Contrarian Slate blogger Mickey Kaus never expected to win his campaign
for California's Democratic
primary against popular 18-year incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer. But he
probably hoped to do a little better than this: Kaus secured 5.3 percent
of the vote
against Boxer's 80.5 percent. Second place went to relative unknown Brian
Quintana, a film producer. What exactly can we learn--if anything--from
this devastating defeat?
- Fewer Votes Than Orly Taitz The
Washington Post's David Weigel kept a running comparison of
the votes reported for Mickey Kaus versus those reported for "birther
queen" and California Secretary of State long-shot candidate Orly Taitz.
Weigel labeled his updated "#vanitycandidatesmackdown." His last, at about midnight Eastern time: "Kaus: 29,684 -- Taitz: 118,316"
Even Win 'Protest Votes' The New Republic's Jonathan Chait writes, "In
low-turnout elections where the outcome is a foregone conclusion, it's
not uncommon for a non-trivial share of voters to cast some kind of
protest vote. Some of them will vote for Mickey Mouse. California
Democrats got the next best thing -- a chance to vote for Mickey Kaus."
Chait surveys past California Democratic Senate primaries and found that
Kaus actually got less than the usual amount of such "protest votes."
He sighs, "I think Kaus peaked too soon."
- Kaus: I Sent a Clear
Message The statement from
his campaign website: "I’m a blogger. I spent about $40,000. I had
one part-time aide, a recent college grad who was prepping for his
LSATs. We had no headquarters, no pollsters, no highly paid strategists
and consultants. We had a couple of laptops and an old Volvo. And we
still ripped off more than 100,000 votes from a three term incumbent
because there is a large group of voters who are dissatisfied with the
prevailing dogma of the Democratic party. ... The pols are leading us
down a dead end. This election has shown their weakness."
Not the Point The New York Times' Janelle Brown writes, "Kaus has thrown
himself into his quixotic campaign with surprising earnestness,
undeterred by his prospects (grim) and general diagnosis (insane). He is
the first person to admit that he has absolutely no chance of becoming
California’s next Senator, but contends that this is not really the
point. He says he is running as a protest candidate in order to draw
attention to his pet issues."
- Couldn't Even 'Shake Up The
Dialogue' The Los Angeles Times' Robin Abcarian, who calls Kaus "pretty jolly for a guy
who is about to go down in flames in his first
political run," suggests that Kaus's impact is so small that he won't
even get a chance to introduce his pet issues--weaker labor unions and
tighter immigration policies--to the state-wide conversation.
- Back to Blogging? The Washington Post's David Weigel predicts, "10 bucks says failed
Senate candidate Mickey Kaus's first post-campaign blog post will mock
unions over" the Arkansas Senate race.
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