Sunday, November 07, 2010

Election 2010: Did Creationism Help Sink GOP Candidate?

Bernard Schoenburg, writing for the Springfield Journal Register opines that it may have been creationism that helped to sink GOP candidate Bill Brady. He writes:
Less than a month before Election Day, Brady appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board, where some of his conservative social views were discussed. The lead sentence on that newspaper’s story about the meeting mentioned that Brady told the board “he would not stand in the way of a public school board should it want to teach creationism.”

That was reminiscent of late 2005, when Brady started an unsuccessful run for his party’s nomination for governor in 2006.

“I think we should teach the Bible in our schools,” he said then on WMAY-AM. “One of the basic, fundamental voids we have in our school system is bringing God into the system.” Brady told me later he thought local school boards shouldn’t be prohibited from having the “historical significance of the Bible or any religion” taught.

Despite the spin, Brady’s startling talk of the need for God in public schools was part of what formed the impression that Brady was more conservative than many Illinois voters are comfortable with. The horrific economy and state budget this year pushed such issues into the background, but it’s easy to believe Brady’s creationism comments in the Sun-Times story pushed some possible Brady voters into Quinn’s camp.
This is, admittedly, speculation and it is the first such story I have heard about this issue in the election. I have maintained that if the Democrats had hammered this point to the electorate, that the GOP, in general, suffers from a science gap, more races might have gone Democrat. In reflection, how true that is in the heartland is debatable. Explaining that the opponent is a young earth creationist is one thing. Explaining that being one is bad for science education is another. This is especially true when a sizable segment of the population doesn't think young earth creationism is half bad.

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  1. I'm not buying it.

    The Cook County vote decided the election, and I highly doubt that most Cook County voters were even thinking about Creationism. They were voting the way they always do - for whoever was the Democrat on the ticket.

    If you look at the election results county by county, there are only three blue counties left in the state - Cook (Chicago), St. Clair (East St. Louis), and Alexander (extreme Southwest).

    Cook split 64 - 29. This is what killed Brady. Cook county is solidly Democrat - and Brady still took almost 30% of the vote.

    St. Clair split 48 - 47.

    Alexander split 50 - 45.

    The rest of the state is solid red, and if not for the Democrat power base in Cook County, Brady would be governor.

  2. I certainly hope you are right. I think that one of the things that united the tea party was simply their anti-tax, less government spending platform. Under the surface, they were all over the place on other issues. On the other hand, the Democrats never played the "science hand" that I thought they were going to play. That may be because they realized it had little traction. Ultimately, the counties that are solidly Democrat went that way all across the country regardless of the fact that their party ran the country into the ground. Maybe the science issue just doesn't resonate like I thought it would.