With this week's announcement not to seek a recount (http://www.necn.com/09/15/10/Lamontagne-Will-not-seek-recount-will-re/landing_politics.html?blockID=311559&feedID=4212& ) Ovide Lamontagne's run for the US Senate in 2010 came to an end. Back in July, I predicted a very close win over Kelly Ayotte:
Primay results September 14, 2010
Wednesday, July 14th at 10:34AM EDT
Lamontagne - 35%
The percentages may vary, but this is my predicted order of finish.
As it turned out I was wrong, at least when it came to the photo finish. I predicted Ovide by a nose, and in fact it was Ayotte by half a nose. Disappointing for me for sure, but a win over Binnie is a win......and the party gets behind Ayotte for the fight against Paul Hodes:
2010 GOP PRIMARY RESULTS
Lamontagne - 37%
Another telling set of numbers from highest to lowest........Campaign cost/vote:
So at least my prediction that Bill Binnie could not buy an election in NH held up........although he had people worried for awhile in the summer. The problem is that all the polls back then were driven by name recognition, so if you have lots of money to spend, the numbers go up.......he had lots of money to spend. Ultimately, as the race went along and his numbers were not moving up, he went negative on Ayotte and his numbers dropped like a rock........well below the 20% I thought he could get.
Bender finished up just about where I thought he would at around 10%.
Ovide ran a textbook grass roots conservative campaign. He came up just short of victory during the wee hours (as predicted) of the next day after primary day...........it actually took until the afternoon for the Secretary of State to certify the vote.......and he was 1668 votes short of a victory.
Now it is up to Ayotte and the rest of the party to chart a course to victory in November. Even before primary day, Paul Obama Hodes was running commercials as a "fiscal conservative", trying to distort his record, and run to the right. Just check out his latest video at http://paulhodesforsenate.com/?no_splash=1. In the days and weeks ahead it will get nasty.......really nasty, as the democratic smear machine ramps up against Ayotte......we only hope she is up to the task.
There is one real consequence already to the Ayotte victory........the republicans can no longer attack sitting Governor Lynch on the FMR ponzi scheme fiasco or the $110M JUA fund taking, because Ayotte was attached to both as his AG. This has allowed a bunch of RINO's to come to Lynch's aid and sign on to "Republicans for Lynch" ( http://www.theunionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Long-time+Gregg+chief+of+staff+joins+former+Executive+Councilor+on+%27Republicans+for+Lynch%27&articleId=b4f7c613-8e4a-440c-99d9-340735829588 ). Not surprisingly, most of these RINO's have close ties to Senator Judd Gregg, Ayotte's original sponsor in the the US Senate race.
As a final note, it is worth peeking in on Ovide's facebook page to get a feel for the passion that was evident in his supporters: http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=119091611471842&share_id=138128472887693&comments=1#!/pages/Ovide-Lamontagne-for-US-Senate-2010/177440823738?ref=ts
Ovide's new burden or gift, depending upon what he wants, is to figure out what to do with all this support he now has. My guess is, at the very least, that one (Romney) or more 2012 presidential candidates takes a strong interest in getting his support. Then of course there is the ironic twist that Lynch's gain from Ayotte's win permits him to stay in office one more term with a win over 2010 GOP nominee John Stephen.......giving Ovide an easy shot at the Governor's seat in 2012.
And then finally, there is the possibility of a Shaheen - Lamontagne battle for the other US Senate seat in 2014..........but that seams like an epic re-match from their 1996 race that would be too good to be true. Who knows what the voters will be looking for in 4 years. Maybe a true conservative has no chance after Shaheen runs to the middle for the next four years.