Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What Will The Republican Right Do?

Last week, San Diego Union Tribune columnist, Logan Jenkins, speculated on possible post special election scenarios for Republicans. With the special election behind them, the conservative wing of the party now knows that they could have placed a candidate into the June run-off, if they had united behind a single candidate. Instead the conservative votes were spread out among three candidates: Eric Roach, Howard Kaloogian and Bill Morrow. Collectively, this group out polled Republican winner Brian Bilbray 27.3% to 15.2%.

The June run-off will be a side show in the state's primary election. The winner of the run-off will complete the six months remaining in Cunningham's term, while campaigning for re-election in November. As Jenkins point out, it is possible the Bilbray could beat Busby in June in the run-off while losing the Republican primary to a single conservative candidate. What would happen then?

Bilbray defeats Busby in June runoff – replacing Cunningham for the '04 term – but he loses the June GOP primary to another Republican. Kaloogian or Roach or Alan Uke or whoever.

In this case, we'd be looking at a November general election in which the incumbent, Bilbray, could win re-election only as a write-in, a surreal replay of the historic 1982 election in which Republican Ron Packard won as a write-in candidate against Republican nominee Johnnie Crean.

The perpetual campaign in CA-50 rolls on.