As I predicted, Arizona TEA Partiers and conservatives did not produce stellar results. While conservatives utterly failed to cut the head off the RINO snake in Arizona, they did undercut McCain by defeating some of his allies in some more local races and I’ll be writing post-mortems on the Congressional and legislative races soon. The net result for conservatives for the state as a whole may be a wash.
Conservatives and TEA Partiers should not give up hope. We need to now start looking forward to the 2011 local elections. We need to recruit and vette candidates. We need to work tirelessly to get the candidates we favor elected by knocking on doors, carrying petitions, distributing literature, making phone calls, and asking voters to donate money. Staying involved in the party to drag it to the right is the answer. Abandoning ship is not.
I’ve got to admit, I never thought that the utter RINO McCain would beat J.D. Hayworth by such a wide margin. Yet again, he was able to hoodwink Arizona’s voters by falsely claiming the mantle of conservatism. He was one of a multitude of liberal candidates this cycle that lied to voters about being conservative while their voting records clearly demonstrated otherwise. Let me ask, if conservatives are so horrible, why campaign as one every time you’re up for election? If being conservative is so great for winning elections, why did McCain give ObaMao a pass? Clearly, the conventional wisdom is flawed and being conservative in BOTH the primary AND general AND in deed as well as word is the recipe for winning elections and maintaining majority status.
Another correct prediction I made was that Deakin was not even a factor. He is demonstrably insane and he and his wife were alienating rather than persuasive, that is what rendered him a non-issue in all but the closest of races. Even adding Deakin’s votes to Hayworth’s, Hayworth would not have won due to McCain’s wide margin of victory. I truly do like all of Hayworth’s campaign staff, I am friends with and know many of them, but I’ve got to say that Hayworth’s commercials (at least the ones I saw), and therefore his messaging, were lackluster. McCain was able to land more telling blows, regardless of their veracity, like labeling Hayworth a “huckster.” Hayworth’s camp was convinced that once J.D. began his media buys, Deakin’s paltry support might actually make a difference in a tight race. I remained skeptical.
This race was a win in the moderate column. Moderates do not excite conservatives because moderates have no principles. Expect conservatives to concentrate their attentions and efforts to other races. They could sit out the 2010 Senate race as conservative voters did nationwide in 2006 & 2008 because Republicans had abandoned their core principles. Conservatives could even vote for Libertarians or other candidates in an effort to show their utter displeasure with the election of McCain.
As many have said, Jan Brewer owes her victory entirely to Russell Pearce. Without him delivering S.B. 1070 to her desk, the tax and spend Brewer would have been slaughtered by the likes of conservative Dean Martin as the earliest polls showed. 1070 was the game changer. I had hoped that Arizona voters would have been astute enough to see through her cynical support of 1070 since the woman has NO record on illegal immigration before 1070 and supports amnesty.
Another win in the moderate column. Again, the tax and spend Brewer and her special interest cronies will not ignite the conservative base. Expect conservatives to focus on other races and consider Libertarians as an alternative. The Dems will have a field day excoriating Brewer as unintelligent. Just dig up some of the videos about her on YouTube to see what I’m talking about. Luckily, Goddard’s campaign has proven that it has no clue what the voters are interested in. His commercials are on topics that no one cares about.
Dean Martin beat Tome Horne back in 2000 by successfully casting himself as a hard-line conservative and exposing Tom Horne for the RINO he is. While I have disliked Andy Thomas in the past, my support has grown for Andy over time and I voted for him. That Thomas might actually be losing to the RINO Horne, someone who has a reputation for being a lech at the Legislature, someone who lost his SEC license and had to admit wrong-doing, is unfathomable. Granted, Horne is one of those candidates that lied to the public and claimed a mantle of conservatism when he’s anything but a conservative.
This is a win for the RINOs. Horne couldn’t be a less inspiring candidate. On the stump, he looks and sounds like a doddering old man. We’ve had Democrat Attorney Generals for how long now? Just like the other RINO candidates who won statewide nomination, Horne will fail to ignite the passions of the conservatives and he may lose.
