In the wake of the midterm elections, there is some renewed discussion out there regarding the Buckley Rule and the perceived weakness of the Republican Senate candidates in Delaware and Nevada. I wish to contribute my two cents.
Penny one: the Buckley Rule. William F. Buckley famously remarked that his vote in a particular election would go to the most conservative viable candidate. I happen to think this rule should be applied to the actual vote at hand – a primary vote should not be projected forward to the general election. I refuse to cast a primary vote based on a candidate’s “electability” as proclaimed by mainstream media pundits. Isn’t that how the Democrats ended up with John Kerry as their presidential nominee in 2004?
Penny two: voting for weak candidates. Sometimes, a vote is cast not because of enthusiasm for Candidate A, but out of revulsion for Candidate B. If I lived in Delaware, I would not have wanted to vote for Christine O’Donnell, but she would have nonetheless been the recipient of my votes against Mike Castle in the primary election and Chris Coons in the general election. If she was unable to expand her support much beyond her opponents’ negatives, the question that really ought to be asked is why no better representative of conservative ideals stepped forward to challenge Castle for the Republican nomination. She at least had the courage to enter the arena.