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Pundits and political observers will begin dissecting the howzits and whatzits of the Alan Gross campaign debacle in a bid to explain the incredible hammering the bear killer took, at least in early vote counting.
For a guy whose campaign probably spent $20 million or so – when you add Outside groups such as the Lincoln Project that poured money into the effort to unseat Sen. Dan Sullivan – you have to wonder:
What in the world went wrong?
In the early going, with more than 120,000 ballot left to count, Gross was trailing 32.09 percent to 62.22 percent, or 61,362 to Sullivan’s 118,978. In a state that normally sees Democrats, and Gross is a Democrat, garner about 40 percent of the vote, give or take, that is a real shellacking.
What caused that? Was it his iffy bear tale? (And whatever did happen to the bruin’s claws?) His lousy song about the iffy bear tale? The mansion in California? The commercial fisherman, doctor, rich guy thing? The Pebble tapes thing? His videotaped declaration of love for all things Democrat? Was it that nobody had ever heard of him before? We have our own theory.
By election day, many Alaskans simply were sick of him, weary of mailboxes packed full of placards, sick of his nonstop radio, television and social media ads. Pick up your telephone and there he was. Go on the internet, there he was. Try to get a quiet moment to yourself, the telephone would ring, and there was somebody who could barely speak English wondering if you would vote for him.
We never have seen or endured a political onslaught like that and there is a limit to what people are willing to tolerate. He spent millions pushing the boundaries of obnoxiousness.
At some point, the screw-you response kicks in. We know folks who had never heard of Gross and had nothing against him, but who, by the time the election rolled around, were sticking pins in voodoo doll likenesses and researching ways to put a pox on him.
Pundits and researchers likely will find myriad reasons he showed so poorly in the opening election counts, but we think he and his simply overdid it. He was like the loud drunk at the party who refuses to sit down and give everybody a break.
We do not know the man and he may be a good guy, but if we never see or hear from him again, it will be a day too soon.