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« Heads Up: 10.11.06 | Main | Heads Up: 10.12.06 »

Thursday, October 12, 2006



I'll take exception to explanation no. 3. I'm a lifelong resident of a state with a predominant party which historically controls the Legislature, but with a propensity for electing a Governor of the other party. Not once have I ever heard anyone say they were voting for a gubernatorial candidate in order to achieve some political balance. Most voters are just voting for the person who appeals to them the most. My guess is that the gubernatorial candidate from the out-party has to tone down their partisan rhetoric and attempt to tailor their appeal to a more moderate audience. However, the in-party candidate has to appease the party regulars and ends up taking much more partisan stances. And I think most voters are just very uncomfortable with partisan attacks. Also, there is typically more of a dog-fight in the in-party primary, and the victor typically gets chewed up some by their own party members through that process.


Bob, I came up with eight different explanations, but that's one I hadn't considered. It does seem, especially in Kansas but also elsewhere, that supporters of the majority party feel as though they can demand ideological purity from their candidates and are inclined to intra-party feuding. If you're a Kansas Democrat, you probably just want to get behind one person who has a chance to win.


Explanation #2 is interesting because I just got done reading an article in the October issue of The Atlantic about how hard it is to be a moderate in today's U.S. Congress. The article talks about how easily ideological candidates get reelected while moderate candidates have to fight tooth and nail. So in that case, distancing yourself from your party might actually hurt you with voters. Now, I don't know if this applies to states but it is something to think about.

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