- State House District 58 Rep Mary Pruitt can and probably will be beat the next election (assuming she runs). While Steven Turner did not get nearly as many votes as Pruitt's previous challenger, Jason Powell, he did eat into her win margin. Pruitt's base is shrinking and she has no one but herself to blame.
- Steven Turner was no stronger than Jason Powell as a challenger. There is no evidence that I can see that Turner's GOTV was stronger than Powell's. 2006 and 2010 races were Pruitt's to lose.
- Turner's enthusiastic support of the Music City Center may not have hurt him, but it sure didn't help him in a district that expressed ambivalence about MCC. In this case, what didn't help him get around 200 votes hurt him.
- Turner should have been as mum on the MCC lightning rod as he was on May Town Center. Or at least he should have muted the zeal, given North Nashville's concerns about MCC.
- Future challengers have got to develop the same GOTV machine that Pruitt has built. A little more diversity might help: incorporate the interests of poor and working class people beyond the paternalistic mantra "jobs, jobs, jobs," maybe? Diversity is not merely a matter of ethnicity.
- Future challengers should increase their reach beyond the factions of Democratic Party regulars who (con)descend to act as if they understand everything about local politics.
- Blaming voters is not the best way to defeat Mary Pruitt in the future.
- Future challengers should stop running on what Mary Pruitt doesn't do for the district. Go negative when you have to, but don't make it central to the campaign.
- Beating or leveraging Mary Pruitt starts today, not at the beginning of the next election cycle. Resign yourself to neglect until the next election, and Pruitt will definitely neglect us.
- Morning 100-degree heat and severe afternoon lightning storms may have kept many typical voters at home. However, Turner's more energetic base could be expected to go to the polls regardless of conditions. Would Pruitt's win have been bigger but for the elements?
Friday, August 06, 2010
Meandering personal reflections on the Pruitt-Turner results (see post update below) that, thanks to today being Friday, I have failed to put into a smooth narrative. I'm treating this stream of bullets as open, so I may add more as the day goes along: