The 2016 Missouri Primaries in Review
Will be amended as I think of more insights.
Remember what I said about four-way races being really wild and unpredictable?
When the results started rolling in statewide last night, and Eric Greitens and Josh Hawley jumped out to early leads and held them, and for the most part, didn’t relinquish them, I thought to myself that if both of them wind up winning, then it will show what a foul mood the electorate, especially this state’s Republican electorate, is in.
I was saying in the last few days that while I thought anyone could win, that I thought that Greitens was be the one who was the least likely to win, based on his novice status and for that phone call brouhaha with John Brunner late last year, the phone call made Greitens look really bad and juvenile and whiny. His winning means that nobody remembered or even paid attention to the minor scandal that was that call, that this news was more important to the media and political pros than to the voters.
And that’s why Greitens won — Precisely because he was the most novice among the four. This is his first time running for anything, and obviously, he’s never been elected to anything before. Brunner of course ran for Senate four years ago, as I well know, and Kindercare and Hanaway are or have been elected officials in the past. Greitens had the most “new” in him, and when there are no substantial policy or ideological differences among or between the candidates, then the race will turn on intangible slight marginal characteristics like the experience-novelty spectrum, or appearances, or other trivialities. At first, I thought that, like my former boss in 2000 when he first ran for and won Congress and then four years ago when he won SEN-R, Greitens had a subterranean dug deep cultural cache, that wasn’t obvious to people on the surface, but would show up on election day. However, if that was the case, I would have picked up on that some time back and seen this result coming, because I’m in the perfect position for my radar to pick up on these sorts of things. No, it wasn’t that — Greitens won precisely because his new car smell was the newest.
Geographically, Kindercare won his base of Cape Girardeau County and several surrounding counties, (and those Rush Limbaugh radio buys didn’t help him elsewhere), Brunner won in Greene County and several surrounding counties in southwest Missouri, (even though Brunner is a St. Louisan), plus a few in northern Missouri, and Hanaway didn’t win any counties, I don’t think. Every other county, Greitens won. Greitens’s best county was Dent, a county that is special to me, with an outstanding 58% in a four way race. In fact, Greitens did especially well in a belt from Fort Leonard Wood (of course he won the county where a military base is in with a majority) down to just north of Poplar Bluff, even better than he did in the rural Missouri counties he won. I think there is some sociological significance to be drawn from that, the significance is that disadvantaged working class rural whites are sticking it to the system the only way they can. Also, other than the transposition of the running order for second and third place, Jefferson County’s percentage breakdown of the four candidates was very close to the full statewide percentage breakdown, proving that something I figured out when I was in the employ of a Missouri statewide political campaign four years ago — Jefferson County is a very very good acid test for the whole state.
You’ll be amazed at the people who don’t remember that there was supposed to be a fifth major candidate in this race, and that the reason he wasn’t there is that he committed suicide a year and a half ago. Yes, I’m referring to Tom Schweich. Which means he was another one that was more important to the media than the voters, as evidenced by the fact that he is all but forgotten today. Considering how yesterday turned out, it wouldn’t have mattered even if he was alive and on this ballot, because he would have been the far and away choice of the state party establishment and the media, and at the same time running as an incumbent elected official, and those alone would have killed his candidacy. And that leads me to another thing: For weeks and weeks after Schweich’s suicide, Tony Messenger and John Danforth wonder twin activated to peddle a myth that there was some great anti-Semitic whisper campaign of bullying and eliminationism which drove him to commit suicide, and by deduction, the Missouri Republican voter electorate is a bunch of Nazis just itching at the bit to rebuild Auschwitz, until the Clayton PD detectives revealed in their final report that Schweich had been suicidal for a few years prior. When all was said and done, in the race that Schweich was supposed to be in, a Jew actually won it. And don’t forget that Schweich was only said to be Jewish in that his father was, and Judaism as status is matrilineal, not patrilineal. Religiously, Schweich was Episcopalian. Eric Greitens, OTOH, is actually Jewish, even though he never exactly wore that on his sleeve, and I didn’t even know it until yesterday.
Now, reality check for you Greitens people: He won’t beat Chris Koster, for one reason and one reason only: RTW.
Both nominees for Governor are former members of the other party. Greitens was a Democrat as late as the 2008 Democrat National Convention, which he attended, and Chris Koster was at late as 2006 an elected Republican state senator from Cass County; that year’s blue wave led him to change parties and caucus with the Democrats, and two years later, he ran for and won the Democrat nomination for AG and then the office itself as a Democrat, and now the Democrat nomination for Governor. I know that in 2010, state Democrat big wigs were recruiting Greitens to run against Blaine L. in what was then MO-9, but he turned it down because he as in the process of a partisan change of heart.
