A reader pointed out last night that one of the state’s far-left liberal websites was shedding bitter tears and blubbering over the loss of one of their own state senators in this past months’ election, trying to minimize the victory of the Republican over the entrenched Democrat incumbent, by raising the silly specter of evil RV voters. It wouldn’t be the first time it was used as a cheap excuse.
You lose, so straws are grasped at. However, talk is cheap. Especially when it is woefully and hopelessly uninformed.
Republican numbers were increased in the legislature this year because of a number of factors. In South Dakota, Republican numbers continue to increase while Democrat numbers are in a sharp decline. In terms of supporting their candidates, State Democrats were utterly worthless, and fell flat on their faces.
And then there’s the other, and the single most important factors that I judge candidacies on: Work. There were a number of candidates that put the time in, and worked. They worked hard, and ultimately, voters rewarded them for it.
Time and again, whether it’s in a Republican primary or a general election, a candidate who gets out and does the work will defeat a candidate who simply goes through the motions.
You saw it with Jordan Youngberg in Madison. Jordan was a young, largely unknown candidate running against Democrat State Senator Scott Parsley. Youngberg immediately got out and made his mark, and showed everyone he was a hard working candidate who reflected the views of his legislative district. He wasn’t perfect by any means, and he made some rookie mistakes.
But the entire time he was working hard, and made a strong, concerted effort going door to door, leaving Parsley to try to play catch-up the entire time. Youngberg is now Senator elect.
Tom Pischke was another hard working candidate. In the District 25 race, he wasn’t a candidate with a large campaign account. He raised and spent around $8,000 in the general election, with a chunk of that coming from the GOP House PAC.
Pischke was in a district with Roger Hunt, one of the State’s longer serving legislators, and Dan Ahlers, one of the few Democrats who had been able to deliver a win in this largely GOP District. When the votes were tallied, as a result of his hard work going door to door, Pischke found himself leading the entire pack in a strong first place finish with Ahlers narrowly squeaking out a win over Hunt.
Same thing in the District that surrounds mine, and shoots off to the north – Republican John Wiik who ran against Democrat Kathy Tyler for the Senate Seat in District 4. Wiik went out and worked his tail off, and Tyler’s effort was mediocre at best. Wiik beat her hands down.
The value of hard work by a candidate in a campaign can’t be ignored, and should never, ever, be dismissed. Hard working candidates have beaten “country club” candidates more times than you can count.
As much as some candidates try to treat them that way – Voters aren’t stupid. They can recognize the difference between an egotist sending them vanity advertising and a candidate who is out working hard, and running for the right reasons.
A good lesson for prospective candidates for 2018. If you’re going to run, and want to improve your chances of winning, you’d better be prepared to do the work.