Initial response: relief! We swept again as in 2010. Thank God.
In 2010, the Republican sweep was seen as an oddity and an outcome of a fraudulent system by the Democrats. They huffed and puffed for months that the vote was tampered with, went to court and lost there, too. So what will they blame the loss on this time?
Voter fraud again? They’ll probably try that to some extent, even though federal monitors were brought in to oversee. ID cards? That one will be used from now until the end of time by Democrats who believe, essentially, that anyone anywhere should be able to vote at any time. (Watch for a push for voting on the internet – a disaster.)
Intimidation? Did I miss any White Panthers standing guard with baseball bats at polling places? The Republican majority Election Commission? As long as Republicans are in charge in our state, that one will be tried. And some will believe it. Sorry, to the victor belong the spoils, that’s how politics works.
Bad weather? We did have a storm pop up in the afternoon that might have derailed voters. However, the rest of the day – and the two weeks of early voting before it – was nice enough to get anyone who cared in the slightest to go to their neighborhood poll.
The media against them? Democrats try this even though it is ludicrous. The Commercial Appeal, for example, practically begged the Democrats to do a little better job. Before early voting closed, the CA ran a story about how the Democrats were not coming out as strong as they should. It was practically a warning sign to them to get the vote out. If you look at editorials, too, you find that the pro Democrat side always got boosts.
Then there was this morning’s headline: “Luttrell Sails, Weirich Prevails” with the subhead “Democratic crossovers boost GOP.” That reflects how the media is on their side, too; it wasn’t that Republicans had the better candidates; it’s that their voters didn’t come through for them. Sob!
If you were watching the Twitter feed last night you would have seen how CA reporter Kyle Veazey had a moment of wishful thinking: “Splitting results by EV and today is interesting. Dems either turned out huge today, or the precincts reporting are in D territories.” He also tweeted hopefully “Big batch of precincts just dropped. Margins stay about the same in mayor/DA, but numbers tightening in Criminal, Probate clerks.”
Will the Dems now turn on their Shelby Democrat Chairman and pin him for the loss? Bryan Carson didn’t have a good strategy. The party was divided over one group’s desire for a predominantly black slate, despite the merit of the candidates. Then there was the poor choice of drafting Joe Brown, who turned off independents and even some Democrats. Brown had a problem with the law and Carson got hauled in jail, too. Not exactly a shining example of political leadership there.
Other thoughts. The retention of the Supreme Court justices sailed through and that was perhaps a bright spot for Democrats. The state GOP was not unified in this issue, with Haslam opposed to Lt. Gov. Ramsey’s efforts to oust them. The opposition to the retentions did not mobilize well or fast enough. The Commercial Appeal and other media backed the judges, even to the point of censoring State Senator Brian Kelsey from expressing his thoughts in an op ed. They did it early and they did it repeatedly.
Proof that they were too late to the issue I saw personally. Someone had been in touch with me about attending our Midtown Republican meeting to explain the opposition to the justices. He had to cancel that, but promised he’d Fed Ex some info to me. It arrived yesterday, one hour before the polls closed. Come on! You can do better than that. They should have been on this three months ago.
Glad to see our Midtown judges won their races, even though Channel 5 appeared to put Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael’s face up as the Democrat primary gubernatorial winner, Charlie Brown. Their vote totals lagged behind other outlets, too. They were reporting at 10 p.m. with 30% of the vote in when the Election Commission totals already were at 65% and up and Channel 3 up to date. They were so focused on the Ophelia Ford/Lee Harris and Cohen/Wilkins races that this morning’s reporting on the mayor and DA had to wait til they waded through that. Whatever happened to facts?
We all owe a big thank you to those who labored so hard behind the scenes, in particular Chairman Joy, Kim Perry, Lang Wiseman, and Peggy Larkin. I hope they will take some well deserved time off soon.