Before we dive into yesterday's votes, first a little ballot-issue Separated at Birth:
Lincoln's new (planned) Haymarket Arena and Steve Martin's King Tut hat!
So what happened in yesterday's 2nd Congressional District? How could political unknown, and massively underfunded Matt Sakalosky have garnered 37% of the vote?
Matt Sakalosky became the face of the Tea Party movement in Nebraska.
The Tea Parties have been the political story of the year, since the health care reform came down. They were featured in the main stream media, their caravan made news where ever it went, it a was an event and it gave people an outlet to express their political frustration.
And everyone took notice. Heck, recently even President Obama was noted using the slur "Teabaggers" to talk about them. (And don't think that goes unnoticed by the Tea Party ranks. It pisses them off.)
So the Tea Partiers had a reason to go out and vote.
And they had a candidate.
Now, Matt Sakalosky was not a powerful candidate. But, he did have decent name recognition among voters yesterday. He got a TON of free media from local TV, radio and newspapers. If the Tea Party was mentioned, MattSak's name wasn't far behind. So frankly, he didn't need a well-funded campaign.
Well, unless he wanted to win.
But was winning ever really the goal? If it was, his supporters sure didn't show it monetarily (short of a few last minutes media buys). No the goal was to show up, declare that "we're here and pissed off!", and...well...not sure after that.
Sakalosky was never going to defeat Lee Terry. Terry let Sakalosky go pretty much unchallenged through the Primary, and that's the way campaigns go sometimes. But if Sakalosky had spent some money, Terry would have spent more money. If Sakalosky had gone on TV or radio, Terry would have gone on more TV and radio. If Sakalosky started to gain more ground, Terry would have debated him and would have beat him in that venue.
Terry was never in fear of losing yesterday.
So, back to the Tea Partiers, what is their goal for the November General Election?
Well, you have to think it's still to send the President and the country a message, right?
The message is NO to ObamaCare, NO to Cap & Trade, NO to the President's liberal economic policies.
Now, could that possibly be accomplished by helping to elect -- directly or indirectly -- Democrat Tom White?
Tom White who has said he would have voted for ObamaCare?
Tom White who expresses his support for the President where ever he goes?
Tom White who would be another Democrat vote for Nancy Pelosi?
(And to those who suggest that White would be a "conservative Democrat" and vote with Republicans on certain issues, we ask that you look no further than "conservative" Ben Nelson's vote on ObamaCare.)
And to the Tea Partiers, we would ask, do you really think that Lee Terry isn't conservative enough for you?
Check his full record, and you should be pleasantly surprised, if you didn't know it already (which we'd guess you did).
Lee Terry is your guy. And if you want to "send a message" in November, it would be that the 2nd District, which went for Obama in 2008, won't get fooled again, and solidly rejects Obama/Pelosi lackeys.
There's your message. (Which, we have no doubt, Lee Terry has heard.)
So did this race "soften-up" Lee Terry for Tom White? Well probably a little.
Terry had to spend money on mail and stuff. And the argument that "37% of voters went against him" probably doesn't help.
But is he really damaged goods for Tom White?
When we see the next polls on this race, Terry will very likely be in the same position against White that he was before. and as things are turning, there will be less and less federal money to blow on White's race, as it becomes a longer and longer shot.
Make no mistake, this will be a real race for Terry.
But we feel Terry is up to it.
Looking at the state Treasurer race, we thought Don Stenberg wouldn't have much of a problem, and he proved us correct. Once that became a three-man race, it was locked up for him. And he should similarly roll in November.
And some of those Legislature races? As we noted yesterday, a number were very close (Joe Jordan has a quick summary on his blog) and will be interesting to watch through the summer and fall.
Now here's a screwy one for ya:
Did you SEE the results in the Democrat 1st CD primary?
Ivy Harper, who was the only candidate with any "campaign" to speak of, not to mention experience, etc, barely squeaked by.
And who was her main competition? A woman named Jessica Lynn Turek.
Ms. Turek lists her profession as "writer and drummer". Her legislative goals included making money "smell good". Beyond that, she didn't even respond to half of the LJS's candidate questions.
And this woman received 36% of the vote (to Harper's 38%)!
She lost by less than 400 votes!
This is who Lincoln Democrats voted for. (Oh, by the way, good luck on Googling her. She didn't even have a campaign website.)
Rock on Jeff Fortenberry. Rock on.