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Tags: Dan Maes

Darn You, Third Parties!



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Off the top of my (very groggy) head, I cannot think of too many cases where a Democrat lost a winnable race because of too many left-of-center votes drifting to a liberal third party, other than Ralph Nader’s role in the 2000 presidential election.

Last night, a withdrawn third-party bid ended up costing Republicans at least one key victory. I’m starting to think the New York 23rd district is cursed. Doug Hoffman, Conservative-party candidate, inspiring figure of 2009′s special election, made a remarkably mature decision to drop his Conservative bid this year and back the Republican, Matt Doheny. Last night, 6 percent of the district voted for Hoffman, even though he had withdrawn. Democrat Bill Owens is ahead by 2.4 percent.

In Oregon, Republican Chris Dudley is hanging on in the governor’s race; his 1.1 percent lead is less than the share of the vote that went to the Constitution-party candidate (1.4 percent) and the Libertarian-party candidate (1.3 percent).

Harry Reid will win reelection with 50.2 percent of the vote, but Sharron Angle only won 44.6 percent.

Tim Cahill cost Charlie Baker his shot at the Massachusetts governorship.

In Indiana, one of the cycle’s promising Republicans, Jackie Walorski, has fallen short by 1.4 percent while the Libertarian candidate took 5 percent.

Massachusetts Republicans are bummed this morning. In the 10th district, Democrat Bill Keating is going to win with a mere 46.9 percent of the vote.

In Rhode Island’s 1st district, a lot of Democrats worried about their man David Ciciline; he won 50.6 percent of the vote but is six points ahead of John Loughlin.

In Colorado’s governor’s race, we saw a strange reversal: the surprising 11 percent who backed Republican Dan Maes probably cost conservative independent Tom Tancredo a victory, or at least a chance to take Democrat John Hickenlooper down to the wire.

Late in this cycle, we saw desperate Democrats doing everything they could to promote little-known third-party options. Sometimes it didn’t work (Alan Grayson, Tom Perriello). But clearly the Democrats will go back to this option, time and again, until right-of-center voters realize that if you want to throw out an entrenched liberal Democrat incumbent, there is only one real option. Every vote has to be earned, but sometimes you have to be willing to take someone less than ideal if you want to throw a bum out.

UPDATE: Looks like two more near-misses for the GOP in Arizona, where the Democrat’s margin of victory will be smaller than the Libertarian Party candidate’s share of the vote.

Again, it’s a free country. But when you’re voting in a race that is neck-and-neck between Bad and Less Bad and your preferred candidate, Ideal, is in single digits, you’re not going to see Ideal suddenly leap ahead in a three-way race on the last day. If you want to beat Bad, you may have to hold your nose and vote for Less Bad.

(Many fans of Ruth McClung and Jesse Kelly will bristle at the notion that they represent mere “less bad.”)

Tags: Chris Dudley , Dan Maes , Doug Hoffman , Jackie Walorski , John Loughlin , Matt Doheny

Tancredomentum!



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Third-party candidate and former Republican Tom Tancredo is within three in Colorado’s governor’s race.

Hickenlooper’s the most popular candidate for governor, with a 51/41 approval rating. But his support has been stuck in the 47-48% range since before the primary. When Tancredo and Maes were splitting the vote relatively evenly it looked like that would be enough but as Maes’ support continues to dwindle to closer to zero Hickenlooper all the sudden [sic] looks extremely vulnerable. Voters in the state have warmed up to Tancredo on a personal level as the campaign has progressed. In early August his favorability was an extremely negative 27/50 spread, but he’s now on slightly positive ground at 45/44.

Darn it, Hickenlooper, you’re going to cost me a Ruth’s Chris steak.

By the way, call me crazy, but I have a hard time believing that an electorate angry enough to put Tancredo close to the governor’s mansion is going to keep incumbent Democratic senator Michael Bennet.

Tags: Dan Maes , John Hickenlooper , Tom Tancredo

Some Rocky Campaigns Up in Those Rocky Mountains



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Daddy duties interfered with the usual late-night primary-results blogging, but you guys had Battle 10 on the case.

You think you’re having a rough morning? Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff sold his house in Denver in order to finance a late round of ads in his Senate primary . . . only to finish with 46 percent. He’s single, so there’s no awkward breakfast conversation with a Mrs. Romanoff this morning.

Appointed incumbent Democrat Michael Bennet wins, so he can continue to run against Washington. He will take on Ken Buck, who won a hard-fought race against Jane Norton. I expect the Bennet campaign will do everything it can to make this race about one issue: high heels. Fairly or not, Buck off-the-cuff seemed to insinuate that “I don’t wear high heels” was a reason to vote for him, and the Democrats will make sure that comment gets before every woman in Colorado. (One other complication from that remark? Men tend to like women who wear high heels!) Having said that, Bennet enters the general election with a job-approval rating in the sterling mid-30s.

Scott McInnis and Dan Maes battled relentlessly in an exceptionally hard-fought contest to not be the GOP gubernatorial nominee, but in the end, Maes’s suggestion that a Denver bike program represented a United Nations plot — and willingness to go on MSNBC to discuss the idea before an incredulous anchor! — just wasn’t enough when matched up against McInnis’s admission that he used part of a judge’s work for a series of essays on water rights that the gubernatorial candidate published without crediting it, a mistake he called unacceptable and inexcusable, but also unintentional. (Initially blaming the staff was a nice touch.) As you probably guessed, Maes will be an underdog against the Democratic nominee, Denver mayor Hickenlooper.

Tags: Dan Maes , John Hickenlooper , Ken Buck , Michael Bennet , Scott McInnis

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