This is also the second straight MO-GOV-R nominee who is a novice candidate; remember, Dave Spence from four years ago.
I couldn’t be happier. Not that Josh Hawley is that great, even though he does have a pretty impressive resume, and may be the closest thing we have to Kris Kobach, though by comparison, Eric Greitens might as well be Superman. I mean, extremely few people can honestly claim both Rhodes Scholar and Navy SEAL. Hawley was a co-counsel on the Hobby Lobby Obamadontcare case. No, the real reason why I’m happy is that untrustworthy phony Kurt Schaefer got it totally handed back to him on a platter, by almost a 2-1 margin statewide. I think Hawley carried every county, including Boone. Though since Hawley is currently a Mizzou law prof, Boone would be his current home county as well, even though he’s a Kansas City native.
I was worried that Schaefer had too much party steam behind him to mean that the only vote “for” a named person yesterday would have been for naught. I was right about the first part, but that was precisely the reason I shouldn’t have been worried.
Greitens (b. 1974) and Hawley (b. 1979) both represent a generational change in power. X marks the spot.
The Democrat will be Cass County Circuit Attorney Theresa Hensley, the office that Chris Koster once held. I thought Hensley was a novelty candidate, and that the whole state party was behind Jake “Don’t Call Me George” Zimmerman. I thought to myself at first that the best the Democrats could do for AG is a county assessor? Though in this case, I think Hawley can and will beat Hensley.
As expected. Jay Ashcroft (SOS-R), Robin Smith (SOS-D), Mike Parson (LtGov-R), Russ Carnahan (LtGov-D), Eric Schmitt (Treas-R), Judy Baker (Treas-D). Parson beat some black woman, and Schmitt didn’t wind up having any opposition at all. I think, in spite of Koster being very much the favorite for Governor, all the other statewide downballot Republicans will win. So it’ll be a weird situation out of Missouri in November, where Trump wins the state, Blunt wins Senate re-election (and no, I don’t give Jason Kander much of a chance), and Republicans win everything else statewide, keep control of the State House and Senate comfortably, and keep their 7-2 Congressional advantage, therefore winning everything big — Except for Governor. You’d think at that point, they’d get the lesson that shitting on labor unions is not a good thing to do in this state, but they won’t.
Chief Wana Dubie got almost 10% of the Democrat electorate. Which says a lot just by itself.
The media were reporting the victories of both Roy Blunt and Jason Kander as if they were actually news, instead of what they really were for months, foregone conclusions.
ST. LOUIS CITY CIRCUIT ATTORNEY
Remember what I said about four way races being really wild and unpredictable?
I was right about Mary Pat Carl not being inevitable and in fact not winning. I was also right in my prediction that a black candidate would benefit from the four way volatility. I was wrong about which black candidate would benefit.
It wasn’t Steven Harmon. It was the one who was not on my radar at all, Kim Gardner. She didn’t seem to do any campaigning, at least in the forms that I pay attention to. However, it’s not as if she’s some store front ambulance chaser who lucked out on a fluke, she currently holds House-77, and before that worked under Jennifer Joyce as an ACA for property crimes.
That’s the “good” news. Now it’s time for the bad news.
Usually, St. Louis City reports election results, first reporting absentee ballots, then dropping three approximately equal chunks of the election day boxes about an hour or so apart. Once the first about one-third plus the absentees came in, and showed Gardner in the 40s and a huge lead over everyone else, I tweeted about the surprising nature of that. And guess who retweeted me? Lizz Brown. Yep, that Lizz Brown. It was then that I realized what was going on here and what we’re dealing with. If Lizz Brown likes her, and is for her, (and that indeed was the motivation for her RT of me), then she can only be a menace. A little later on, I found out that Soros fed her $200K. Double Ruh Roh. This means that Gardner has cache among St. Louis City’s black militant/obsessive political wing, and that combined with the volatility of four-way races propelled her to victory.
St. Louis City, you just elected Marilyn Mosby as Circuit Attorney.
Which means if you’re SLPD, get ready to spend a lot of time in the donut shop.
ST. LOUIS CITY SHERIFF
Jim Murphy fired one of his deputies, Vernon Betts, several years ago, when he found out that Betts was going to challenge him in 2012. I can’t remember if Betts actually did mount the challenge, but we know Murphy won what turned out to be his last term that year.
