Here are some of the details of the November 4th election. Overall, the Commonwealth of Virginia voted 48.4% for Ed Gillespie and 49.1% for John Warner. After all the votes had been counted, only 16,007 votes separated the two candidates, or 0.7%.
Once again the pundits and pollsters missed the mark by a wide margin. You should remember that, when the craziness of the Presidential campaign begins in a few months.
But today, I want to share with you what Waynesboro did in the election and what it says about this historic town, nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley.
The people of Waynesboro voted 60% for Ed Gillespie and 37% for John Warner. The remaining 3% was for Libertarian Robert Sarvis. What is of particular interest is that the election was a choice between two starkly different candidates. A choice between two men with profoundly different views of the world.
Ed Gillespie was for a limited and smaller Federal government. John Warner was for an unlimited and larger Federal government.
Gillespie was for ending Obamacare. Warner was for expanding Obamacare.
Gillespie was for closing the borders. Warner was for amnesty.
Gillespie was pro-life. Warner was pro-choice.
On Election Day, Waynesboro went to the polls in numbers that equaled a Presidential election and overwhelmingly voted for Ed Gillespie. In political circles, an outcome of 60% versus 37% is aptly described as a Landslide.
Now, for the deeper meaning that we can we draw from the election.
When the people of Waynesboro flocked to the polls on Election Day, there were no ambiguities. You knew what the issues were. And you knew where the candidates stood on those issues.
The voters in my Ward were not laughing and joking that sunny Tuesday morning while they lined up to vote. Rather, there seemed to be a grim determination expressed on scores of faces. Those voters were not there for a pleasant morning airing. No, they were there for serious business.
Polls consistently note that 70% of Americans believe that the country is headed in the wrong direction. When asked by poll-takers about their perception of the future, people respond with doubt that their children will have the same opportunities that they have experienced. Many Americans seem to have lost the glorious optimism that has characterized the nation ever since its founding.
Waynesboro voted for the right Senate candidate, for all the right reasons. Most of the people of Waynesboro voted, not for themselves, but for their Country, their Commonwealth and their City.
You, Waynesboro, may think of yourselves as ordinary folks. But, on November 4th you were extraordinary.
Here is my closing thought. When you travel about town, to Martin’s or Kroger’s, to Lowe’s or Home Depot, to McDonald’s or Burger King, or to the Library or the Post Office, look around you. The people who you see are most likely just like you.
Your friends, your neighbors and those who push shopping carts up and down the aisles, believe in the same things that you do. And they are willing to vote for candidates who will do the right thing.
So, when you see Waynesboro folks as you go around town, you may nod and say “Good Morning.” But in your heart, you may say “Well done.”
Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.