the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

June 17, 2005

Turning Virginia Blue


Did you know that every four years since 1977, Virginia has elected a governor from the party that is not in the White House? That’s a good omen for candidate Tim Kaine and the Virginia Democrats this year. And NEXT is looking for people to help keep the streak going. NEXT was known in 2004 for organizing bus trips from DC to West Virginia for volunteers to register and mobilize voters for the Democrats (and helping to increase Democratic turnout by nearly 40 percent in the two counties they visited).

Now they’re setting their sights on Virginia, according to their latest e-mail announcement. They don’t seem to be updating their website as well as they should at the moment, so I’ve copied the message below.

GET BACK ON THE BUS! Turn Virginia Blue

Date: Saturday, June 25th at 2 PM
Place: In front of the Starbucks at 13th and Pennsylvania Ave, NW (M:Metro Center)
Registration: Email next_va AT ASAP to reserve a spot
Cost: Free!

We’ll meet up at 2 PM and travel down to Vienna together to join up with some local volunteers. We’ll be going door-to-door talking to people about the upcoming elections and what they think about the candidates for governor and delegate. After the canvass, we’ll stay in Vienna for a BBQ to kick-off our 2005 Virginia campaign! We’ll be back in DC by 8 PM, but feel free to head back earlier if you have evening plans.

We know, we know…. Why go to Virginia?

We’re all aware that the country is going in a disturbing direction. To bring about the changes that will improve our country in the decades ahead, we must secure blue victories nationwide, and especially in our own backyard.

  • Four years ago, Democrat Mark Warner did what people said couldn’t be done and won the governor’s seat. Over his term, he has won national acclaim for his responsible fiscal management and his ability to win legislative compromises across party lines. The 2005 governor’s race is an unrivaled opportunity for us to solidify and build on blue gains in a Southern state that has been red in recent years. This race is being closely watched by both conservative and progressive experts nationwide.
  • Fairfax County, with more than a million people and a mix of inside-the-Beltway liberal-leaning and outside-the-Beltway conservative-leaning areas, is a key element to winning the VA races. No governor in modern times has won Virginia without winning Fairfax. Fairfax’s close proximity to DC makes it ideal for an effective NEXT campaign.
  • The outcome of the governor’s race has direct implications for the upcoming Congressional and Presidential elections. In 2004, Kerry won Fairfax County–the first time a Democratic candidate for president has won the county in the last 40 years. We have a chance to continue the blue trend, but we will have to work for it.

Why should YOU go to Virginia on the 25th?

  • You don’t have to wake up early!! (although we know you are nostalgic for those 9 AM bus rides)
  • You get a new chance to feel like you are actually doing something more than just complaining about the current state of politics. Yeah, we lost the first battle, but c’mon, it ain’t over ’til it’s over!
  • There is a GREAT BBQ following the canvassing. Join NEXT after your hard work for food, drinks, and good music.
  • Great experience: the work you do this summer can help you in your own career and prepare you for the 2008 Presidential election. Canvassing develops great communications and community-development skills- a plus for your resume!

Join us Saturday, June 25th as we travel to Vienna for a day of knocking, talking, and making change.

For more information about the candidates and the 2005 race in general, visit these sites:

And before the canvass: Bruce Hornsby at the Strathmore

Come join fellow NEXTers and others for an amazing solo performance by Grammy Award-winning Bruce Hornsby at a benefit concert for ADA Watch and the National Coalition for Disability Rights. There will also be a special performance by Sweet Honey In the Rock. Tuesday, June 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore. Click here: Strathmore - Special Notice

Paid for by NEXT PAC Virginia. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

Other sites for those interested in helping turn Virginia blue:

Those involved in Virginia campaigning, please add your own suggestions in the comments.

I grew up in Virginia, and all my immediate family still live there (and voted for Kerry), so I’m not willing to abandon it to the forces of Republicanism forever. It’s true that Virginia is not Maryland, but it’s not Utah either. So this is no doubt the first in an irregular series of posts about opportunities to help the Democrats in Virginia that will be appearing here between now and the election in November. With luck, we’ll have some people involved with the campaigns writing some of them.


  1. “We know, we know…. Why go to Virginia?”

    What kinda snark is that? Why is NEXT hatin’ on Virginia? I may just be an oversensitive Va. native, but honestly, it is unbelievable how some D.C. types act like NoVa is some backwoods hellhole, impossible to reach.

    —Jill • 7:21 pm

  2. [NEXT member] sorry it came off that way, Jill, that wasn’t the interpretation intended! i’m from Mississippi originally so i’m pretty sensitive myself about geographical mis-labelling :) we were just trying to address the question a lot of DC’ers might reasonably have, something like: “sure i spent two weeks in Ohio for the *presidential* election, but why would i spend my time on *this* local election in a state that i don’t even live in?” In the email we explaine exactly why by describing the elements that are causing the results of the Virginia 2005 governor’s race to carry major implications for democratic/progressive strategy in ‘red’ states over the next three years.

    —Ellen • 7:39 pm, June 20

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