Candidate forums, mail & straw polls (or ICYMI: Don’t rely on negative advertising)

Vote_White_BlackMy latest op-ed appeared in The Virginian-Pilot Thursday. Although there was an overflow crowd for last night’s candidates’ forum, at 200+ folks, it was just a fraction of the number of people who will be voting. (Which is why I spent way too much time getting the video of it posted.) Lots of folks will rely on the mail they receive, newspaper reports and straw poll results as the basis for their decision-making.

There’s a whole lot more information out there. (And if I were just relying on mail, I’d know nothing about Ralph Northam or Justin Fairfax, because I’ve gotten none from them. In fact, I’ve not even received an email from Fairfax. UPDATE: Got a mail piece from Fairfax today.)

But perhaps the most important thing that we, as voters, can do, is to understand the job that the candidates are seeking. Once we do that, we can then try to figure out which candidate we think is the best fit for the job. As a candidate, I considered it part of my job to inform the voters about the job I was seeking. It’s far too easy to talk about things that are outside of the job description just to score cheap political points. (Sometimes, I literally laugh out loud at the preposterous statements I get – mostly via email – from candidates. It’s like they don’t have a clue about the job they are seeking.)

I’ve previously written about the LG’s position, because, as I pointed out in my op-ed, I think it is the most critical race in Virginia this year. But there are other races on the ballot (to find out what’s on your ballot, visit ) and with the primary election Tuesday, time is really short to figure out who you would like to see occupy these positions.

Tomorrow, I’m heading to the Norfolk Republican Party’s Mass Meeting to see their nominees, none of which will be on Tuesday’s ballot but will be on the November ballot. I try to be as fully informed a voter as I can be – and that means checking out all of the candidates who wish to represent me.

My column appears in The Virginian-Pilot every week, usually on Thursdays. You can see the columns as they are published here, or navigate to them from the homepage by clicking on Opinion and then choosing my name at the bottom of the dropdown list. You can also see the columns by liking my Facebook page. Although my column appears weekly, I am not and have never been an employee of The Virginian-Pilot.


4 thoughts on “Candidate forums, mail & straw polls (or ICYMI: Don’t rely on negative advertising)

  1. Vivian,
    I do appreciate all of your efforts to keep voters educated and informed about elections in particular but also on a vast array of topics. Your energy tires me out. Thanks and keep it up!

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