Thursday, March 22, 2018

Corbett Challenged

Semi random thoughts on the challenge to Republican governor candidate Ron Corbett's nomination papers:

Not an accident. Petition challenger and host of "The Iowa Republican" site Craig Robinson is not a Random Some Dude Blogger, he's seriously connected in Iowa Republican politics.  Remember, Craig is the one who broke the Bruce Braley "Iowa farmer who's not a lawyer chairing Judiciary" video - and not by accident on the same day Joni Ernst released the Hog Castration ad.

(Give Braley credit: he called that one right!)

Team Reynolds does not mess around. They want to teach Corbett a lesson for DARING to primary her. Corbett's GOP bona fides are already under challenge because he worked with Democrats and labor while mayor of Cedar Rapids. This is a message: You'll never eat lunch in this party again.

Of course, Corbett made it easy. He has been up and running for a year and handed in a barely adequate petition at the last second, without even the excuse of a felonious campaign manager that Teresa Greenfield had.

One side effect is: this makes the GOP side of the primary ballot even more of a nothing burger in Johnson County, so more voters will cross over for hot Democratic primaries for county supervisor and open Senate District 37.  That hurts the congressional campaign of Coralville's anti-Trump libertarian Christopher Peters, which benefits Ginny Caligiuri -who is from Osceola, just like Reynolds.

Of course I would always bet on a social conservative over a libertarian in a GOP primary. And the right to lose to Dave Loebsack not much of a prize, or much of a draw for voters. In fairness, my friend Dave has his own nomination papers problems once, in his first run in 2006 when he had to go to Plan B and have a convention. But at the time he was a Some Dude, not a former Iowa House speaker and mayor of the second largest city in state

Nomination papers are harder to get done in a governor year because the bar is higher. It's based on a percentage of the presidential vote, so the GOP bar was raised to the highest level in ages because of Trump winning the state.

The Democrats had the benefit of their highest off year caucus turnout ever for folks to collect signatures. I have a couple personal rules about signing nomination papers. I only sign for the people I'm actually supporting - but many Dems went down the line and signed everyone's papers.

My other rule is relevant here: I only sign on caucus night. That way I'm certain I'm not doubling up anyone - which was the problem Corbett had, people signing twice.

The Republicans had much lower caucus turnout than Democrats, and also had lower turnout than at their 2014 caucuses. Four years ago Terry Branstad was pushing people to attend as the first step of taking control of the state party organization back from the Ron Paul faction led by then-chair A.J. Spiker.

So how does an uncontested GOP governor primary - because from what Craig is showing I don't see Corbett getting through this - have on the DEMOCRATIC governor primary?

I hear the questions voters ask when they're getting ready to vote and one question I hear a lot is "do I have to vote on everything"? That gives me the sense that few crossover voters monkeywrench (the technical term is "ratf*ck") the other party's primary. They crossover to vote FOR someone, or sometimes against someone, but rarely do they vote because they think SoAndSo will be the weakest opponent in the fall

I also hear people ask to vote and they say what they think the election is about. Last fall it was "School bond" or "school tax" instead of "school board," for example. And in June I hear "supervisors election" or "sheriff's election" more than I hear "primary" or "governor."

In Johnson County the Democratic primary is decisive for courthouse offices, and a lot of  crossover voters just undervote the top of the ballot. In the 1998 primary we had 1000 more votes for county recorder than we did for governor.

So what about the crossovers who DO vote for governor? The handful of "ratf*ckers" will see Glasson as weakest fall opponent. Hubbell's business appeal is negated by Planned Parenthood.

No comments: