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June 29, 2006

Don't vote for an also ran

A lot of people have made comments similar to the fact that they are sick of our Democratic primary but will support the eventual winner in November, even if reluctantly. These people say that even if they vote in the Democratic primary, they won't vote for Cox or Taylor.

In the interest of not harming our eventual nominee, if you are voting in the Democratic primary but don't want to vote for Cox or Taylor, please just skip the race instead of casting a protest vote for one of the other lesser known candidates.

The reason to do this is to help prevent a costly runoff. The eventual nominee needs all the resources they can to go against Perdue (and recent Strategic Vision and Zogby polling shows that either candidate would be competitive against Sonny). Let's imagine an example scenario.

50 votes for Cox.
49 votes for Taylor.
1 vote for other candidates.

You cast a protest vote for a third party candidate instead of voting for Taylor or Cox. Cox gets more votes than any other single candidate, but received only 50.0% of the vote, not enough to cross the 50% + 1 threshold to avoid a runoff.

However, let's say you skip the race instead of casting a protest vote. Then Cox gets 50, Taylor gets 49 and Cox would be the outright winner. No need for a runoff. People will still be able to tell how many people voted in the primary but skipped the race (in 2004 Democratic Senate primary it was close to 100,000) so your protest can still be registered, but you won't harm the eventual nominee.

Something for people to consider. Another thing for the candidates to consider doing is if there is a runoff, suspend their campaign like Lewis Massey did in 1998. Now, Massey's race was not very close, Barnes beat him by 20 points and nearly missed winning outright. But Massey's suspension allowed Barnes to focus immediately on the general election, which he went on to win.

Obviously our candidates both feel very strongly about their chances in this race and so an outsider calling on them to suspend if their opponent doesn't win outright may seem selfish. But it is something to think about, especially if many Democratic voters who don't like either candidate act in good faith and just skip the race, essentially doing their part to avoid a runoff.

Posted by Chris at June 29, 2006 12:28 PM


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