Is 60% against nobody a resounding victory?

Ross Ramsey had an opinion piece on crowded primaries and runoffs. In general, I felt the piece was quite long on assertion and skint on quantitative support.

However, what I found very surprising was the conclusion:

But falling short can play in favor of the incumbent: Does anybody really think John Cornyn looked weaker after beating seven Republican opponents in 2014?

Quick: can you name any of those seven opponents? OF COURSE NOT.

Ok, maybe you got Steve Stockman. I've met Stockman a couple times, and yet even I had to look him up because all I could remember was "performance art" and Jack Brooks. Yes, I remembered Jack Brooks before Stockman's name. Steve Stockman didn't campaign for Senate. At all. More than a few speculated that he was just getting his congressional campaign out of debt by running for Senate. His Senate campaign was a strange post-modern piece of "performance art" because you couldn't really tell if he was a candidate or not.

There was also the guy in the pickup truck who got some Tea Party support.

John Cornyn got just 61%. When Cornyn faced a bunch of folks no one had ever heard of in 2002, he got almost 80%.

The good thing for Cornyn is that he won a 6 year term, and that's a long time. But if John Cornyn had faced a credible challenger in 2014, he'd probably have lost. Guys like Mike McCaul must be kicking themselves.

Posted by Evan @ 10/06/15 11:04 AM


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