The gubernatorial campaign of Mary Starrett, running under the banner of the Constitution Party of Oregon, generated a good deal of attention - not least for the candidate's solid campaigning skills - but it failed to hit what would have been key benchmarks.
It failed to reach even into the upper single digits (the percentage was 3.6% of the vote). And it failed to generate enough votes that it could even qualify as a "spoiler," prospectively making the difference in the outcome between the two major party candidates. Democrat Ted Kulongoski won by 8%, considerably more than Starrett's vote.
(We do take note that Starrett's highest county percentage, 8.1%, was in Democratic Columbia County, which overall went for Kulongoski; that county was loaded with Starrett yard signs during the campaign. What's happening there is worth another check.)
All this is prompted by email today from the Constitution Party of Oregon, which notes a new state party chair, Jack Alan Brown, Jr., and some political analysis from its perspective.
We intend to greatly increase our party's visibility, building on the momentum created by Mary Starrett's campaign for governor. One way we will be doing that is by fielding a few exciting ballot initiatives that directly relate to some of our platform planks. The first will undoubtedly relate to one or more of the following issues -- abortion, English as our official language, and illegal immigration. We have other plans as well that we will unveil later.
Our presence in the governor race proved what I have said all along: Neither conservative nor moderate Democrats will ever vote for a moderate Republican, as they have nothing to gain. However, conservative Democrats might vote for a Republican perceived as a conservative, if their own party's nominee is perceived as an ultra liberal, as the Nixon and Reagan presidencies demonstrated. If the Republicans can't learn this, they might as well pack up and go home. The Constitution Party of Oregon, with its principles-over-politics approach, is here to stay!
Adding to Republican headaches in review of this Rubik's cube of an election.
CORRECTION: The name of the new party chair was corrected.