Interesting news in American politics today – jobless veteran Alvin Greene, a candidate for the U.S. Senate won the Democratic nomination in South Carolina, a Republican stronghold, by merely paying the fee of $10,400 from his own pocket to just enter the race. He actually never even met with his main opponent for the Democratic nomination, longtime state politician Vic Rawl, who claimed he never met Mr. Greene.
Alvin Greene apparently never even campaigned seriously since he never had a campaign website or received any money for his campaign. And he ended up getting 59 percent of the vote versus 41 percent for Mr. Rawl. How is it possible to win a primary for the U.S. Senate against an established politician without spending a dollar and also having a felony charge against you for showing obscene photos on the Internet of a college girl? After all, even an organizer of polls roughly two weeks before Election Day did not consider Alvin Greene a serious enough candidate to be mentioned in their survey, not to mention the media who never showed any interest in asking Alvin Greene where he stands on the issues.
Politics Daily reports a speculation by the state party Chairwoman Carol Fowler that Mr. Greene was elected by the Democratic voters because his name appeared first on the ballot, and she is most likely right considering the disadvantages that he had: technically no campaigning, no fundraising and a felony charge on his record. Especially the latter would have affected a lot of the voters’ choice in this primary race, and the South Carolina Democrats know that so well that they asked Alvin Greene to withdraw from the race.
Alvin Greene’s chances
Despite the fact that Americans have largely been voting for incumbents in races for Congress’ two chambers for years to come, there has been a rage toward the incumbents since Barack Obama took office. Senator Blanche Lincoln won against Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter in Arkansas in a close primary, Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter, Republican Senator Bob Bennett and others either lost their primaries or barely won or are struggling before their Election Day. And at the beginning of this year, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley surprisingly lost to then state Senator Scott Brown in the race for deceased Senator Ted Kennedy’s seat.
Among the greatest reasons for this public reaction is that the economic crisis turned out to be longer than expected. Moreover, President Obama’s economic stimulus package denied nationwide expectations that it will curb the unemployment rate, while the White House and Congress later had a prolonged debate on the health care bill. Of course the health care bill was not a jobs bill, and is also still generally upopular among Americans (40-51 percent, according to the latest national public opinion survey conducted by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute).
All that taken into account gives Mr. Greene one advantage only:
that he is not the incumbent in this race
Everything else, ignoring flaws in James DeMint’s campaign, is against him as of today:
he is largely unknown
there is a felony charge against him which could put him in prison for up to five years
nobody is aware of his views on the issues. His only stance on the issues that I have read about was working toward a foreign policy that would unite North Korea and South Korea like West Germany and East Germany were united. Considering the two Koreas currently harsh relations due to the North’s sinking a South Korean ship and tons of other mitigating factors, and considering the fact that it doesn’t affect South Carolina voters much, it is very unlikely to attract enough votes to even pose a challenge to Senator DeMint.
In other words, he is a no-no for the November election so far. Unless he addresses these three flaws in his campaign, there is no way he can win against James DeMint.
One thing is for sure though – that no matter the outcome, even if he withdraws from the Democratic ticket, the South Carolina Democrats will remember this surprising primary for a long time and do more scrutiny on the candidates for the party nomination so that they never have an alleged felon on their ticket ever again.