Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Kentucky Horse Race, Con't

Fark.com founder Drew Curtis is running as an independent in today's gubernatorial race, and in a real sense I'm glad he is, because he's probably taking enough support from Matt Bevin to actually give Jack Conway the win.  Curtis's platform is pretty simple, he's running to prove that someday, America won't be a two-party system anymore.

I NEVER THOUGHT I’d run for public office. 
Of course I never thought I’d found an irreverent news site called Fark.com, run it for 16 years and counting, write a book, fight off a patent troll, go to business school at age 38, and do dozens of other things. But even two years ago I would have considered myself the furthest thing from a politician. 
Nevertheless [on Tuesday], when Kentucky voters head to the polls, they will see my name on the ballot, as an Independent candidate for governor.
My friends thought I was insane to do this—why take on a year’s worth of tedious work to fight for a job taking on problems that likely can’t be fixed? Well, like pretty much all of us, I feel like the political process isn’t representing our interests. A couple of parties dominate the process, limiting choice and grappling for power instead of trying to solve real problems. But at Fark, I have seen how effective the Internet can be at taking down entrenched gatekeepers and empowering regular people. So this year, I decided to see if I could harness that power toward changing politics. 
I based my run on a theory: that the Internet and social media have finally made it possible for a third party candidate to win. Regardless of how things turn out, I’m convinced I was absolutely correct. And I’m also convinced you’ll see more candidates like me in the near future. As a matter of fact you should consider being one of them. To help you in your run, here are some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Curtis's theory only works if you assume that there's a large pool of voters out there that want to be given a reason to vote and will vote if you give them that reason.  The reality is voters do not give a damn, don't really care about either party, and hate having to miss work on a Tuesday in order to cast a ballot.

If you really want tech to change America's two-party system, make online voting available nationally.

But where Curtis is right is here:

But the problem is, the Democrats in particular really hate the other party’s candidate. Democrats may dislike their own candidate but they are downright terrified of the Republican. They are primarily voting to keep him out of office, and that makes them unlikely to take a flier on a third-party candidate; they’d rather pick the second-best candidate than vote for me. Meanwhile, I’ve been picking up GOP support no problem because they don’t seem as afraid. That tells me that if the GOP candidate had been more adequate, I’d have pulled this off.

And he's right.  If Matt Bevin hadn't won the primary, Curtis would have had a chance.  He would have been pulling 15, 20 in June, which would have put him in the debates. and would have had a non-trivial shot in a three way race between two meh candidates.

As it is Kentucky just wants to keep Matt Bevin out of Frankfort before he torches the joint.  If the GOP had nominated somebody close to Conway rather than a nutjob like Bevin, yeah, I probably would have strongly considered voting for Curtis.

I remember when Jesse Ventura won the governor's race in Minnesota. It can happen.

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