Two weeks ago we posted Republican Primaries Suppress Creationists, about how establishment Republicans, led by Karl Rove, had been successful in several key G.O.P. primaries. The general idea, which seemed to be having some success, was based on the Buckley rule — William Buckley always said he was in favor of the most conservative candidate who is electable.
It has become necessary to impose some adult supervision in the Republican candidate selection process, because in recent years, some extreme “social conservatives” have been nominated by their local Republican party organizations, with generally disastrous results when they faced a Democrat candidate in the general election. The classic example is the catastrophic campaign of Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, who cost her party what should have been an easy victory in the Delaware election for US Senator.
In our last post, we reported that things had gone well for the GOP in several primary races. The most outrageous of those seeking their party’s nomination were defeated — including Paul “Pit of Hell” Broun in Georgia. But there is (at least) one more primary race where a Republican creationist is running to be the party’s candidate for the US Senate. We’re talking about Steve Daines in Montana, and the election is today.
In the Daily Journal of Franklin, Indiana (we can never find a Montana newspaper when we need one) they have this headline: Montanans head to polls for primary elections; candidates settle in, await results. It’s about a lot of Montana primaries that don’t concern us, so we’ll scan for the Steve Daines race and ignore the rest. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:
Montana voters were deciding Tuesday whether to nominate [Democrat] U.S. Sen John Walsh for the seat Gov. Steve Bullock appointed him to, and whether the Democratic nominee will face a formidable opponent in Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines.
That’s clumsily worded, but it appears that there’s a contest in both parties to see who their candidate will be for the Senate seat, and they refer to Daines as “formidable.” But will he be formidable in a general election? This little tidbit is certain to be an issue. We found it at the MSNBC website, and it says:
In a little-noticed 2012 interview, Rep. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), the front-runner in Montana’s open 2014 Senate race, expressed support for teaching creationism in public schools.
In an interview that aired on November 2, 2012, Sally Mauk, news director for Montana Public Radio, asked Daines, who was then running for Montana’s lone House seat, whether public schools should teach creationism. Daines responded, “What the schools should teach is, as it relates to biology and science is that they have, um, there’s evolution theory, there’s creation theory, and so forth. I think we should teach students to think critically, and teach students that there are evolutionary theories, there’s intelligent-design theories, and allow the students to make up their minds. But I think those kinds of decisions should be decided at the local school board level.” He added, “Personally I’d like to teach my kids both sides of the equation there and let them come up to their own conclusion on it.”
If Daines is the GOP candidate, that will haunt him, and it could cause him to lose the election. Well, maybe not. We’re talking about Montana. Anyway, let’s get back to the Daily Journal. They also say:
Walsh and Daines’ campaigns have been sniping at each other for weeks with dueling media releases in anticipation of November’s general election, which will be one of the nation’s most closely watched for its potential to help shape the balance of power in the Senate.
We know. That why we’re blogging about it. Let’s read on:
But for that matchup to happen, Daines and Walsh must escape the underdog bids of their primary opponents.
Who is sniping at Daines’ heels? We’re told:
Daines has eclipsed all Senate candidates in fundraising at more than $2.2 million, which is more than 54 times what state Rep. Champ Edmunds has raised. The third Republican candidate, political newcomer Susan Cundiff of Missoula, has not reported any money raised.
We’re not sure, but it looks like Carl Rove is keeping out of this one. He probably realizes there’s nothing he could do to change the probable outcome. We continue:
After the campaigns reached their peak last week with stops across the state, the candidates settled in to await the results. Daines was headed home to Bozeman to be with his family.
So there you are. At the moment, we don’t know how the primary election will end, but it looks like Daines will be the GOP nominee. The results should be known by morning. If he wins, then his creationism could be a problem. It could even cost the GOP the Montana Senate seat in November. But for all we know, his Democrat opponent may also be a creationist. We shall see.
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