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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

The Perils of Trying to Pick the Other Side's Candidate

Our book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.  Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections

In the 2012 Missouri  Senate race, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill ran ads during the GOP primary campaign saying that Todd Akin was "too conservative."  The idea of the "attack ad" was to drive GOP voters to Akin, her weakest potential foe.  It worked.  Other campaigns have tried variations of the "pick your opponent" ploy.  Even in California.

 Alex Tavlian at The San Joaquin Valley Sun 

While California Republicans confront low expectations with their slate of candidates on the statewide ballot, party activists and Central California Republicans are fuming about one outcome from Tuesday’s primary election: the fourth Senate District.

The seat, a San Joaquin Valley-Sierra foothill hybrid district, boasts a 3.38 percent Republican voter registration advantage, according to California’s pre-primary voter registration statistics.

By registration, it is the fourth most-conservative registered district in the 40-member body.

However, in a shocking twist, the voters in the heavily-GOP district will be represented by a Democrat come December 2022.

The seat, which became open when Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R–Fresno) opted against running for re-election in 2022, played host to a six-way fight among Republican contenders.

By comparison, Democrats fielded two.

As reported late Tuesday night, those two candidates – Tim Robertson (D–Keyes) and Marie Alvarado-Gil (D–Amador County) – are set to vie for the seat in November, courtesy of California’s jungle primary format.

Three Republican contenders split 46.8 percent of the vote three ways. 

GOP leaders in Stanislaus County held little back in expressing their displeasure at the unfortunate fate befalling the woebegone party.

“This is the nightmare scenario,” Joseph Day, chairman of the Stanislaus County Republican Party, told GVWire. “A lot of people thought that they would have a chance to win. So they jumped in, but they split the votes and that’s unfortunately what can happen.”

In an even stranger twist, the icing out of Republican contenders from the solidly Republican seat may have been sealed by efforts by the Senate GOP Leader Scott Wilk.

A wave of mailers directed at Democratic voters, sent by Wilk’s 2026 Lieutenant Governor campaign committee, pressed for voters to consolidate around Robertson, likely in the hopes of ensuring one of the six Republicans would advance.