Saturday, November 05, 2005

I found this Tood Dorman piece through Iowa Ennui this morning, and figured it merited a response, so I posted one, both here and there:

The "no one gets 35%" problem isn't really as likely as you'd think.

First and foremost, anyone who wants to appear on the ballot has to have 4000 signatures on their nominating petition by February. Culver and Blouin can almost certainly manage that. Fallon's already got that.

On the "maybe" side, we've got Patty Judge, who said she's looking to get enough signatures at the precinct caucuses in January. If that works, more power to her, but past performance would tell us that only about 6-8,000 people are going to attend the 2,000 caucuses combined. The concept of 4,000 of them being Judge supporters is iffy at best, and if they're not, she's got about 2 weeks to scramble and get signatures.

Gregg Connell is also a maybe. He comes off with a little more political credibility than I originally gave him credit for, but he's still the mayor of a 5,000 person town in the middle of nowhere. 4,000 signatures is a tough goal for a guy who's been in the race almost 2 months and doesn't even have a website.

There's no way "Standing on the streetcorner" Sal or Mark Yackle even get 1000 signatures. Maybe Yackle can go back home and open Yackle's Bait and Tackle, or Yackle's Paint and Spackle.

If it's only 3 candidates, it would take an absolute perfect storm for no one to get 35%.

If it's 4 or 5, the possibility is there but still exceptionally unlikely. Connell and Judge take up 5-10% each (roughly 20-30,000 votes total), leaving Fallon, Blouin and Culver to fight for the remaining 170-180,000, needing to pull down 70,000 to win. And it'll be close, but not that close.

Anyway, thanks to Todd Dorman and IE for distracting me from ranting about the Jefferson Jackson Dinner.



chris said...

I'll bet you a 6-pack of whatever you're drinking that Patty Judge can get the signatures she needs. It's possible she's just testing the waters right now, but there's no way that the signatures will keep her off the ballot.

John said...

Lots of folks at the caucuses just sign everyone's papers. And Mohamed managed to get on the ballot for the 04 congressional primary.

Iowa Ennui said...

KL posted this on my blog

I think you're an optimist. And even if one candidate squeaks out a win on June 6, it'll still be a bruised ego of a convention.

The GOP went through it when Doug Gross squeaked out of the primary. The Vander Plaats and Soukup supporters never really rallied round Doug Gross, and he lost in November. I think it is part of the reason the Republicans have a two person primary in this election, they want the winner to take a clear majority of GOP primary voters.

I bet Patty Judge makes her signature numbers, and that gives the Democrats four going all the way to June. I know part of the game will be to try to challenge signatures after the fact, but that’s a picayune procedural move that may or may not help a campaign.

It's just going to be a long primary season, and that's not a bad thing if you are employed by one of the campaigns.

KL Snow said...

Really, to work in politics and maintain some form of sanity without becoming addicted to some kind of chemicals, you've gotta be an optimist, IE. :)

With that said, I honestly believe that the current situation changes a lot of things. With six legit candidates (and Yackle) out there, turnout at the caucuses goes up, but so does partisanship. When Fallon, Blouin, Culver and Judge are recruiting supporters to attend caucuses, and I'm expecting they all will, I would hope they won't tell them outright not to sign other candidates' papers, but at the very least it will be implied.

And Chris, I wouldn't take your bet, because I think the chance of Judge missing the ballot is small. But it's bigger than one would expect it to be.

My bigger concern right now is your "bruised ego" comment, IE, cause you're right.

If Blouin wins the nomination, the choice lobby and others (i.e., Fallon's "anti-corporate welfare lobby") probably won't come out.

Culver's showing good passion...maybe has the best chance to unite the party...except people who are pro-life, or people who think he's too dumb to be Governor.

If Fallon wins, he'll face questions about his ability to play nice with others. He's firmly opposed to the establishment within his own party, questions like "How can you govern without allies?" wouldn't be out of line.

So, there's a challenge ahead for whoever wins the right to accept it.

chris said...

Culver might be hitting some good notes, but there's still the fact that he looks 23 and according to some accounts acts like it (media, not just "folks" for a very cleaned up version of an ugly ugly meeting. The smaller papers from the area called Culver's behavior "bratty" and the like). I think he's got a long row to hoe if he wants people to take him seriously by next November. I think he needs another cycle to ripen.

Bob said...

From what I've heard and what I've seen, more so than acting like a 23 year old, he's a bit of a box. The most in-depth conversation I've heard about him having with someone else is Drew.

Anonymous said...

Odd though it may seem, Iowa law allows you to sign more than one nomination paper for the same office. It is common practice at many precinct caucuses for the papers to go around the room and pick up signatures from those who have signed for another candidate for the same office. Nomination papers are not absolute committments of support, merely a statement that the putative candidate should have a chance to campaign. So it is possible for Patty J to get the requisite signatures, even from those signing for another.

Challenging after the fact is a little dicey as Culver would be the one deciding. Wouldn't that be interesting?

Anonymous said...

your turnout estimate of 200,000 for the dem primary is very generous. i think it's only been 130,000 at its highest in the past. even with all the interest, 115,000 is my guess in 06.

KL Snow said...

The last time the primary had more than 3 legitimate candidates, it drew over 200,000, in 1990. Combine that with the fact that the last election cycle brought all kinds of new voters to the table, and you've got an environment where 200k isn't that much of a reach.