Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Is This Democrat the Worst Candidate for Senate in History?

While everyone is going bonkers over Christine O'Donnell, let's not forget Alvin Greene, Democratic candidate for Senate in South Carolina.

Inspiring in a crazy, scary way.

No. "Worst" candidates have to at least have a shot of winning the office, at least in my definition. A guy like this hardly qualifies as an asterisk, though the egg on the face remains.

You know how I'm constantly going on about folks getting involved in their local parties, to improve the quality of candidates across the board?

Yeah, this guy is exhibit A. He's also a fair argument for primary reform.

People can't take any election for granted, because the filing fee is negligible and there is no rule that says you can't register as a member of either party. You can't just assume that your candidate is going to win.

(That electoral hubris is the real definition of the politics behind both parties, as Dem campaigns tend to focus on the political science calculus of campaigning and GOP campaigns tend to focus on the marketing aspect of of campaigning.)

There's more attention on O'Donnell because she is actually part of a larger movement and narrative. This guy stumbled into the nomination because others weren't paying attention.
"This guy stumbled into the nomination because others weren't paying attention."

Now who's marketing? This guy didn't stumble into anything. He got over 100,000 votes. That doesn't sound like a lot but it's more than any candidate got in the 2008 South Carolina Democratic Senate Primaries. It's also a larger total turnout of Democratic ballot voters than in 2004 or 2008.

And while you can register as a member of either Party, you only get one ballot so you'd have to be willing to throw away your other selections just to jump ship and vote across Party lines to knock off a single candidate. I'm sure it happens, but in reality it's more excuse-making than solid reason. Greene doesn't win by the margin he won by without a majority of primary voters in his own Party putting him there.

And for the record, the answer to your question is Walter Mondale. I think since he lost every other state in the Union in 1984 he just ran for Senate in 2002 because he wanted to complete the set.
Yes, he stumbled into it. 100,000 people, not paying attention, pushed a button because they'd never heard anything about this candidate from anyone, and everyone just made an assumption.

You know what happens when you assume, right? Well, South Carolina Democrats answered that question and then some.

It should tell you something about our politics that a ninja candidate can get 100,000 votes because of name non-recognition.

As far as registration, I'm not talking about voter registration, I'm talking about candidate registration. All you have to do is go down to your local election board during the appointed timeframe, file your paperwork and pay your fee, and check "Republican" or "Democratic."

Your name then shows up in the Party Primary, unless someone finds a reason to challenge it legally.

Try it sometime! Who knows, if this knucklehead can get 100,000 votes without doing anything, you could be the next Democratic Senatorial Nominee from Ohio.
The story of his nomination is hilarious and scary. I wouldn't call it stumble. But, it shows how little many voters pay to candidates, some said they voted for him because his name "sounded black." A little reverse racism for you. Too bad they didn't care if the guy was only semi-literate.
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