CORRECTION: My sincerest apologies for an inexcusable error in this post earlier. I erroneously congratulated my friend Martin Baker in the US House 1st District primary. I understand that Martin was about 500 votes short. I failed to verify information I received on the race, and I apologize for my irresponsibility. Well, this got people talking. (See the comments.)
Yesterday was the Missouri Primary. Congratulations to Rick Stream and Jay Ashcrofton their wins in contested races for St. Louis County Executive and State Senate District 24, respectively. Both men face important races in November, and I'm proud to support each of them. The only one I can vote for is Rick Stream, and I will do so with gusto. (Make that a long "u" in "gusto" and it rhymes.)
Now, for some interesting numbers. Most of the comparisons are to the 2010 primary, the most recent non-presidential Congressional election year.
St. Louis County Is Losing Voters
I know Charlie Dooley drove a lot of people out of the county during his reign of error, but I was a little shocked to see registered voters down by over 12,000 since 2010. Registrations are also down 2,600 since 2012. Are you startled that the county's lost 10,000 voters in just two years? Maybe MOPP's voter roll clean-up efforts had something to do with it. I'd love to know if those losses are concentrated in a particular area or party, or if they're evenly distributed.
Republican Ballots Were Way Down, TooSource: St. Louis County Board of Elections Yes, the Democrat race for County Executive drew a lot of attention, and I've received some anecdotal evidence of Republicans crossing over to vote in that race. But I expected the combination of low Democrat voter enthusiasm and the Amendments to draw Republicans and right-leaning independents to the polls. Didn't happen. Which tells me GOP voter enthusiasm is really low. But look at the trends. Since 2010, Democrat ballots have inched up while Republican ballots have dropped.
I realize that the dynamics are different every year, but that GOP drop seems worrisome. Or maybe the Tea Party effect in 2010 skewed that year's numbers. Still, with a 12,000 drop in registrations and consistent drop in Republican ballots, the St. Louis County GOP should be concerned.
Amendment 5 Failed in St. Louis County But Passed Overwhelmingly Statewide
Amendment 5 protects Missourians from 2nd Amendment abuses by the state and by the federal government. (And there was some spirited debate on that issue in the comments, too. With the big Democrat vote surge in St. Louis County, you might have expected that Amendment to suffer. And it did. County voters were out of step with the rest of the state with Nays 59 percent to Yeas 41, the mirror of the statewide vote of 61-39 Yea.
The "Right to Farm" Amendment Barely Passed
I called this the "meh" Amendment. My friend Ed Martin was strongly in favor, but I really don't think the courts will let it stand. It's basically just an affirmation of our love of farmers, which I agree with. But the language is as vague as Obama's patriotism. I expected it to pass fairly easily, but it passed only 50.2 to 49.8.
The Tea Party and the ACLU Can Make Beautiful Music Together
I know a lot of people on the right have issues with the ACLU, but we probably have more in common with the organization than we have differences. So I was proud to fully endorse Amendment 9 to extend 4th Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure to electronic data. And that Amendment blew everything out of the water with 75 percent voting Yes.
Missouri Doesn't Want More Boondoggle Projects
Very glad to see Missourians shot down the so called "transportation sales tax" increase. The 3/4 cent sales tax hike, purportedly to fix ailing roads and bridges, would have been the biggest tax hike in Missouri's history. Luckily, a lot of mayors and county executives tipped their hands and let us know they planned to build greenways, parks, bike trails, and butterfly houses with money. And Show-Me Institute informed us that Missouri's roads are in the top 10 in the whole country. That money-grab failed 59 to 41 percent. The only bad news on this Amendment was that Jay Nixon agreed with us.
Missouri Is Turning Libertarian
The combined results on Amendments 1, 5, 7, and 9 show that Missouri, like much of the country, is becoming more libertarian. That's good news. Libertarians (lower case L) distrust government and other large institutions. We oppose crony capitalism and favor free market capitalism. We believe that people created the government, and people can tell the government its just powers. While many of my fellow pro-lifers dislike some of the libertarian social stands, if we don't reign in government abuses of civil liberties, our views on abortion and other issues won't really matter. Because we won't be allowed to voice them.
On To November
But first, let's take some time to remind our Congressional delegation that we won't tolerate extending Export-Import Bank. In fact, I'd caution some of our Republican Congresspeople to look at yesterday's results carefully. A lot of traditional Republican voters--including those who provided that GOP surge in 2010--are ready to bolt in November. And I'm one of them. Missourians are notorious ballot splitters, and voting Libertarian on a few races might be just the message our Washington delegation needs.