After about six hours of sleep, I’m up and back at it again (some of you folks may think that 6 hours is really a “full night’s sleep,” but I’m a pregnant lady who generally needs about 9 hours a night…I’m kind of hating life this morning!). I think my head is clear enough for a bit of analysis.

The big story this morning is, of course, the upset in the First Congressional District. I’ve predicted all along that Davis would carry the day, but I started hearing (or, reading, as it were) a buzz a couple of days ago that Roe may have more support around the district than most of us thought. Roe’s radio ads certainly wanted to give this impression, with one ad featuring “callers/supporters” from Kingsport, Johnson City, Rogersville, and elsewhere. How did it happen? I have a couple of theories.

First, Roe ran almost primarily – at least over the last several weeks – on “Davis took money from big oil.” With gas prices only starting to drop a bit this week, voters still have energy cost on their minds and don’t want to vote for anyone who appears to be in the pocket of the oil companies. Davis made himself an easy target in this regard, and Roe capitalized on it. Since many people were also already disappointed with Davis’ performance in Washington, the timing was just too perfect for Roe to take that one big issue and make it the nail in Davis’ coffin.

Second – and this is from a political insider’s perspective, not necessarily your average voter – Davis ran a pitiful campaign. There’s a lot that goes in to a campaign, not the least of which is a grassroots effort, which, basically, “keeps the natives happy.” A candidate can’t run a campaign on his own or merely with a slick campaign staff, he needs folks who know folks talking to their friends and neighbors about what a “great guy” candidate “x” really is. Davis was lacking this during this race, while Roe shined in the grassroots department. I heard far more people talking about how much they just “love” Dr. Roe – my doctors were wearing Roe pins and there were lots of people talking about him as a friend. Davis, in the eyes of the voting public, became “that politician.”

So, my initial predictions were dead wrong, and here are the numbers:

Phil Roe 25,918

David Davis 25,458

On the Democratic side of the First Congressional District, Rob Russel carried the day with 67% of the vote.

In Washington County’s Seventh State House District, Matthew Hill easily beat Todd Smith to keep his seat in the State House. I talked to Matthew late last night and, while he was thrilled with his victory (by the largest margin to date), he was disappointed in his friends’ losses. Both David Davis and Jerome Cochran lost last night, making Hill a lonely guy in East Tennessee politics.

In the Fourth District, Kent Williams hung on to his seat, beating out Jerome Cochran by a margin of 65% to 35%. No offense to Carter Countians but, as folks have been pointing out in the comment sections, they also voted in favor of a tax increase. This indicates what kind of geniuses came out to the polls yesterday. I guess a lot of Carter County natives were duped by what I like to call “The Simpsons Effect,” in which people yell, “But what about the CHILDREN?!?” and citizens lose all sense of reason.

For Washington County Commission, Greg Matherly beat out James Reeves, so watch your back pockets. Matherly voted in favor of the wheel tax every chance he got, and I’m certain he’ll do it again if given the opportunity.

For full election results, check out WCYB.

Advertisements