The polls are open as of 7 a.m. Sometime before they close, at 8 p.m., lay down a bet on how Venice-based blogger Mickey Kaus will fare in his anti-campaign for U.S. Senate.
Kaus told Calbuzz that if he gets 3% of the vote, it will be a historic repudiation of Barbara Boxer and everything she stands for. Perhaps concerned that the bar was too high, he then told the New York Times it would be a victory if he got any votes at all.
Though much has been made of the campaign's hopelessness (much of it by
Kaus himself), even hopeless candidates can get 5% of the vote. If he
doesn't clear 3%, then he'll be a couple rungs below hopeless. How,
then, to make an impartial prediction?
There isn't any polling, which makes it tough to apply the full Nate Silver treatment. But there are some guideposts in interpreting the results. Here are the results from the last three contested California Democratic Senate primaries:
Dianne Feinstein 87.0
Colleen Fernald 8.0
Martin Luther Church 5.0
Dianne Feinstein 95.5
Michael Schmier 4.5
Barbara Boxer 92.15
James Pinkerton 7.85
Kaus' total can be expected to vary from those results in a couple ways. On the upside, he has gotten much more press attention than the average gadfly. On the downside, check out the choice as it will confront voters today in the voting booth:
Barbara Boxer — United States Senator
Robert M. “Mickey” Kaus — Journalist/Blogger
Brian Quintana — Businessman/Educator
Nobody has used the “blogger” designation before, and Kaus probably didn't run it past a focus group. But figure that in a low-turnout primary, the electorate is likely to skew older and more humorless.
So, just guessing wildly now, let's say he “should” get about 8% based on past gadfly performance. Add a point for media coverage, then subtract two for “blogger.”
End result: 7%.