Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wrapping up the 10th District

Well, I'm still not entirely sure what to make of the results of the 10th Congressional District's special election. Paul Broun's showing was, quite frankly, nothing less of stunning and something that both Democrats and Republicans never considered.

In hindsight, James Marlow should have focused his fire on wearing down Broun rather than criticize Whitehead who merely needed voters in Columbia County to show up and give him the necessary cushion to take first place. But, of course, hindsight is always 20/20, and just Monday no one thought Broun was going to be a factor at all.

Still, he picked up decisive wins in Oglethorpe, Morgan, Jackson and Oconee counties which, outside of the victory in the latter, were pretty surprising (though even the size and strength of his win there caught me off-guard). And he also ran strong in Augusta-Richmond County, probably due to the medical establishment in that community and his ties to it.

Of course, when you've been campaigning long before your potential predecessor even passed away, you can probably build up a good network of support.

Marlow, however, was hurt primarily by two factors ...

- The consolidation of support behind Broun. Many folks, myself included, felt Broun, Bill Greene and Nate Pulliam would split the remainder of the conservative vote and Marlow would be able to snag 25 percent and make the runoff.

- The unexpectedly strong showing from not only Evita Paschall, who tallied close to 1,500 votes in McDuffie, Richmond and Columbia counties, but also Denise Freeman who picked up 400-plus votes in Athens-Clarke County. If Marlow gets half of those votes, particularly in District One which gave good support to Freeman, then he wins by a 100 or so votes, rather than by on the short end of 115.

So, barring a turnaround in a possible recount, we have Whitehead - an establishment candidate with tons of money in his coffers who is also fairly light on ideas and know-how - vs. Broun - a well-meaning fella who is so unabashedly conservative, his ideology is rather arcane.


Blogger hillary said...

So maybe the lesson is that the Democrats should think about supporting someone in the district who's not a white dude? I ended up voting for Marlow after listening to the clips from the debate on the ABH website, but even if you acknowledge that you need to run a moderate to conservative Dem in the 10th to have a shot even at a runoff, there's nothing that says it has to be a white guy.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marlow did not even campaign once in Oconee County, an unforgivable sin considering Broun's dad was a Democrat and many residents over 65 probably voted for Dr. Broun regardless of affiliation. Also the Oconee County Democratic Committee did not do anything to arrange a meet and greet with Marlow, get out the vote, candidate's forum, signs, or anything at all. Simply an atrocious performance on both accounts.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Mike-El said...

We should've seen this coming...rather than spending the last month parrotting the "Broun's winning the yard sign war but not much else" conventional wisdom. Those yard signs do usually indicate someone in the house who plans on voting for the guy. I can't say I'm that surprised. Broun freaking carpet-bombed us over here on the east side with signage.

10:29 AM  

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