Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Transportation/Growth -- a Key to Tim Kaine's Victory

This insta-analysis comes from Stewart Schwartz and Laura Olson at the Coalition for Smarter Growth:

Growth Issues Swing Gubernatorial Race

In the traffic clogged suburbs of Northern Virginia, Tim Kaine hit a chord with voters that allowed him some historic victories.

Fairfax: Kaine won by a 22% margin, much larger than Byrne, who is from Fairfax, Deeds or Warner, a Northern Virginian four years ago (Warner won with 10% margin in 2001)

Loudoun: Kaine won Loudoun as did McDonnel for A ttorney General – but Kaine won by a much larger margin. (5.5% vs. 1.5%) Warner lost Loudoun by 6.5% four years ago.

Prince William: Voters elected Kaine, Bolling and McDonnel for their statewide ticket. Kaine was the only Democrat to win out of 8 races on the ballot. Warner lost PRince William by 4.5% in 2001.

The Prince William results are one of the clearest to show that Kaine’s victory was not about national politics, or party politics, but that he managed to tap into resident opinions about HOW to deal with impacts of poorly planned development and the traffic, school crowding and other issues it creates.

All 3 candidates for Governor talked about transportation issues, but Kaine hit a chord with voters when he linked transportation solutions to land use and growth issues. For five years polls have show that Northern Virginia residents believe better managing growth is the best way to deal with traffic problems. This year, they had the choice of a gubernatorial candidate who focused on: more money for transportation, general fund for transportation or managing growth to reduce traffic, and they chose the third.

In his speech on Tuesday night, Kaine highlighted four items in his "platform for the future". The second was: "Tackle our transportation problems through restoring trust in the system and preventing runaway development from clogging up our roads and ruining our beautiful landscapes."

The only thing that I would add would be to take note of Russ Potts' dismal, two-percent showing. His No. One issue -- raising $2 billion in taxes to fund more transportation projects -- obviously went NOWHERE.


At 11:24 AM, Blogger Toomanytaxes said...

Note that the Washington Post, in an editorial, is already urging Tim Kaine to break his promise to veto transportation tax increases without a constitutional amendment protecting the transportation fund from future raids by the State. I would hope (and do believe) that Kaine has greater character than that.

I also think that Tim Kaine's campaign pledge to tie land use to transportation won his election, even though this is already the law today. I again hope that he will be willing to face the lions, many of whom contributed heavily to his campaign, to address the issue of adequate public facilities and growth.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Steve Haner said...

Gee, Jim, a few days ago you were convinced that the pressing issue for those suburban voters was the national security and crime threat from gangs of illegal alien day laborers. Now the key issue was a pledged "adequate public facilities" law? It was an issue with appeal in high-growth localities, but not the only one.

I posted this on Bacon's Rebellion, too, and would invite anyone to read for themselves what Kaine said when he met with Virginians for Better Transportation back around Labor Day. I'm sure he is talking about this today with the media and we'll see more soon, but I wouldn't presume to predict what he is going to propose.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Ray Hyde said...

Transportation and grrowth are no doubt hot button issues. But Kaine did poorly in Fauquier County, which is nationally know for its growth management initiatives.

At 2:08 PM, Blogger Toomanytaxes said...

Kaine won big in some Great Falls and McLean precincts that just don't vote Democratic and that did not vote for Warner. Many people in these districts are well aware that Mark Warner's tax and spending plan gave very little to, and took much from, Fairfax County. They were not fooled by the "Mark Warner saved Virginia for all of us" argument, as they knew he did it at NoVA's expense, returning but pennies on the dollar.

Rather, Kaine's pledge to tie growth to transportation infrastructure turned a large number of GOP votes in his favor. This was especially true after Kilgore opposed the proposal as being anti-business. Kilgore lost a great deal of votes with that miscue. Voters in NoVA no longer associate "pro-business" and "pro-developer" as being related concepts. Tim Kaine found a dog that hunts well with Republican voters in NoVA.

I'm not arguing that Kaine would lost NoVA without this pledge, but it turned a much tighter race into a blowout.

The real question in Fairfax County is: Whether any current member of the Board of Supervisors understand the real message of this election? If it holds the course, few current members will return in 2008.


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