DES MOINES, Iowa – Michael Brickman and Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Institute wrote an article at Townhall.com asserting that those who advocate for the Common Core have more of an advantage in Republican primaries than those who oppose Common Core.

common core twoThere are some problems with this article.  First it is poorly sourced.  Go figure.  We *never* expect that from Common Core advocates.

Second,  it is a logical fallacy to state that incumbents won re-election based on their advocacy for the Common Core while at the same time stating that Common Core opponents in Indiana who knocked off incumbents didn’t do so on their Common Core opposition alone.  They need to be consistent.  When I addressed the Indiana races I did recognize that it wasn’t the only issue.  I certainly didn’t deny that social issues were at play.  At least I provided an honest analysis; we can’t say the same about Brickman and Petrilli.

Third, they made some false statements regarding the Ohio Republican primary.

Heidi Huber from Ohioans Against Common Core said in a email on Monday:

The Ohio Citizens Pac candidate losses are a broad brush being applied to all challenges in Ohio and  Kelly Kohls was not an Ohioans Against Common Core candidate. In fact, we did not distribute her materials in order that we could put all attention and resources to a viable and critical challenge to incumbent Stautberg. He was heavily protected and funded by the Party. We beat the Party hacks the old fashioned way, knocking on every door of Republican primary super-voters in the district, precinct by precinct, and distributing the attached along with a few other pieces of anti-Common Core literature. The tipping point was the use of non-traditional candidate signs. We placed hundreds of “GO Brinkman – STOP Common Core” signs throughout the district. That stuck with voters and we enjoyed a decisive win. It was the first time in 18 years that a Republican incumbent has been defeated in a primary. Four other OH House candidates, running to replace termed out members, took their District with a heavy focus and commitment to repealing Common Core.

The Ohio Senate President, Keith Faber, conducted a pre-primary poll that showed Common Core was the number one issue with Republican voters, 68% wanting repeal. He warned his caucus not to screw up in messaging their “I’m for local control” stance or it may costs them their election. Kasich joined the choir the day before the primary, stating on WTAM 1100 radio that Common Core was “written by local school districts”.

Fourth there was at least one Congressional primary where Common Core was an issue, and the Common Core opponent won.  Why did they neglect to mention that?

Fifth, Brickman and Petrilli only list incumbents who won primary challenges.  They don’t seem to understand how hard it is to knock off incumbents who typically have better organization, more funding, party backing, earned media attention, etc.  This makes sense since they are educrats and not political/grassroots activists.  So perhaps they should stick to what is in their wheelhouse.  It takes more than being opposed to the Common Core to win a primary election.  Common Core opponents need to field quality candidates in order to beat incumbents and primary voters rarely are one-issue voters.

Sixth, there are plenty of states that haven’t had their primary yet so we’ll likely see some Common Core opponents win while others won’t and those wins and losses won’t entirely hinge on one issue.

Update: Karen Effrem pointed out to me two more instances where Common Core opposition has traction in Republican primary races in Florida.

Authored by Shane Vander Hart

 

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