David Davis: Destroying His Own CareerAs most people in the First District know, Congressman David Davis so far refuses to concede the reality that he lost Thursday's Republican Congressional Primary to Dr. Phil Roe. Davis, it is said, actually believes that there are enough disqualified absentee ballots to make him the winner (there are not, and even if there were, his refusal to abide by election law makes Davis look remarkably like Algore).
I voted for Davis, but I find his post-election behavior to be atrocious. Apparently, David Davis seems utterly intent upon destroying his political career by holding out on the inevitable instead of doing what is honorable. I have several friends who support David Davis, but it is worth noting that most of these do not live in the First District (note that there is nothing wrong with supporting your man from afar, but I've come to learn that you'll never understand First District Republican politics until you are immersed in them). The folks I know who were voting for Davis were doing so because, like me, they believed their choices were limited and that at least we agreed with Davis about most issues-even if he often grated us the wrong way.
David Davis made two critical errors in this campaign. First, he overestimated his own incumbents' advantage. Someone who was not supported in his first election by 78% of the voters in his district does not have any advantage in modern times-period. Secondly, Davis assumed that because some of us endorsed him this time, that we were now his unwavering faithful supporters. The truth is that most of us voted for him because our guy wasn't running and we thought Davis was the best choice in his place for now. Many more people had a favorite who wasn't running, except in their minds Dr. Roe represented their man because he wasn't David Davis.
Dr. Roe's people campaigned. They marched in parades, they showed up at the Farm Relief concert in White Pine, they handed out fliers and stickers and buttons. David Davis supporters were not to be found at any major events in nearly as large numbers as Roe people, and at many events, they simply had no presence at all. David Davis' campaign consisted of "look at me, I'm Mr. Incumbent Congressman," while the Roe campaign ran on a platform of "I'm not David Davis, I'm actually here."
David Davis is an intelligent man who knows from past experience how to win an election, and the #1 key to victory is to show up. If you can't be at some place, make sure your supporters cover it for you. David Davis' campaign didn't do this in the least, but the Roe people did. How was it Davis expected to win handily without running a campaign?
Davis did not want a campaign, he wanted a coronation.
People came to understand that-and now that he lost because of his own short-sightedness, he can best save his reputation by giving an honorable concession.