First, we have Claudia Tenney in New York (via Syracuse.com):
State Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney today still had not called U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, to concede her Republican primary loss Tuesday in the 22nd Congressional District.
Instead, a bitter Tenney blamed the media, the Oneida Indian Nation and national conservatives who didn’t back her earlier in the campaign for her loss to Hanna by about 1,600 votes.
“Media missed the race,” Tenney wrote in a text message this morning. “(Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray) Halbritter bought Hanna and the race. Tragic.”
She added, “My team was valiant in the face of a fraudulent and abusive campaign.”
Erick Erickson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, and Rick Santorum all supported Tenney. If I lived in the district there’s a very good chance I would’ve voted for her. That still doesn’t make her whining acceptable. She lost and should be classier in defeat than she has been.
We haven’t conceded and we’re not going to concede right now. We’re going to investigate.
Naturally sometimes it’s difficult to contest an election, obviously, but we do know that 35,000 Democrats crossed over. And we know many of those Democrats did vote in the Democratic primary just three weeks ago which makes it illegal.
We likewise know that we have a statute, a law in our state that says you cannot participate in a primary unless you intend to support that candidate. And we know good and well that these 35,000 democrats have no intention to do that. They’ll be voting for Travis Childers in November. We know that. They know that. And so that makes their actions illegal.
So we’re going to be fighting this.
Other than him saying he’s “certain” that laws were broken, I’d have to see some actual evidence to believe that.
Sean Hannity, who also endorsed McDaniel, said today he wouldn’t vote for Cochran in November if he lived in the Magnolia State:
“If I was in Mississippi I would not and could not in good conscience vote for Thad Cochran after the way this campaign was run,” he said. “And I know many of you are gonna say, ‘but Hannity, that means we put the seat at risk for a Democrat.’”
“Well what is Thad Cochran?” he asked. “He ran as a Democrat. He ran as somebody who hates the Tea Party. He ran as somebody who hates conservatives.”
“I would not support this man,” Hannity concluded.
Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation has called on McDaniel to run as a write-in candidate in November.
Here’s what Tom Dougherty had to say on Facebook:
The strategies and tactics employed by the Cochran campaign to defeat McDaniel have existed, and been utilized in varying manners, for many decades. They are aggressive and extreme but they are lawful and can be, as seen last night, highly effective.
If they anger, annoy, distress, disturb or cause you angst then your skin is far too thin and your shoulders are much too narrow to spend time in the political arena.
Campaigning and politicking is a blood sport. It is today and has been for a couple centuries, and if you cannot accept that as fact, and acknowledge that every campaign has a winner and a loser, then get out now for you do not possess what it takes to participate in this realm at its highest levels.
Earlier in the day Dougherty blogged about the race. Here are some excerpts:
I will not regurgitate those points here, and will simply cut to the heart of the matter from a political strategist perspective – Chris McDaniel lost because he was out “got” and outplayed, period.
Ask any campaign operative or strategist what their job is and, if they know what they’re doing, you will hear an answer very much like, “I don’t make the rules but my job is to win within the rules, regardless of what they are.”
That is exactly what Thad Cochran’s campaign did, and it is why Chris McDaniel’s camp lost.
So when the diatribe is stripped away, and the whining is stifled, the bottom line is Chris McDaniel had every opportunity to reach out to the very same voters he knew Thad Cochran was targeting but he didn’t, and that was fatal.
I agree wholeheartedly with Dougherty’s sentiments. I also think that if McDaniel somehow successfully challenges the results and becomes the nominee, I would expect the Cochran camp to deal with it and get behind him for the November election as well.
There’s a third race I heard of similar behavior. An unnamed, unsuccessful primary candidate for governor (who supposedly was the only one who could win in November) in a state I won’t name was rumored to be considering a write-in campaign, but it appears that won’t be happening now.
I lived in an open primary state for the first 32 years of my life, so I’m used to the facts of life in an open primary state when it comes to electoral politics. I even voted in some local Democratic primaries in my home county in South Carolina when it was Yellow Dog Democrat territory and there were no primaries on the Republican side. I’d much prefer it that way to the closed primary system here in Maryland (which when coupled with the central committee system helps the Democrats keep a stranglehold on power.)
All labels are transitory in a state where you self-identify by choosing to vote in a primary and the direct mail and other targeting has traditionally been done by frequency and recent votes in a particular party’s primary. I think the data will show that the true hardcore partisans won’t cross over to vote in the other party’s primary. The people who are doing that usually aren’t that strong of a partisan in the first place. In the case of Mississippi, I’d say that Democrats might want to go vote for McDaniel because they have he perception he’d be easier to beat in November. That being said, instead of complaining about open primaries being the reason for a loss – maybe people should work to close the primaries if they think that’s best.
I’ve also chastised people who have gotten angry about candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin, and Richard Mourdock getting the party nominations in their races before. If their opponents couldn’t beat them in the primary, they likely had little chance to win in November themselves.
If you want to be a part of a political party and want candidates who espouses the principles you agree with to be that party’s nominee, then work your tail off, donate money, and do all you can to legally make sure your candidate wins. Then, if you’re really interested in that party you will support the nominee in November. Otherwise, you leave the party and go to another one or start your own. You have the right to complain all you want about anything at anytime, but others have a right to call you out on it as well.
Think strategically instead of tactically sometimes. It’s a big picture and you can make incremental gains to achieve your goals. That’s the way all the successful movements have achieved their goal. I know I’ll be called a RINO by some for this, but I don’t really care. The people who know me know I’m anything but that.
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