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Friday, December 2, 2022
Editor’s NotebookEditor's Notebook: Fearless prediction time!

Editor’s Notebook: Fearless prediction time!

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Election Day tomorrow is the last possible date in November in which it can fall, and lordy can we all agree to give thanks when it’s over?

I’m going to go out on a wing, a prayer and a limb here and predict that, yes, U.S. Reps. Don Beyer and Gerald Connolly will win handily and that U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton will not find herself caught up in a red tsunami, if indeed a red tsunami materializes. Pretty safe bet in all cases.

Also guaranteed: Arlington’s six bond referendums will pass. Who doesn’t like voting for “free money”? Of course, Arlingtonian-Americans, like all Americans, are not always adept at connecting the dots between capital expenditures and their eventual impact on operating expenses and hence tax bills. But hey: “free money”!

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No campaigns to be covering in Fairfax (but wait’ll next year!), so it’s only Arlington to prognosticate about at the local level.

I’m going to go in the County Board race with what candidate Audrey Clement postulated last week as the likely result: Matt de Ferranti at 50 percent, Clement herself at 40 percent and Adam Theo at 10 percent.

What’s my level of confidence in my prediction? Absolute zero. I can see a scenario in which the Arlington Democrats’ sample ballot helps de Ferranti pull out a bigger share of the vote. There’s also the fact that, despite all the words spilled on the issue, many Arlington voters are still not hipped to the impacts of Missing Middle. So maybe he might rise closer to 60 percent. On the other hand, I also can see Theo picking up more than 10 percent, taking away from de Ferranti’s totals. In other words … stay tuned!

On the Arlington School Board race? No idea how that will turn out. Again, I ass-u-me the Democratic sample ballot will lift Bethany Sutton to victory over James Vell Rives IV with relative ease, but if you combine members of the public who are PO’d about various parts of school governance with those PO’d at the Democrats for Missing Middle or other matters, throw in the roughly 20 percent of the electorate that votes against Democrats on general principle, there is a route to victory for Rives.

Then again, it simply could be the typical Arlington election night: Democrats romp to victory undeterred by headwinds. Which would make all the media coverage of the entire campaign season preceding it to have been, in the words Shakespeare put in the mouth of Macbeth, “a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Hey, who you calling an “idiot,” Bard? Arlnow and The Washington Post? Oh, well then, that’s OK 🙂

THE NATIONAL MEDIA DOING THE GOP’S BIDDING? WELL, THAT’S S A NEW TAKE … I tend to stay away from the Blue Virginia blog site, but with the elections coming up I dipped my big toe in to see how the its readers and posters are handling what could be a rough night on Tuesday for their side of the political divide.

Unsurprisingly, they are not handling it well. “Keep calm and carry on” is definitely not how they roll.

Chief cook and bottle-washer Lowell Feld has postulated a theory why his Democrats haven’t been doing better, and it’s a novel one: The national media is on the side of Republicans!

“Unfortunately, the media in this country is committed to ‘if-it-bleeds-it-leads’ fearmongering about crime and ‘every-bit-of-good-economic-news-is-bad-somehow-for-Democrats’ news coverage. If they weren’t so irresponsible and dishonest….” he wrote last week.

Look, I’m fine playing along with self-delusion (I cover politicians, after all), but there are limits. And the idea that the media, broadly speaking, is in the tank with Republicans, consciously or not, is just, well, I believe the clinical term used by psychiatrists and psychologists is “kooky-bananas.”

— Scott McCaffrey

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