Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going Green(e) Isn't Always Healthy

The South Carolina electorate was the butt of jokes all across the nation following the "Super Tuesday" primaries last week.

Alvin Greene won the Democratic primary to represent The Palmetto State in the US Senate. He had no job, no campaign, no website, and a pending felony charge. And he won big, by a 59-41 proportion over "established" candidate Vic Rawl.

So the finger got pointed. The conspiracy theories heated up. Democratic leaders in South Carolina cried "shenanigans" and claimed he was a "republican plant" and sent mathematicians in to re-examine the voting trends.

Greene became one of the Top 50 google searches (as I was guilty of on multiple occasions). The whole situation was captivating. But nothing untoward was unearthed. Did South Carolina voters select him because his name was first alphabetically? Or because his name seemed more "regular" than Vic Rawl (which I dare you to say without a southern drawl)?

My favorite piece of video came from a story from our friend, WSAV's Holly Bounds, who interviewed a SC voter, and said that she voted for Alvin Greene because it reminded her of the soul legend Al Green. The video has gone viral.

The truth is there were a lot more voters like her. Studies have shown that Vic Rawl had only 4% name recognition in his home state. And when blogs first started dissecting this absurdity last week, several referred to Rawl as Rawls (with an "s" like soul legend Lou Rawls).

There's your answer. If you don't know either candidate, you point and click. And you don't have to recognize a name, just identify with it. An incredible case study.

Cheers, Alvin Greene. Go forth and take down that swanky incumbent GOP Senator Creme De Menthe. Or is it Jim DeMint? Who knows, just shut up and pour.

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