In the chatter I hear (including on Twitter, for whatever that is worth) there is a sense that the Democratic nomination was Artur Davis’ to lose, that if only he had voted for Health Care Reform or courted ADC & New South or whatever else, the nomination would have been his. He blew it, goes the thinking. The observation missed there, I believe, is that he was running the race to win the general election, not to win the primary.
Sure, the obvious point there is that you have to win the nomination first, but the ultimate goal is to win the general election, and I believe Davis campaigned in a way he believed would give him the best chance to win the general election. It was a political calculus and it didn’t work. But I find it hard to fault him for the way he played his cards.
There is also Twitter-chatter matched by some email in my inbox that the Democrats’ nomination of Sparks is better for the Republicans this fall, and I am not sure of the logic of that either. Sparks in the past has had his crossover support, especially among rural Republicans; I’ve heard Republican legislators tell of the strong support Sparks has among some of their Republican constituents. Either Democrat would face an uphill climb in November, but I am not sure of the logic that says Davis clearly had a November advantage over Sparks.
As a postscript, I’ll grant that Sparks’ gambling-themed gubernatorial platform could skew that equation a bit.