Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Strange Case of Alvin Greene

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole Alvin Greene story.  If he was just an unknown who managed to squeak out a victory I don't think anyone would be all that surprised.  No, instead he's a felony-facing, zero-campaigning, unemployed dude who managed to get almost 60% of the primary vote.


So here are some theories, with my analysis:
  • He's a Republican "plant."  This would imply that R's crossed over and voted in the D primary to sabotage the general election.  Vote counts in each primary make this hard to swallow.  Democratic primary turnout in 2010 was almost identical in vote count as the 2004 primary, the last time this seat was up for election.  More votes were cast in the 2010 Republican primary for the seat than in either the initial 2004 Republican primary or the ensuing runoff.  2.4x more votes were cast in the R primary than were cast in the D primary in 2010, so for this theory to hold water it implies that Republicans were able to increase their own turnout, get >25% of their own voters to cross over and vote for Mr. Greene and simultaneously suppress the Democratic turnout in similar numbers.  Sure.
  • Voters are stupid.  Actually, this one is a combination of two theories.... that voters voted for him because he was the first name on the ballot or because they confused him with soul icon Al Greene.  Seriously?  Seriously?
  • Voting machines were hacked/broken.  The SC Elections Board has declined to initiate an investigation of the process, stating the the system "performed accurately and consistently" on June 8, so we're not likely to get much investigation on this one.  Next logical question: who is on the Elections Board?  Are they appointed, perhaps by the governor?
  • Anti-Incumbent fever. Neither democratic senate primary candidate was the incumbent senator. The favored candidate in the race, Vic Rawl, is a member of the Charleston County council and a former state legislator, for what that's worth. Negative name recognition? If Mr. Greene beats incumbent R senator Jim DeMint in November then I'll give this one a second thought.
Or maybe.... just maybe.... he actually won.


  1. More likely it is a combination of a few of the above factors...

    Nice pic to go with the article, BTW. I think that is hilarious!

  2. I like how Rawl won the absentee balloting by 84% but lost the election 60-40. People taking the time to look up the candiates if they absentee vote but not carring if they go in person.