Rep. Thaddeus McCotter is going to run as a write-in.
In a redistricted-for-GOP 11th, you’d think this was a good idea. They cherry-picked conservative towns and threw them into the tidy-bowl swirl that surrounds the North Woodward corridor.
From Birmingham to Troy, there are 3 Congressional districts within a mile of each other.
All drawn up for the MIGOP to win it. It was designed for a single Republican to win, not two of three.
So why is Thad running as a write-in?
The odds are stacked against him, and the ensuing chaos on top of a redistricting ad war won’t help anyone on the conservative side.
I’ll go in-depth in a future post, highlighting the changes of the MI-11th from 2010 to 2012, but it’s easy to see how big this petition blunder can get.
First, it’s 2012. It’s no midterm where half of the voting public decides to go vote for the fun of it. This is Romney/Obama. Turnout will be ridiculous, and even in a safe district, the GOTV will be crucial for any conservative voter. It worked in 2010 because enough TEA came out to seal the deal.
This time, while FoxNews tried to trumpet McCotter’s conservative zeal, the alternative in Kerry Bentivolio as a local TEA-style candidate will split the vote and drive the momentum to the Democrats. Even in a custom-designed district, having a third party always benefits the other guy.
And as McCotter’s running a write-in, you can already see that the MIGOP passed the buck on this one. All the early talk of trying to find a Bentivolio replacement minutes after the petition news broke was just an indicator of the establishment fear of an unknown without master. That means even in a safe district, they just can’t pick any candidate willy-nilly, even if he’s far more of a paper conservative than the incumbent.
After all, McCotter’s got moderates, money, and union help. Oh wait, he’s the Republican?
Yes, folks, this is where theory and reality collide like a fat child and a waffle cone.
The votes McCotter gets are establishment. These votes as well, are not crossovers as much as they are base moderate votes. But for any GOPer victory, you need both moderate and TEA. And if Bentivolio stays in, you’re not going to get both votes. Splitting the designed majority in order to win by 3% is a fitting strategy if you’re a long-time and popular incumbent. And as much as I like Thad, he’s no Senator Lisa Murkowski, who herself came to the razor’s edge in taking out that bearded Palin surrogate in Alaska.
And what about the Dems? They just find a single candidate who will win so long as McCotter spends money trying to stay in the race, and blowing resources that could’ve been better spent in other races. Expect outside money now, lots of it. And if you’re in Troy, remember, you’re MI-11 now, so it’s going to be chaos in the mailbox with McCotter all over it.
Lock the doors, Professor Chaos is here! More to come.