And the next American Idol…er…Congressional Candidate Is…

He may not have been the American Idol…but he may soon be a congressman.

Clay Aiken…yes, THAT Clay Aiken…is embroiled in a close Congressional primary race here in North Carolina.  Right now, Aiken leads former state Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco by 369 votes (11,634 to 11,265) .   The issue will become clearer next Tuesday.   That’s when the state Board of Election canvasses all the numbers to determine the final tallies and margins.

I’m sure Aiken found out that getting votes in a REAL election is not the same as the American Idol popular vote.  Back in 2003, Aiken got about 11 or 12 million votes…and LOST.   This is indeed different..and a lot more important.

You may not have seen Aiken’s video from his campaign website announcing his run.  It’s a little lengthy..but here it is.

While Aiken does not put the ‘Idol’ reference up front, he should..as any candidate worth his salt would..capitalize on being part of what was then (but not so much now) a national phenomenon.  Who knows how many of today’s Tar Heel voters were teenyboppers in front of the TV calling the 1-900 voting number on their flip phones to support Aiken’s ill-fated showdown with Ruben Studdard on AI: Season 2.

The reality is,,be it a count, a canvass, a re-count..whatever you want to call it, these numbers rarely change once the final checks are done.   369 votes may just be enough to get Aiken to November.   There he runs squarely into Republican incumbent Renee Elmers whom he soundly criticizes in his above ad.

Ellmers will more than likely have the backing of the Republican leadership in the U.S. House.  More than once, she has appeared front and center alongside Speaker John Boehner and the GOP congressional brass.  That shouldn’t change even if the Tea Party wave she rode into Congress on has abated somewhat.

Aiken and Crisco never engaged in a public debate — televised or otherwise   Should Aiken hold on to his razor-thin margin, you can bet that local TV stations in North Carolina will push Ellmers and Aiken to discuss the issues in front of their cameras.  Who knows — maybe even C-SPAN will pick it up and take it beyond the Old North State.

In any case, more than just North Carolina will be looking at this 2nd Congressional District race.

Only five more months of this to go.

 


 

 

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