Reportorial Qualification of the Day

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
July 5 2011 1:08 PM

Reportorial Qualification of the Day

It's early in Eve Conant's story about a "white supremacist stampede" of racist candidates for local and federal offices, led by perennial, and once-important, fringe candidate David Duke.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

Most aren’t winning—not yet.
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Most aren't! According to the research, only one did last year -- Loy Mauch, a batty neoconfederate in Arkansas, who once protested the "refusal to remove a statue of Abraham Lincoln displayed in the Hot Springs Civic and Convention Center." How did Mauch win? How does anyone win an election? Benign ignorance.

Mauch's opponent in the race was Terry Bracy, a former Malvern City Council member who owns an ambulance company. When told that Mauch was a member of a group that believes in Southern secession and is a strident defender of the Confederate flag, Bracy said that he didn't have that information during the campaign.
"Everybody is entitled to their opinion, I guess," Bracy said. "I was hoping maybe that the electorate would be more in tune with that. I really didn't want to be negative in the campaign to be honest with you."

The suggestion: More information about racist (or, fine, neoconfederate) candidates leads to the candidates not winning. That's certainly the conclusion to draw from the fact that the rest of these idiots aren't winning. When David Duke ran as the Populist Party's candidate in 1988, near the peak of his fame (he's the definition of a has-been now), he scored 47,004 votes. Nationally. For every Duke voter there were four misguided souls who pulled the lever for the decidedly black, female, and odd Lenora Fulani.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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