Wednesday, May 09, 2012


OK, let's admit it was a sick sort of prank. At least that would be the charitable perspective. Certainly nobody ever could take it seriously as a bid to  unseat an incumbent president. Well, let's hope not.

But given that it occurred and in view of the outcome, one must ask serious questions regarding both the election and the state of the American electorate.

Texas Inmate Challenges Bamster and Draws Big Vote

To weigh that event you must first understand what type of primary election is held in West Virginia. The state uses a combination of state convention and semi-open primary election to choose delegates for the national party convention. That means that a portion of the delegates to the national convention are chosen in a state gathering of party activists and supporters and a portion are chosen in a primary election in which a voter declares on election day their preference for party to select nominees for the offices in contention. You don't need to be a registered Democrat or Republican prior to voting. Walk in, ask for the Democratic Party ballot and do your thing.

Open format primaries offer the opportunity for cross-over voting and are subject to some level of mischief, but that potential shouldn't be over-estimated. The core voting constituency in any primary will be reasonably active and reasonably aware voters. The people who take the time to play in the game are going to have some knowledge of the issues and the candidates.

That makes this event ominous for the Messiah.

A candidate for any office from either party operates with a clear understanding that the American electorate is tripartite. There are Dems, Reps and unaffiliated, aka "independent" voters. Depending upon your state those proportions may vary but they can be generalized as thirds of the voting population. To win an election you must carry your party base and attract a significant proportion of the unaffiliated. If you can snag some of the other guy's fans from his party you've got a landslide.

When 40% of the voters in the Democratic presidential primary vote for Inmate 11593-051 against an incumbent you've got a problem. 

I know how unhappy Republicans are with the President's policies. I'm fairly confident that the unaffiliated voters who thronged the historic election of the first half-African-American president are now disenchanted or unengaged. But, how alienated are the Democratic voters?


juvat said...

Well, hell, Ed. He's only guilty of trying to extort money from a University. That's got to make him a better president than someone who's extorting money from an entire country!

FlyingBarrister said...

A lot of people don't like coal, coal companies, or coal mining, but there lives are inextricably bound to coal. When a man pretending to be a president openly states that he wants to kill the major industry in a state (like coal in WV) and ruin the lives and livelihoods attached to the industry, he is going to alienate people.

Tobacco was a big industry in NC and a lot of rural communities and the smaller cities and towns in NC were tied to it. Whether they thought they were or not, lots of people in the state were in the tobacco business. There is a lot of conservative farmers and rural folks in NC that still don't like republicans because of Reagan era farm policies and subsequent cuts.

If you adversely affect the pocket book, you will lose votes.

Dweezil Dwarftosser said...

[ Snicker ] Twenty-one percent of North Carolina DEMOCRATS chose
'None of the Above' over Obama in the Primary.