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Friday, June 02, 2006

I was wrong...somewhat

--posted by Tony Garcia on 6/02/2006

It is a bit lightening to be wrong about something that is bleak. It turns out that Shudlick was allowed to speak (where was Uldrich?). What is encouraging as well is the showing Shudlick received as well. According to Mitch Harold exceeded expectations a bit.
Mark Kennedy won the GOP Senate nomination with just under 80% of the vote in one ballot last night.

About 15% of the delegates voted for Harold Shudlick, which is about three times what I'd expected. I suspect there was a bigger protest vote from the solid right than the party's leadership expected; there's a serious strain among the delegates, I think, that is piqued (if not angry) with Kennedy over some of his moves, however tentative, to the center (Anwar being a big one). I don't think it'll translate to the general.
I am not certain how it will translate to the general. If the protest votes were simply against Kennedy then I believe those 15% will still vote in November. If the protest was against the GOP leadership or the GOP in general then I think it could translate in November...and worse. Those people at the convention on a Thursday night are the very people that MUST be energized during the General Election. There are diminishing returns if these people are upset with the GOP in general. These are the people that would not be volunteering their time and/or money, their lawns or car bumpers. These are important in turning out the vote of the moderates. Without these activists being energized you might get a bumper sticker out of them at best...no phone banking, no excitement or vehement discussions from these people.

Anyway, I thought the GOP was going to continue finding ways to "create the impression of unanimity" that they have been for the past year. They at least did put Harold on the ballot (yes, I am shocked they did that). So, for that, I was wrong.

What does trouble me is this quote from Mitch, "I suspect there was a bigger protest vote from the solid right than the party's leadership expected". Look at this one for a moment. Let's assume Mitch is right...the protest vote was bigger than the GOP leadership expected. Will they continue the course they are with Jeffers? (I know, the nominating committee did not forward her name, but will the surrogate voices continue the pap that she is another illegitimate candidate after her 15-minutes?) That course is more public and can have a more devastating impact in November.

The other side that is scary...what if the leadership had realized the protest was going to be as large as it was? Would they have done to Shudlick what some of the KvM authors and other Kennedy supporters did to Shudlick (personal attacks, rationalizing the disrespect, taking on the person instead of the issues, etc)? Fair question considering how they have been so active behind the scenes trying to silence a bigger threat in Sue Jeffers.

Yes, I was wrong that the GOP would treat Shudlick with the same lack of respect last night that they have been for months because he has the audacity to challenge the pre-ordained nominee. (At least Grams and Gutknecht were good little party members and stayed out once the GOP Chair made his endorsement last year.) Now it is time to reflect on Mitch's analysis.


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