But now it's over. The guy I backed got beat. I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to move to District 7. I'm not going to accuse 55% of my neighbors of "a moment of self-destructive insanity" or brand the winner a "clearly immoral leader." That kind of talk is for whiners who can't face reality.
So help me face reality. Readers, voters, local pundits, you tell me: How did Russ Olson beat Scott Parsley?
I have a number of theories; the problem is, none of them square with all that happened in District 8 last night:
- District 8 doesn't like Dems: Nope. District 8 elected two Dems to the House. Three out of four counties voted for Obama over McCain. Sanborn County has some hard red precincts, but most of our chunk of Highway 34 is big blue.
- The voters wanted experience: That doesn't explain the voters giving 26-year-old Mitch Fargen the most votes for House.
- Scott didn't campaign hard enough. We knocked on every town door in the district, except for maybe Pat Prostrollo's and few others we knew we probably could sway.
- Scott campaigned too hard. Mitch Fargen hit the doors and ads and parades as hard as Parsley, and he won. Russ's advertising paid Jon Hunter's utilities for the rest of the year.
- Russ had a better Madison advantage. Tempting to say the Chamber/LAIC put Russ over the top, but that's not it. Sure, Russ won Ward 1, the bigger richer part of Madison, but Scott won Wards 2 and 3. Scott won 3 other precincts, around Ramona, Carthage, and Canova, but Russ won majorities everywhere else. And the Madison advantage didn't save Jerry Johnson, who won Lake County but came in third everywhere else.
- More voters need to read the Madville Times. True! but not a factor. ;-)
- Money talks. Plausible, but not perfect. Russ and Mitch were the big District 8 spenders. They both came out on top. But Gerry L. made it on less money that Jerry J. spent (at least according to the pre-general filings).
So what do you think, neighbors? You be the pundit! Why did the District 8 Senate race go the way it did?