D. J. McGuire tries valiantly to explain something he previously dismissed as unlikely: the entry of a Democrat (David Cox) into the state senate race. D.J. says, "The Democrats think Sayre will win." ... More to the point, the Dems want Sayre to win." Contrary to D.J., I really don't think the Dems really expect Cox to have much of a chance in the November election in any case, given the solidly conservative makeup of the electorate in this area. To me, the nomination of David Cox by the Democrats looks like a strategic move to minimize the likelihood of what is (for them) the worst-case scenario: a victory by Scott Sayre in November. Thus, the Democrats seek to galvanize moderate and liberal voters who haven't been paying much attention to local politics lately and stoke their fear of the right-wing agenda Scott Sayre supports so that they will vote against him in the primary election.
D.J. argues that the Libertarian candidate Sime will be forced to hunt for votes toward the liberal side of the political spectrum. Possibly, but I think more voters will make their choices according to character, practical questions, and specific issues than on ideological purity. What I wrote on Dec. 9, 2005 is especially pertinent to electoral contests such as the upcoming one in which a third party makes a strong challenge. It calls attention to the craving among voters for pragmatic, results-oriented legislators, not ideological mouthpieces:
Those who attempt to portray political leanings as falling somewhere along a one-dimensional right-to-left scale simply do not grasp the underlying political dynamics in this country, specifically the latent impulse for fundamental reforms and the intriguing drama about who will capitalize on it.
What struck me as particularly odd was D.J.'s assertion that "Hanger cannot rely on a single Democrat to support him in a primary." In this respect, he is contradicted by most of the other Bloggers 4 Sayre, who have been harping on the support among some Democrats that Sen. Hanger enjoys. See, for example, "Elle", "Yankee Phil", and "Spank That Donkey". Ironically, I agree with those folks that the senator does enjoy a wide base of support across party lines, but I don't see that as a bad thing, necessarily.
I have to credit D.J. for spreading the word about a new (anonymous) blog whose main purpose seems to supporting Emmett Hanger: Teddy's Truth. (Might it be the same guy who did the defunct satirical, hard-edged "Bloggers 4 Hanger"?) I bring this up primarily to make it perfectly clear that I am not the "Andrew" who has left comments there. I will respond to D.J.'s challenge regarding limited government after he responds to the questions I asked him in a comment on his blog post of May 19, and I can promise that I won't take as much time as he has.
Sen. Hanger recently spoke with the editorial staff of the News Leader, reaffirming his commitment to the Republican Party, regardless of the outcome on June 12. He stressed that what is at stake is truly monumental: "This primary for the 24th Senatorial District will determine the direction of the Republican Party in Virginia."
Some of the photos I took at the fund-raising event last week are now posted at EmmettHanger.com. I'm still working on the videos...