hris Cannon beat challenger John Jacob last night in a GOP primary in Utah. In a district in which more than half the voters still think George W. Bush is doing a good job, he will likely beat any Democratic challenger this fall and go on to another two year term.
The final results, according to the utah.gov website, were 55.8% (32,306) for Cannon to 44.2% (25,589) for the challenger, John Jacob.
It strikes me as odd that a candidate who beat Cannon at the state convention 52% to 48% and who was neck and no-neck with Cannon a week out, somehow managed to end up losing to Cannon by not that much less than the margin by which Matt Throckmorton lost in 2004, even though Jacob was in Cannon's league in spending.
Matt Throckmorton spent something like $11,000 and came within 16% of Cannon; the last figure I saw for Jacobs was in the mid-$300,000 range, and he still lost by 11% to an incumbent with negatives above 40%
Chris Cannon is a candidate so radically out-of-step with his constituents on immigration, the major campaign issue in the race (we're going to see a lot more of those), that he actually made his opposition to the big senate amnesty bill part of his campaign.
First, how bad does a member of the House of Representatives have to be to feel obliged to run on his record in the Senate? Pretty bad.
And get this: the senate bill Cannon was condemning in order to show Utahns how tough he is on illegal immigration actually contains most of the AgJOBS monstrosity he himself introduced in the House!
In other words, Chris Cannon was not only running on his record in the
Senate, he was running against his own legislation in the other body.
With all that going for Jacob you have to wonder what happened.
In the last week of the campaign, while profiteer contributions—corporate bribes—were
pouring in Cannon was blanketing the district with deceptive advertising,
Jacobs pulled all advertising.
On top of that, the last week saw him make a series of statements that would be damaging anywhere, but especially so in Utah: Jacob's bad luck: Is it . . . Satan?
Whatever the explanation for the sudden implosion in his race against an incumbent member of Congress—an incumbent with a negative rating above 40%—the crony corruption that grips the state of Utah should not be dismissed out-of-hand as not playing a role in Cannon's victory/America's loss.
The only thing better than seeing Chris Cannon in handcuffs would be to see the voters of Utah throw him out of a job first, and then in handcuffs. It would be justice served for a man responsible for destroying the jobs of so many American families.
Don't be disheartened, however. His day will come, and no one in Washington will look at this race as vindication of the Wall Street Journal/Jack Abramoff immigration position.
Now, all the immigration victories in Utah yesterday!