Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Everyone's Got a Theory

Everyone's got a theory as to why mystery man Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in South Carolina. It is quite mysterious how a man who never gave a speech, had no campaign web site, and has $114 in his campaign account could have won the primary -- and pretty handily, too, by 100,000 votes to 70,000 (see page 9 of the results).

But of all the theories, the one that I find most implausible is that somehow the Republicans engineered the result by planting him in the Democratic primary and having large numbers of Republicans cross over and vote for him to sabotage the Democrats' chances in the general election. I suppose it's theoretically possible, because South Carolina's primaries are "open" -- voters can choose which party's primary to vote in -- but it's not the kind of thing you can engineer secretly. To get 100,000 voters to vote for someone nobody's ever heard of requires some notice and planning. You can't just send a secret e-mail to all of the state's Republicans. Someone would spill it. Back in the 2008 presidential primaries, Rush Limbaugh advised Republicans to cross over and vote for Hilary Clinton to make life more difficult for the Democrats (which turned out to be bad advice -- it ended up helping Obama), but he didn't even try to keep it secret.

It's possible that Greene is somebody's plant -- it is a little hard to understand how a man who's being represented by a public defender in a criminal case came up with over $10,000 for the filing fee -- but that still doesn't explain what moved over 100,000 South Carolinians to vote for him.

So I would check into the voting machines (that's another theory), but I wouldn't blame cross-over Republicans.

Oh, and did anyone check whether Vic Rawl, the apparently more serious Democratic candidate, ran a lame campaign?

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