- I will vote for a candidate who shows up to try to earn votes in the Southside. I do not want to vote for a candidate who takes the Southside for granted or neglects our voice. There is tradition and history in the Southside, and we deserve respect and dignity too. So a candidate who shows up to earn our votes, represents a candidate who will work for us in office. In this regard, Moran leads the pack, but McAuliffe is climbing. I have run into Moran several times in the Southside and truly appreciate that he appreciates us. Deeds, unfortunately, I have not seen down here.
- I will vote for a candidate who speaks to Southside issues. Showing up is one thing, understanding our problems is another. Southside has a unique set of problems in Virginia, from the highest unemployment rates to a generational exodus to the highest teen pregnancy rates in Virginia. We could go on and on. In this light, McAuliffe has tailored his campaign message with Southside implications, and I appreciate that. His business plan highlights Southside's role in economic recovery, and McAuliffe was the first, to my knowledge, to speak on uranium mining and pay-day lending.
- I will vote for a candidate who is running a good campaign organization. With a background in campaigning, I understand that having a good campaign organization strengthens your viability. The best campaign will help set us up for success against McDonnell's campaign. On these terms, I have been very impressed with the McAuliffe campaign's organization, strength, and professionalism. And, Aznew, a Deeds supporter, highlights some of the unfortunate, reactive flailings of the Moran campaign.
- I will vote for a candidate who helped Tom Perriello out in his congressional campaign, and logically, for the candidate who could best help with Rep. Perriello's re-election bid. Putting a year of blood, sweat, and tears into Tom's campaign, I admit my bias here. To my knowledge, McAuliffe did some fundraising for Tom, but Deeds, by far and away, expended the most political capital to garner and mobilize support for Tom, even when supporting Tom wasn't a cool thing to do.
- I will vote for a candidate in which I can relate. While the other criteria contain subjective elements, this, obviously, is premised on subjectivity, and this criterion is, admittedly, an X-factor, the unquantifiable feel-good of this list. I think it is important to give voice and ownership to this subjectivity, and, in our voting habits, rightly or wrongly, there is always the coloring of relatability with the candidate. And, this criterion is linked with the first, as a candidate who shows up increases the likelihood that you will like him/her. I have met with and talked with all three candidates, and they are all respectful and thoughtful gentleman, but with this criterion in mind, I have to admit that I am a big fan of Moran.
On this race, do you have other criteria? Or in voting in general, do you have factors that, if present, will earn your vote? Thoughts? Constructive criticism?