The Dems’ own goal in IN-5

Shorter teabagger-turned-Democratic House candidate Tim Crawford: Sure, I may be a complete idiot and not believe in a single Democratic Party position, but I’m not dropping out of the race because my mom has cancer and she wouldn’t like it if I quit. Did I mention my mom has cancer?

The really troubling thing about this, of course, is that someone like Crawford could win a Democratic primary at all. (Caveat: Dan Burton is almost certainly not going to lose in the general election no matter who runs against him.) The following explanations seem likeliest to explain what the hell happened here:

1. Indiana has open primaries, making it easier for hardcore Republicans to sway Democratic primary elections and vice versa. So a lot of Crawford’s win could have come from GOPers crossing the aisle to deliberately sabotage the Democrats in this district by picking the most conservative candidate. Indeed, this practice is common enough that Democratic leaders in IN-05 specifically asked local Democrats not to request GOP primary ballots like they often do, so they could vote against Crawford.

2. Voters are morons and the local media fell down on the job in an election that only saw about 16000 total votes cast.

3. It probably didn’t help that Crawford’s opponent was a guy named Nasser Hanna.

4. Could the whole Crawford candidacy have been a GOP dirty trick? For a guy who seems, well, incredibly dumb, Crawford’s website isn’t bad looking. Not wholly professional, but not totally amateurish either. I’d like to see someone report on where this guy came from and who may be funding him (he claims to be entirely self-funded). In a tight midterm year like this one, this kind of thing is something to watch out for in states with open primaries.

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