Handicapping Virginia

Small Society | Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum BlogHandicapping the outcomes of political races has not yet become deadly but pundits who offer conclusions are far too often incorrect, leading to post-election explanations. There exist, however, some data sources that offer insight into the direction and dynamics of campaigns that may satisfy or dismay partisans. The Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) is one source providing graphic visuals of key political measurements of campaign progress. The latest information tracks first-time donors from less than $100 to more than $1,000 in contributions to the two principal gubernatorial candidates. Draw your own conclusions with 9 days until November 2.         


 First Time   Donors


Total Amount







$  956,874



4,912 $2,195,622


The data may, in part, support the repeated GOP mantra that there exists an immeasurable energy among the faithful that the blue tide of past years has met its match. What can be considered certain is that the 4,912 Youngkin contributors will outvote the 2,650 McAuliffe donors.

Concurrently, VPAP data indicate that new voter registrations, although at a record number, have only increased moderately in comparison over recent years. These differing measures surely make political punditry difficult, if not impossible, in terms of offering reliable conclusions.            

A review of early voting data presents a different picture, and may lead observers to a different conclusion. At the same time, pundit predictors may have alternative views of the same slices of such political intelligence.

Comparison of Early In-Person Votes by Party (19 days to election)










Comparison of Mail-In Votes by Party (19 days to election)









The early and early mail-in vote data comparisons, especially for Republicans, may represent a few conflicting themes. The national GOP messaging concerning stolen elections and fraud has probably depressed voter confidence among the party faithful. Republican mail-in votes in 2020 and 2021 remain static, although early in-person voting has increased. This latter improvement may be attributed to the effort of GOTV (Get Out The Vote) on the assumption of the above-mentioned theme of enthusiasm.

The jury will be deliberating until after Election Day about the impact of the present 11 point decline in early in person voting by Democrats versus a 10 point increase in the same category for Republicans.

Moreover, the strong Democratic showing with respect to mail-in voting may change, as it has been the target of a challenge by a conservative PAC alleging that, in Fairfax County, election officials have decided to ignore a requirement that mail-in ballots contain certain Social Security information (last four digits) for validation. In addition, there have been sporadic observations by county registrars that ballot submissions have not been properly witnessed.

Post election polls may offer insight into the effects of the strong, consistent high per cent of Democratic mail in voting compared to the far lower Republican showing on the gubernatorial race.  While the GOP candidate and state party have actively championed early in person and mail voting, that effort may have been seriously scuttled by prevailing national party leadership regarding the 2020 election.

The citizenry has a duty to itself and its constituents to be informed and draw conclusions from the evidence available. From that basis, individuals can participate in campaigning with knowledge as opposed to slogans. Avoiding predictions of outcomes is more healthy than not.



Categories: democrats, elections, Issues, political parties, politics, republicans

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