Last night, I told Doug Ducey that he thoroughly surprised me. He’s a likeable guy and I thank him for showing up on RoundtablePolitics.com with James Allen, Rachel Alexander and me, but I never would have predicted that he’d be our nominee. I expected him to come in third behind Verschoor and Leff because he was a newcomer.
I voted for Thayer. Verschoor had the most conservative record. Leff sponsored the tax increase, had a more moderate voting record and I’m glad she ended up being held accountable for it. As for Ted Carpenter, he used to be my Senator and is a nice guy. I had several conversations with him during the primary, but he really did seem to run a nigh non-existent campaign.
I had serious concerns about Ducey when many blog commenters began to indicate that Ducey has strong ties to McCain. He bundled campaign contributions for McCain back in 2008. He was also apparently involved with the pro-big government and command economy group Greater Phoenix Leadership (this group is in turn supported by former McCain Chief of Staff and former RINO legislator Deb Gullet). GPL supported RINO Republicans and Democrats in state legislative races via the Twelve in `10 fundraiser. GPL also supported Expect More Arizona, a group dedicated to protecting the failed status quo in education. One can only ascribe the same philosophies to Ducey. Why else would he be associated with the group?
If one might be concerned that Ducey supports McCain and favors government tailoring an economy and picking winners and losers via special breaks, then one should also be concerned that a McCain supporter would have a position fourth in line from being Governor. Will we be seeing a Governor Ducey down the road?
While I like Thayer and voted for him, I heard many express concern about his competency to do the Treasurer’s job (clearly I was not swayed). Dean Martin, our current state Treasurer, endorsed Ducey, ostensibly because he felt Ducey was the most competent to do the job. Leff’s camp loved to reiterate the fact that Ducey had to take Coldstone through bankruptcy and I’m sure the Democrats will fling this at Ducey in the general election.
In the end, we have to chalk this race up as a moderate win as well. If that’s the case, then moderates made a clean sweep of the statewide races. Even though I may have concerns about Ducey, I’ve already invited him to come on Grassroots Interviews and I hope to help him draw bright-line distinctions between himself and the Democrat nominee. I’d be pleased to have him on the show.
Of course, the Corporation Commission race is the only ray of hope for conservatives in the elections results for statewide races. Gary Pierce and Bredna Burns were our two most conservative choices in the race. Pierce and Burns won. I don’t think anyone would disagree that Barry Wong killed his own chances. His voting record is demonstrably to the left of Burns’ and Pierce’s records. He tried, like many moderate candidates, to run as a conservative. I think everyone knows that in an effort to pander to the anti-illegal immigration crowd, he disingenuously stated that utilities should shut off electricity and water to illegals in Arizona. This statement turned many off to Barry. Why anyone would consider Verry Wrong in the first place is beyond me.
This might be conservatives one win, but it’s not very exciting. The corporation is a cesspool of government regulation of the economy. We can’t expect Pierce and Burns to reverse ages of command economy regulation and install a free market. The best we can hope for is for them to hold the line. However, these are elective positions, so, Pierce and Burns, to hold power, will have to pander to consumers. That being the case, I don’t expect them to hold the line without fail. Still, better these two than Mr. Wrong.
Final Analysis of Statewide Races
This does not bode well for igniting the passions of the conservative base. Again, individual conservative voters will likely focus on the smaller races where some conservative candidates won while the Party pushes establishment moderate candidates in the general election. Some have said that money and message matter. That’s certainly true in the Senate and Treasurer’s race, but not the case in the Governor’s race. Money is definitely helpful, but it’s not everything. If it was, Buz Mills would be our nominee.
Seemingly, as the races go upticket and more voters actually pay attention to the races, the more purple or blue the voters get. That analysis would certainly hold true for our statewide races since it was a clean sweep for the moderates and RINOs.
It is of paramount importance that the TEA Partiers stay engaged. They need to continue to infiltrate the Republican Party and drag it to the right. The TEA Partiers need to become Republican PCs and dictate to the party who its leaders will be. Granted, all movements die, but there’s plenty of room for them to be relevant for years to come if they choose to remain relevant. One might question that desire considering the statewide results.