In more than four decades of covering elections across four different states, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like the results Tuesday evening in the Republican primary for Congressional District 4.
Yes, Crescent Hardy won the right to advance to the general election against incumbent Steven Horsford capturing nearly 43 percent of the votes cast, besting Niger Innis’ 33 percent. But how to explain how Mike Monroe picked up 22 percent of the votes cast?
Monroe is a cipher. He did not campaign. He raised and apparently spent no money. He did not debate. He did not go door to door. He gave no media interviews. Few have even seen a photo of him.
Conservative writer Chuck Muth dismissed it as
“How is that possible?
“Because those folks weren’t voting for Monroe. They were voting against both Hardy and Innis. And since there was no ‘None of the Above’ option on the ballot, since this was not a statewide race, the Monroe vote was a ‘pox on both your houses’ vote, not a vote for an unknown candidate.”
But if so, why did Monroe get 22 percent of the vote, while Carlos Poliak, who at least submitted his photo and information about himself to the press, garner only 2 percent? Poliak got 523 votes to Monroe’s 5,392.
A Review-Journal story noted:
“Innis also said he planned to ask Secretary of State Ross Miller to investigate the candidacy of Mike Monroe, a Republican contender who finished third behind Innis with more than one-fifth of the vote. Innis questioned whether Monroe had filed all the proper papers to run, including campaign disclosure documents.Although Monroe didn’t campaign heavily or debate, he has run for Congress twice before, giving him greater name recognition with some voters.”
In 2010 a Michael A. Monroe ran as a Republican for the Congressional District 1 seat and picked up less than 2 percent of the vote. In 2006 a Michael “Ace” Monroe ran for the same seat and got just more than 10 percent of the vote.
CD1 is entirely within Clark County. So, please explain how Monroe won, yes, won in White Pine and Esmeralda counties. He was two votes shy of Innis in Lyon County, finishing third. He had more votes than Hardy in Mineral County, second place.
A White Pine County source said he was told that a number of Democrats switched to Republican registration just before the primary.
But why? With Horsford’s huge Democrat base in Clark County, neither Hardy or Innis had much of a chance. It was a senseless and futile gesture, if it was an Operation Chaos affair.
I doubt any sports book oddsmaker could calculate the odds of something like this. They are, to say the least, astronomical.