Friday, June 5, 2015

Is a contested primary a problem in a democracy?

I'm intrigued by the widely held notion that a contested primary is a bad thing. Yet this is what we hear from many - particularly supporters of  John Gregg's candidacy, in race the for Indiana Governor.

I would suggest the opposite.  I can't imagine another scenario more likely to reinvigorate the Indiana Democratic Party.

With Scott Pelath opting out of the race, primary voters will have three very decent people representing arguably three distinct points of view.

In Gregg, we have a conservative, business friendly downstater.  In Karen Tallien, we have a NW Indiana progressive.  And in Glenda Ritz, we have a moderate Republican turned moderate Democrat with particular expertise in arguably the most significant responsibility the state has.

All three candidates have their ardent supporters, and I expect a very civil campaign season.  In the end, it should not be hard for supporters of the two who that don't make it to support the one that does.

I think we saw what happened the last time around - when the nominee was essentially anointed: The Dems had a lackluster candidate and a fairly disengaged electorate.  The result was a loss.

Contrast that with a highly engaged electorate in the Superintendent of Public Instruction race - which was a huge upset win.

Like in that race, the Republicans will field a highly damaged incumbent this time around.  And it's hard to see a better strategy for the Democrats than to pick the best of three good people to face him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think it symbolizes?