The Ellmers juggernaut

Earlier this week I celebrated the victory of Renee Ellmers over seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob “Who are you?” Etheridge in North Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Even though the race was subject to a recount demanded by Etheridge, it was apparent that Ellmers was going to win and be certified next week by the North Carolina authorities. Yesterday Etheridge came to the same conclusion and conceded to Ellmers. Etheridge picked up six votes during the recount, leaving him 1,483 short of Ellmers.
Ellmers undertook an extremely difficult race in order to resist the nationalization of American health care. As a registered nurse, she had a pretty good idea what she was talking about. She ran a professional campaign. She was in the right place to benefit from Etheridge’s drunken assault on the young men the NRCC sent out to ask Etheridge whether he fully supported the Obama agenda. Good question! It turned out Etheridge couldn’t handle it.
Etheridge’s concession was a little short of gracious (though Ellmers uses that word to describe the phone call she received from Etheridge conceding the race). Etheridge blamed his defeat on “dirty politics” and outside money that boosted Ellmers.
“The combination of the national tide that swept the country, massive amounts of secret corporate cash funding a campaign of distortions and dirty politics by Washington, D.C., partisan operatives was just too much to overcome,” he said.
Etheridge is something of a whinging girlie man. According to the Raleigh News Observer, outside groups spent $360,000 to defeat Etheridge. As the incumbent, however, Etheridge was able to raise more than a million dollars to fund his campaign. As of the last campaign finance report before the election, Ellmers had raised half that amount. In fact, Etheridge outspent Ellmers something like 3:1.
Etheridge stumped for the Democrats’ $825 billion dollar “stimulus” slush fund and voted in favor of Obamacare. The case of Bob Etheridge provides a textbook example of a congressman who lost his race on the merits.

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