[Nameplate] Fair ~ 75°F  
High: 92°F ~ Low: 73°F
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

What the election results can tell us

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm not at all certain what we can take away from this week's primary elections other than the voters are the ultimate authority and though we may disagree with the outcome, it truly is what it is.

Granted, there's nothing profound about that statement. But it's the truth - in elections you have those who win and those who lose and that process is how we select our leaders whether you agree or disagree with the outcome.

I'll admit to some surprises and some disappointments in the election returns. What doesn't surprise me - though it should - is the dismal turnout of voters even with some hotly contested match-ups on the ballot.

If for whatever reason you didn't take the time to vote, then by all means, recognize that you have a weak reason to complain about the outcome.

I will say this. I am most surprised with the results in the Missouri Senate race between Ellen Brandom of Sikeston and Wayne Wallingford of Cape Girardeau. Now I've followed politics long enough to recognize that Wallingford had a substantial advantage because of the voting population - especially registered Republican voters - in Cape Girardeau County.

Scott County always plays second fiddle in these type races because of the massive population difference between the two counties.

But the amazingly strong vote for Wallingford clearly illustrates how we always - and I do mean always - favor a "local" candidate.

Rep. Brandom carried Scott County by a comfortable 1,100 or so vote margin, which should come as no surprise. After all, she has represented this area in the House with great honor.

But Wallingford - also a state representative - was favored by a nearly 3-1 margin in his home county and those numbers cannot and will not ever be overcome in such a match-up.

In no way do I demean his qualifications. But that lopsided margin is a clear result of voters supporting "local" candidates over any and all comers. It's not surprising necessarily. Just a reflection of how we vote.

I think we also learned that in many cases, money alone does not equate to success. John Brunner, a top-notch GOP hopeful in the Senate race, spent $9 million or so dollars - much of his own - and still fell short to Rep. Todd Akins.

Bob Parker's bid to unseat JoAnn Emerson brought out some ugly charges and lots of rhetoric. In the end, Emerson walked back to another term. That election - along with the race against Tommy Sowers two years ago - should signal clearly that Emerson will hold the House seat as long as she wants it. End of story!

I could analyze this election much more than you want to read. These are just my impressions.

But come November, the turnout will be much, much higher and the stakes cannot get higher.

So digest the primary results in any manner you like. And then throw out all of the results and recognize that November is for all the marbles.

And when all is on the line, the voters will swamp the polls and all bets are off.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration:

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen