My take on the winners and losers from Tuesday's election. Please feel free to leave comments.
Susan Montee- It is rare that a candidate has had so many things weighing in her favor. Though she is running in a state that has been voting more and more Republican in national races, she has name recognition from her time as state auditor, a weakened Peter Kinder as an opponent, the contrast between Kinder, the supposed womanizer, and the female candidate, and a third party candidate in Cynthia Davis, who will drain at least a few votes from Kinder and maybe more if some of the big money boys who financed Brad Lager's campaign decide they want to make sure Kinder doesn't win.
Steve Tilley- Sure, Sarah Steelman didn't win, but she did garner more votes than John Brunner, who put eight million of his own money into his campaign. Where Tilley benefits is from Peter Kinder's win. Tilley decided not to run for lieutenant governor when Kinder elected to go for a third term. Tilley's brilliant maneuver to use his position as Speaker of the House to appoint a Kinder-led committee to study disasters during the last couple of weeks of the campaign gave voters a different image of him, at odds with the Horny Toad commercials. Assuming that Jay Nixon is re-elected (and barring something disastrous, that is going to happen) Tilley has to be considered at this point to be in the top tier of candidates in 2016. At that point, Peter Kinder and David Spence are not going to be on the list. (Lager would have been had he won.) I have a hard time seeing Shane Schoeller using secretary of state as a springboard to the governor's mansion. He is going to have a hard enough time beating Jason Kander. Barring someone coming out of nowhere, that leaves Tilley, Tom Schweich, or maybe some surprise candidate like Jim Talent. Schweich doesn't have the temperament or the skill to keep up with Tilley. All of that being said, I also have no problem seeing Tilley staying out of elective politics and sticking with the twin hobbies of making money and being a political kingmaker in this state.
Landslide Stacey Newman- She won. Every vote counts.
Duke- Bill Stouffer's toast, but his dog is a winner.
Rex Sinquefield- He only sank $385,000 into Brad Lager's campaign, unlike the $900,000 the Humphreys family of Joplin contributed, and $385,000 is just a drop in the bucket to King Rex. Plus, he backed Jamilah Nasheed and Shane Schoeller, among others. Sinquefield, sad to say, is not going away.
Claire McCaskill- She wanted Todd Akin; she got him. But the one thing she had better not do is underestimate him.
Jay Nixon- He didn't have to spend any money and the Republican party already thinks he has a second term wrapped up or his general election opponent would not be Dave Spence.
Missourians- No robocalls for a few weeks.
Mike Huckabee- I'm not sure how much endorsements mean in these elections, but apparently Mike Huckabee's was worth a lot more than Sarah Palin's.
David Humphreys- His family wasted almost $1 million (possibly more) in an effort to keep Peter Kinder from being renominated. When the best you can show is an Ed Emery victory, it has not been a good election.
Cole McNary- He won the state treasurer's nomination on the Republican ticket, but how in the world did someone talking him into sending out a news release bragging that he had received more votes than any other candidate. Of course you did, Cole, you were unopposed.
Polls and Pundits- They all said John Brunner was going to win and there was never a chance that was going to happen. People got through the election not having the slightest idea what Brunner stood for. Sarah Steelman and to a greater extent, Todd Akin, left no doubt about their stances on issues and Akin ran a smart campaign, allowing Brunner and Steelman to snipe at each other, while Akin just siphoned off votes.
John Brunner- There is not a one of us who could not find a better use for $8 million.
Bill Stouffer- Great dog, lousy candidate.
Sarah Palin- Hopefully, the mama grizzlies are on the path to extinction.
God- Ed Emery credits God with his victory (voters helped, too, but Emery allowed them to escape the blame). God certainly deserves better than to be saddled with this kind of burden).
I await your comments.