The director of the State Board of Elections is predicting a less than 100,000 voter turnout for today’s primary. He’s being optimistic. My prediction is that not only will the state set a new record for low voter turnout, the establishment candidates will win the nomination of their respective parties.
That means Elaine Marshall will be the Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senate. Bernie Reaves will win the Republican nomination for 13th U.S. House district and Harold Johnson will get the GOP nod in the 8th U.S. House.
Despite the fact her opponent, Cal Cunningham, has the support of the national Democratic Party Marshall is the establishment candidate because she’s part of the “good ol’ boy” network. She’s a lifetime member of the N.C. political class.
Both Marshall and Cunningham have engaged in the charade of claiming the other was a political insider and part of what is wrong with the political system. They’re both right. The only real outsider in the November election will be Libertarian Mike Beitler, who was all but ignored by the mainstream media during the primary.
Reaves fits easily and comfortably into the category of political insider. He’s a political class establishment natural. The tone of his campaign proved this. Reaves focused not on the issues, but on attacking Bill Randall’s Tea Party connections, accusing him of plagiarism and questioning Randall’s resume, including his military service.
The clearest evidence that Reaves is a GOP “good ol’ boy” was his frequent reference to Randall as a newcomer to the state. He probably would have labeled Randall a carpetbagger or a damnyankee if it were not for the fact that Randall was born in New Orleans.
Meanwhile Reaves has raised millions of dollars more than Randall, while paying himself a salary and running ads in a newspaper he owns with campaign funds.
In the 8th Congressional District, Harold Johnson will beat Tim D’Annunzio, who has essentially been disowned by the state Republican Party.
Both Randall and D’Annunzio have emphasized their connections to the Tea Party movement. That is another reason I believe they will lose to the establishment Republicans. GOP insiders are not at all interested in being associated with the Tea Party label, for all the protestations of being conservative.
If D’Annunzio does win however, the race in the 8th could be the most interesting contest in November. Not only will it have two major party candidates who have been ostracized by their own parties facing Libertarian Thomas Hill, there may also be a fourth candidate, backed by the state employees union, in the fray.
On Wednesday, mainstream media political pundits will predictably bemoan the abysmal voter turnout. They will not note, however, that this is the desired outcome of an electoral system designed by the Democratic-Republican “good ol’ boys” to perpetuate their hold on power.
Low-voter turnout is needed to insure establishment-anointed candidates win. Why else would the primary and runoff be held in the spring and early summer, when the election is not until November? North Carolina’s election laws are deliberately designed not to give the voter any real choice in any election.
Note: My experience with North Carolina politics has led me to the conclusion that the “good ol’ boy” system has nothing to do with age, race, sex religious or political affiliation. The term “pay-to-play” system seems to have replaced it.
I also don’t use the term “professional politicians.” To call someone running for office, or an elected official a professional is an insult to true professionals, including doctors, baseball players, electricians, plumbers, even lawyers, and anyone else who actually has to work for a living.
Voter turnout in yesterday’s primary was 4.5%. That wasn’t a record low. Two of the three establishment candidates (Marshall and Johnson) I predicted would win did win.