If you’re a thousand miles away from a district and don’t actually know anything about what the candidates and their campaigns are doing, it is tempting to look at poll numbers, examine past voting trends, and start making assumptions about what the result will be. But when we yield to that temptation, we ignore the Hayekian insight: Information is diffused throughout society in such a way that no one — not even the best-informed “expert” — can know everything.And on the heels of that, I read this from National Review's Reihan Salam:
The problem with this is that as most of us in Wisconsin know, Ron Johnson wasn't a "Tea Party" candidate. Johnson is a Republican who's principles aligned with the Tea Party in many instances. This allowed him to garner votes from both groups. Combine this with independents moving to Republicans and you have the makings of an historic victory.
Like many of you, I’ve been baffled by the fact that Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell became the faces of the Tea Party during this cycle as opposed to, say, Ron Johnson or Nikki Haley. As Rich Lowry wrote last week, Johnsonhas as good a case for being a face of the Tea Party as just about anyone this year — he was urged to run after two speeches at Tea Party rallies, he’s a political outsider and businessman, he campaigns frankly on repealing Obamacare and limiting government, he speaks passionately about American exceptionalism, and he’s on the verge of unseating a liberal lion of the Senate.
Hopefully, he will turn out to be a great Senator and he will always have the title of the guy who knocked out Feingold, but I don't think he will ever be the face of the Tea Party. A story about a a national media conspiracy to deny him this mantle may make for interesting reading inside the beltway, but it's simply not true.
I'm a fan of Salam, so my advice to him is this: Stop making it so easy for The Other McCain. He loves few things more than exposing the follies of what he considers anointed conservatives. Sure he does it primarily because he's jealous of your high-profile lucrative writing gigs, but if he keeps turning out to be right, he's probably not wrong to think he deserves one too.