Jim Gilchrist "wins" in CA-48
Minuteman Project co-founder Jim Gilchrist lost tonight's special election in California's 48th District, but he got 25.1% of the vote and perhaps has put a bit of a scare into at least the GOP. Republican John Campbell won with 44.7% despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on his campaign, and Democrat Steve Young picked up 28%.
Gilchrist ran on basically one issue: opposition to illegal immigration and support for border control. Despite attempts by both the Dems and the GOP to say otherwise, he didn't run on an "anti-immigration" or "anti-immigrant" platform, just anti-illegal immigration.
For examples of such confusion, there are a large number of almost completely clueless comments over at Daily 'Screw 'em' Kos, however this earlier thread contains this comment that probably went in one collective ear and out the other:
This is the hypocrisy and lunacy of the Democratic party on display. The point is, it was not too long ago that construction firms did pay $15 an hour and up, and they were union jobs. Now you want your cake and you want to eat it too. You want to whine that the Republican party has destroyed the unions, the Republican party has destroyed middle class, the Republican party doesn't want to pay a living wage, and in the same breath you want to defend the rights of ten percent of the population of Mexico to come here and put on roofs for seven dollars an hour... You can't have it both ways. The fifteen dollar an hour union framer that was put out of work in Texas was likely a Democrat. Who does he vote for now? Who does he turn to now? Who speaks for him or her now?
UPDATE: I should have crunched the numbers in more detail, because they're very (very) important: on election day, more people voted for Gilchrist than for Campbell. If Gilchrist had gotten more mail-in votes, he would have won. Apparently Campbell flooded the district with absentee ballots and his election materials, while Gilchrist did not.
UPDATE 3: For the unofficial vote totals, see this. Gilchrist might not have gotten 35% vs. 30% of the election day votes, but if you do the math, those numbers say he got 274 more votes. Now awaiting the official results...