        I agree with you 100%, in 2017 the most conservative Democrat won their primary. But, not the Republican primary.

        You’re a numbers guru, please show us any scenario with the numbers that puts Ed in the Democrats Mansion?

    • I am seriously tired of hearing the same tired old “Democrats pick our candidates in open primaries” trope. It’s not true. Democrats don’t cross over in significant numbers, and their own party apparatus tracks and punishes Democrats who cross over far more than we do.

      It’s just not a legitimate issue.

      • Jim Portugul

        How is the lobbying business under the Trump admin? When I saw who he was picking for his key positions, I said this is going to be a very good 4 years for lobbyists.

      • Jim Portugul

        There is only one person on the entire planet that can tell the group who believes that anything. They do not believe anyone but Limbaugh. Other than fellow Limbaughites, the rest of mankind to them is a conspiracy theory.

        On another note, a few months ago about the time of your last Brat article, Dave Brat said Social Security is insolvent. Now, apparently his answer to that claimed insolvency are massive cuts in revenue by cutting taxes in the Trumpcare plan and in the talked about tax reform plan. So now that the government may need to start paying back the SS trust and other trusts they have raided for decades and now need to put the money back in, Dave Brats want to cut revenue.

        If Social Security is insolvent as Brats says, while the government owes the Social Security trust $2.9 Trillion dollars, then how do massive tax cuts fund the paying back of the $2.9 Trillion dollars into the Social Security Trust?

  • MD Russ

    This is not rocket science. According to the Gallop Poll, 28% of voters self-identify as Democrats while 29% identify as Republicans. 40% identify as Independents. Closed Republican conventions nominate candidates who are supported by 29% of the voters, or less. Open primaries nominate candidates who are supported by as much as 69% of the voters. Go figure.


    • Jim McGuire

      It’s not often I upvote MD Russ. Today is that day. He speaks common sense here. If you’re going to elect by statewide referendum in November, probably best to choose someone who can prove he/she can win a statewide referendum. Primaries do that; conventions don’t.

  • Chris B

    the best part is you describe a primary producing a terrible candidate in Brat who beat the incumbent House majority leader and a good candidate in Gillespie who’s never own anything LOL.

    The BD quota of attacking Dave Brat is alive and well lol

  • Chris B

    what happened to The Jeffersonaid?

    • Downstater

      Why? Is it gone? If go, good riddance.

  • cargosquid

    Had to get that dig into Brat, didn’t you? Y’all still haven’t forgiven him for beating that idiot, Cantor.

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