Vernon Betts won yesterday.
I know he’s black, but I don’t know enough about him otherwise to say what kind of Sheriff he’ll make. As it is, the St. Louis City Sheriff’s Office has very few responsibilities, so even if he does support the black undertow, I don’t know if it will matter.
Not that it matters to me personally, because it’s a St. Louis City State House district that’s blue dog Democrat and heavily black, but I noticed that Penny Hubbard, the incumbent, got a stiff challenge from forty-something comic book enthusiast and street activist Bruce Franks. The only reason I’m writing about this is that, like I said, St. Louis City reports absentees first then about equal chunks of one-thirds of the boxes. Hubbard won about 80% of the absentee votes, but only won the whole thing by a 51-49 margin, or by 84 actual votes. Whenever there is such a severe difference between absentees and election day boxes, it’s safe to presume that there was some funny business with absentee ballots. If I was Bruce Franks, I’d press the matter. The Hubbard family, and there are several of them involved in various political offices, has enough pull to get enough people to send in enough phony absentee ballots.
Didn’t care personally, because Mark Parkinson wasn’t on the ballot.
JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF
If incumbent Glenn Boyer was seeking re-election this year, a friend of this blog would have run for this office this year as a Republican, and I would have managed his campaign. Instead, Boyer, a Democrat, retired, and it’s likely that the winner of the Republican nomination will succeed him. The reason that this unnamed friend of the blog didn’t run anyway is that his thinking about running was based on his personal distaste toward Boyer, but Boyer not being a factor anymore pulled that rug out from under him. Boyer running meant that Capt. Ron Arnhart, running as a Republican, was the favorite for quite some time, and this unnamed friend of the blog respects him, voted for him, and realized that Arnhart has a lot more tenure and steam than him, which is why he himself didn’t run. And as it turned out, Arnhart didn’t win yesterday, that honor went to Capt. Dave Marshak. And he beat Arnhart quite handily. What was up with that, I’ll find out when I next talk to the unnamed friend of the blog.
Nevertheless, Glenn Boyer is on his way out, so odds are, fill-in-the-blank is most likely an improvement just by definition.
WARRENTON WEST INTERCHANGE
Both propositions in the city of Warrenton needed for the money to come together to build a new I-70 interchange in Warrenton west of the current one by about two miles passed. The new interchange will mean that the former nearby Warrenton Outlet Mall will be redeveloped and its anchor tenant will be Rural King. Not that it matters that much, it just matters to a certain friend of the blog.
BONUS COVERAGE: U.S. HOUSE, KANSAS-1-R
He is actually one of the better House Republicans.
So why did he get bounced out yesterday?
One reason is that he let the Cruz cult and the #NeverTrump fanaticism get the better of him. Ted Cruz won the Kansas caucuses quite easily, but if the challenger, an open Trump endorser, can beat him, then it means that either most Cruz voters are going to vote Trump and don’t have any hard feelings, or it means that there’s a disconnect between caucuses and public plebiscites, or it means that Cruz’s antics at the convention have been distasteful to even a lot of Cruz voters, or a combination of the three.
The bigger reason is agriculture. Huelskamp some time back pissed off John Boehner, who responded by having Huelskamp thrown off of the ag committee. Kansas-1 is the district that includes about the western two-thirds of the state, and a whole lot of farms, and a whole lot of agricultural interests, and it is tradition that whoever holds KS-1 sits on ag. The constituents of the district need their Congressman to be active in ag interests, and that’s sorta hard to do when you don’t sit on the ag committee. Basically, the challenger basically said that he’ll kiss enough House leadership ass so that he’ll always be on ag.
Considering what happened in MO-GOV-R, MO-AG-R and KS-1-R yesterday, Paul Ryan should be very very worried. Like I said, Kansas voted Cruz, but its geographically largest Congressional district tossed out a strident Cruz supporter and #NeverTrumper for someone who is an open Trump supporter. Wisconsin also voted for Cruz, but if it doesn’t work in Kansas anymore, then it won’t work in Wisconsin anymore. It also means that if Paul Ryan loses, it will mean that we can officially conclude that #NeverTrump is all hat and no cattle, in that it’s nothing more than a mirage driven by the media, the Republican establishment and ideological cultist conservatives, albeit for disparate reasons, but it has no broad based grass roots support.
Turnout was, like I thought, less than the predicted 31%; initial estimate is 25%.