Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Strong Interest in Virginia Primary

Although today is Super Tuesday -- or Tsunami Tuesday, as some wags have called it, not to mention its alternate name, "Mardi Gras" for those more inclined toward beads and beer than ballots and bullhorns -- there seem to be plenty of voters who are looking past today's nationwide voting toward next week, when the so-called "Potomac Primary" takes place. February 12 will mark the first time that Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia all hold their presidential primaries on the same day.

I know this because of the deluge of visitors to this blog who are looking for information about Virginia's presidential primary. Of the last 4,000 recorded visitors, 1,218 (or 30.45 percent) entered through my post called "Virginia Presidential Primary FAQ," which is nothing more than a republication of a list of frequently asked questions compiled by Virginia's State Board of Elections. Yesterday's traffic ballooned with seekers of Virginia primary information.

That post is apparently easier to find than anything on the SBE's official web site. It shows up first in a Google search for "virginia presidential primary," "when is va presidential primary," and "virginia presidential primaries," second for "when is virginia presidential primary" and the similar "when is the virginia presidential primary," and only comes in behind the SBE's official site for the search term "virginia primary," when it places fifth after (in addition to the State Board of Elections) an article on Barack Obama in the D.C. Examiner, a chart about the delegate selection process on The Green Papers, and one of Dan Catalano's "Odd Dominion" columns in C-VILLE Weekly. (I can't quite fathom why this blog comes in third in an AOL search for "mike huckabee shirtless." This isn't an Abercrombie & Fitch store, after all.)

It is harder to determine if any of these information-hungry, potential primary voters are looking beyond the simple FAQ to learn about my opinions about the various candidates who will appear on the ballot -- Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rudy Giuliani (yes, he dropped out, but he's still on the Virginia GOP primary ballot), John McCain, Mitt Romney, or the aforementioned Obama, who is already running campaign commercials on local TV here in Charlottesville. (I have heard reports that McCain is also running broadcast ads, but I have not seen any of them myself. Nor have I seen the local Ron Paul Blimp above the skies of Charlottesville lately.)

I certainly invite any new visitors to linger for a while, and feel free to come back. I am sure that next Tuesday and Wednesday I will be posting news about the results of the Virginia presidential primary -- both the Democratic and Republican results -- along with highlights of the very long election day.

Remember, polls are open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 12, in the same place that you vote in a regular election. The last day to vote in person by absentee ballot is Saturday, February 9, but check with your local office of voter registration and elections for hours that voting will take place.

As for my own Super Tuesday plans, I'll be seeing the stage version of High School Musical at the National Theatre in Washington. It doesn't have Zac Efron, Corbin Bleu, or Vanessa Hudgins, but it promises to be entertaining and energetic nonetheless ... if I can survive a throbbing sea of 12- and 13-year-old girls. (Talk about Tsunami Tuesday!) But then I must survive: there's an election next week.

Update: While I was drafting this post, someone left an anonymous comment on my previous Virginia Presidential Primary FAQ article, which may explain (in part) the drive in traffic in that direction:

Thank you for your posting of a straight forward primary election FAQ! This will be the first primary election I have ever voted in in Virginia. The straight up info was quite helpful. There is much info on the internet, but little of simple facts! To find the black and white you must surf through millions of blogs, and partisan opinions and forcasts!
And thank you, Anonymous, for your kind words. It's encouragement like that that makes bloggers blog.

Update, February 11: The number of visitors to "Virginia Presidential Primary FAQ" has increased to 1,802 of the last 4,000 visitors to this blog, or 45 percent, dwarfing the next most popular post, "Shirtless and Circumcised," which only has 129 recent visitors, or 3.2 percent.

No comments: