Filing disqualifications suckering SC Republicans?

Earlier in the year, a number of GOP activists and operatives expressed hope that once the June primaries were over, hundreds of GOP volunteers would be freed to head north to augment GOP volunteers in North Carolina to counter Obama and DNC-orchestrated efforts in the Tar Hell State. Instead, many Republicans who might otherwise be in North Carolina are still in South Carolina, diverted by the ongoing GOP infighting which has been fueled by this spring's ballot disqualifications. 

In breaking the numbers down, it becomes obvious the GOP is hurt far more than Democrats by the wave of petition candidacies which followed the spring ballot disqualifications.

Of the twenty-one legislative races which are contested this fall with both petition and major party candidates, fourteen are in districts which are either held by Republicans or trend Republican while only seven of them are in Democratic districts, while only seven were in Democratic districts. Not only that, but few of these candidates will be able to wage viable campaigns this fall.

Of the races in the GOP districts with petition candidates, ten feature formerly-disqualified Republicans, two formerly-disqualified Democrats and two have petition candidates who did not file to run for those seats in either party's primary (both are billing themselves as conservatives). In other words, twelve of fourteen races that might have been settled in the June GOP primary are being carried on into November.

By contrast, three of the seven Democratic-trending legislative districts feature disqualified Republicans running as petition candidates, with official GOP candidates on the ballot in two of those races.

When the Blogland recently looked at the campaign finance reports which were filed mid-summer (the most current available) in a three-part series (1 - 2 - 3), it was clear that most of these petition candidates are woefully underfunded, making it highly unlikely they would prevail. 

Only four of roughly three dozen petition legislative candidates were able to raise more than ten thousand dollars, far short of the forty thousand which is generally the minimum needed to wage a serious House race or double that for a Senate race. In fact, well over a third of these candidates hadn't even raised two thousand dollars by that point. While many of those candidacies were fueled by intra-party feuding within GOP ranks, angst, ego and vanity won't be enough to elect candidates who are both woefully out-spent and running against the ever-powerful straight-ticket voting that comes in Presidential election years.

As an additional omen, early polling data in several legislative races that we've seen shows every single petition candidate far behind the GOP candidates. We've talked with some party insiders who hope some of these candidates drop out and run again in two years (hopefully the filing issues will be resolved by them, but who knows?), avoiding landslide defeats that would end their future political viability and freeing up much needed volunteer manpower for GOP get-out-the-vote efforts. 

If it turned out the filing disqualifications were fueled by those hoping to keep the GOP divided in the fall, we wouldn't be surprised. But we are surprised that Republicans allowed this unfortunate situation to sucker them into wasting time and effort against each other that would be better spent helping to ensure a Romney victory in North Carolina.

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