Cindi Scoppe wrote this post on The State’s editorial blog, “And Another Thing…”:
People who don’t get The State’s endorsement or who just like to be snarky love to say that our endorsement is the kiss of death. That never has been the case: Well over half of the people we endorse always have won, and it seems to me like the number is usually significantly higher, but I’m not certain and I don’t feel like trying to figure it out.
But this year’s primary elections were a dramatic example of how inaccurate the sore-losers’ claim is….
Our only loss was in the Democratic primary for education superintendent, where Montrio Belton was trounced. But we endorsed Tom Thompson in the runoff, and he won his nomination. Easily.
So for the record, that’s 7-1, or an 88 percent success rate. Hardly the kiss of death.
The beginning of that post is almost word-for-word what I have written multiple times in columns and blog posts. Except that she didn’t mention the part about endorsements not being predictions, just statements of who should win (and far more importantly, why they should win), regardless of what actually happens.
And except for this: I never did this after primaries, just after general elections. Which is why Cindi can’t cite a won-lost record over time, because the numbers I tracked were for general only. Why? Because I thought that was, a truer measure of the extent to which we were in tune with our readers overall. Also, since we were moderates and the parties were increasingly extreme, tracking primaries is a sure way to pull down your percentages.
(By the way, the record over the years I was on the board was that just under 75 percent of the candidates we endorsed won.)
But the thing about this primary season just ended is, SC voters went for the sober, moderate, experienced candidates this time, rather than the angry ideologues (one exception being the county council race where I live).
So, congrats to Cindi and Warren Bolton on their chosen candidates doing so well. But congratulations even more to South Carolina…