The suspense is killin’ me. I wake up on the day after primary day to find that only 87% of the votes have been counted (some of those hardworkin’ town clerks went home a tad early), and the contest that somehow combined competitiveness with pointlessness is still undecided.
Er, that would be the Republican primary for Congress, the winner receiving an all-expenses-unpaid trip to Planet Smackdown courtesy of incumbent Democrat Peter Welch. The race featured three Tea Party types — two unknowns, plus the guy who got trounced by Welch last time around. In cinematic terms, this contest was Shootout at Stooge Creek. Except there ain’t a Moe, Larry, or Curly in the bunch. Not even a Shemp. These guys are all Curly Joes.
(For non-Stooge fans, let’s just say that’s not a good thing.)
Somehow, the guy with all that 2012 holdover name recognition — Mark Donka — is in a tight battle with Don Russell, little-known gun-rights activist with an awful campaign website straight out of the bad old Angelfire days. The third Stooge, Donald Nolte, is still alive but just barely. As of this writing, Donka has 3,831 votes, Russell 3,737, and Nolte 3,422. In percentages, that’s 32.98% Donka, 32.17 Russell, and 29.46 Nolte.
I’m frankly baffled by the results. Donka should have had the edge, simply because he was the Republican candidate in 2012. It’s looking like he’ll snag the nom again this year, but only by the skin of his teeth.
My sense is that Republican primary voters entered the booth, were faced with three unfamiliar names, and played a little game of Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock with themselves. Thus, the apparently random distribution of the votes.
Makes for a tiny bit of post-primary suspense. But in the end, it don’t mean a thing, ‘cuz Peter Welch got that swing.