SEARCH BLOG: GOVERNMENT
Some will say it is a backlash victory for the people against the oppression of an ever-growing federal government. Some will say it is a victory for the "little guy" against the system that has brought unemployment and financial ruin to millions.
I'm more inclined to think that the answer is somewhat more mundane.
The Republican Party was running three candidates with a long history of politics... call it public service. A fourth candidate was a distant long shot. The fifth candidate was a successful businessman who had sufficient funds to tell his story, but was not part of the "establishment." On the Democratic Party side, there were two candidates fairly equally divided in the pre-election surveys. One was a politician from the state legislature and the other the mayor of the state's capital city.
The three Republican "career politicians" spent most of their effort taking pot shots at each other. The fourth candidate didn't have the money or the exposure to be a serious contender. The "dark horse" businessman candidate went about establishing himself as a fiscally-responsible business leader who was not beholden to anyone... he even self-financed his media ads.
As the efforts heated the battle among the three "career" Republicans, the "dark horse" realized that he was in a position to win simply by achieving a slight edge... not even a majority... in the voting. So, he appealed to independents and Democrats [who could vote for candidates in either party] to vote for him. Whether or not this crossover voting was the critical strategy, the "dark horse," Rick Snyder, eventually garnered about 36% of the total Republican votes. His two strongest conservative opponents split 50%, which was an indication that Snyder was not a first choice among most Republicans.
On the Democratic Party side, the "career" state politician lost out to the "career" city politician. It may have been that Mayor Virg Bernero was seen as an "outsider" with regard to state politics and was chosen over Andy Dillon who was consider "part of the problem."
It may also be that Rick Synder's appeal to independents and Democrats was successful enough to pull sufficient votes to gain the Republican nomination while taking sufficient votes from Andy Dillon to allow Virg Bernero to win.
That's speculation, of course, but when you look at the vote totals in a state that is traditionally Democratic Party oriented, you suspect that scenario might be the case [source: The Detroit News]
Governor - Dem Primary
Michigan - 5732 of 5732 Precincts Reporting - 100%
|Governor - GOP Primary|
|Michigan - 5732 of 5732 Precincts Reporting - 100%|
The Republican candidates... in total... received about twice as many votes as the Democratic Party candidates. That's a pretty good indication that Rick Synder's strategy was very successful at drawing non-Republican voters and eliminating the more centrist Democratic Party candidate.
What does that mean for November? The Democratic Party is faced with trying to elect a left-wing governor while the conservative Republicans are caught between the choice of a centrist Republican [who will be called a RINO] or looking for a third choice... perhaps Libertarian. If Republicans do not vote for Synder, then Bernero will win and the small minority of staunch left-wing voters will snatch an improbable victory from the jaws of defeat.
It's all game theory.
In case you think this could not have been predicted, here was last Sunday's post:
SEARCH BLOG: POLITICS
I find it fascinating to watch how candidates for a position who are aligned in their thinking about 90% will tear each other to figurative shreds in order to gain an advantage with voters. What better example than this at Right Michigan? Do these same Republicans remember the results when this played out on the national stage in 2008?