| Asheville Citizen Times
Mercifully, the COWs are finally coming home.
I think we can all agree that this has been one incredibly long election season, featuring a long list of flawed candidates that aren’t exactly America’s cream of the crop. Honestly, this contest has been staggering through the pastures for two years or more now, and some of these COWs really deserve an appointment at the meatpacking plant.
In case you’ve forgotten, or tried to forget, COW stands for my assessment of a candidate’s Chance Of Winning. It’s simply an acronym for my best guess at who’s going to win, not in any way an endorsement or a suggestion on who you should vote for.
It’s not based on science or a deep analysis of polling or any real expertise, other than my college minor in political science and a desire to make some really horrible cattle puns. Oh, and the chance to set myself up for angry gorings when I get races wrong. In short, everybody has fun!
Let’s start with the big daddy, mother of all contests…
The Presidential Election: Let’s be honest — The tubby orange bull with the crazy dyed mane likely would’ve sashayed to reelection in a non-pandemic world. But he bungled the response terribly, constantly lied about it going away any day now, toyed with the idea of letting herd immunity run its course (and that’s NOT a pun), and then held a bunch of a super-spreader, people herding events disguised as campaign rallies and potential Supreme Court justice meet-and-greets. In short, he showed he only belongs in a China shop, not that nice White Barn in D.C. The other bull in the ring is even older and occasionally displays a vacant expression that makes you wonder if he’s trying to remember where his car keys are, but I think most Americans view this old fella as having way less of a chance of giving us four more years of sour milk. In short, Donald Trump’s COW is destined for a fatal bleach injection, then processing into some incredibly overpriced New York strips and gaudy, gold-embroidered leather jackets that you preorder and then never received. Joe Biden’s weathered old beast shambles across the finish line first, garnering just enough Electoral College votes to win, then forgets where it is and moseys out to pasture to nibble grass for four nice, boring years. Sure, the American public feels like ground chuck after this race, but it’s mainly just relieved to toss Trump’s COW on the grill. Biden wins with 53% of the vote, to Trump’s 47%.
More: Boyle column: No, Donald Trump isn’t likable. He’s also not fit for office
U.S. Senate, Thom Tillis versus Cal Cunningham — I suspect Democratic turnout is going to be off the charts this year, driven largely by Trump fatigue, so normally I’d predict a win for Cunningham, the Democratic challenger, over Tillis, the Republican incumbent and stalwart Trump supporter. But Cunningham decided to betray the trust of voters, not to mention his family, by engaging in an affair — last summer. You know, after beating out multiple other Democratic contenders in the spring primary but before the general election. Sure, a lot of voters really don’t care about these sorts of sordid affairs anymore — hey, when your president pays off a porn star for $130,000, the bar just gets tossed out the window — but in North Carolina, people like their cattle to keep their beef to themselves. I mean, does no one remember John Edwards’ little peccadillo that cost him his seat a few years back? Tillis’ COW has milked the Cunningham affair relentlessly via TV ads, a shrewd yet sleazy political maneuver. It’s probably enough to send Cunningham’s COW off to a low-rent career in the bovine porn industry. Dare you to Google that term. Tillis, 52%; Cunningham 48%.
Madison Cawthorn-Moe Davis for 11th Congressional District — Sure, Cawthorn’s COW apparently gets a little hoofy with the ladies, likes white supremacist symbolism, has trouble telling the truth about getting into the Naval Academy and other matters, occasionally tells folks, in writing, to “Chill the f*%@ out,” and, at age 25, has, ahem, udderly no real world experience, but he is still likely to stomp the neck of Davis’ COW. Here’s why: Even though the 11th Congressional District got redrawn and now includes Asheville, it still went for Trump in 2016 by 57%. While Davis, a 62-year-old retired Air Force colonel and former chief prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay, is clearly the more qualified candidate, he has come across as gruff and testy, at least on Twitter where he made those remarks about stomping the necks of pasty Republicans. But Cawthorn’s COW, still just a calf, really, has those boyish good looks and a compelling life story, as he’s confined to a wheelchair after a car accident at age 18. Between the district’s leaning and his ability to look good on a billboard, Cawthorn’s COW will be judged the prettiest in all the land in what essentially has become a 4-H competition. He’ll become the youngest member of the U.S. House of Representatives, while Davis’ COW chews a bitter cud and considers plastic surgery to make himself look 20. Cawthorn, 53%, Davis 47%.
More: Boyle column: Madison Cawthorn has a problem, but will it matter?
More: 11th District candidates Davis, Cawthorn talk climate change, forest funding, Max Patch
Asheville City Council — Whatever happens, Council will see some new stock this fall, as incumbents Brian Haynes and Julie Mayfield are departing. Incumbent Keith Young has done good work on council, kept the pastures neatly trimmed and not left any cow pies on downtown sidewalks, so his COW will be doing a victory dance Tuesday night. Two more COWs will take their seats in Council chambers, and for those spots I’m thinking the COWs of Sage Turner and Rich Lee are looking strongest, out of a batch of solid candidates.
Buncombe County Board of Commissioners chairman seat — Incumbent Chairman Brownie Newman, a Democrat, and current board member and Republican challenger Robert Pressley are duking it out in this race, which has mostly featured two mild-mannered COWs nibbling grass and keeping a wary eye on one another. Normally, a COW who owns a meat-selling restaurant and raced in NASCAR would be a slam dunk for election in these parts, and Pressley has both (he owns Celebrity’s Hot Dogs in Enka), but he’s got a fatal flaw: he’s branded with a big ol’ R. That Republican status plays well in the hinterlands, but Asheville residents also vote for County Commission, so I look for Newman’s COW to claim a narrow victory. On a positive note, Pressley’s restaurant will be offering all-beef franks on the lunch special for the next six months.
Yes, I know there are a bunch of other races, but it’s time to hunker down, lock the barn door tight and sharpen our horns, as the presidential election devolves into a month or so of disputed victory claims, lawsuits and ballot shenanigans.
Buckle up, buttercups!
This is the opinion of John Boyle. Contact him at 828-232-5847 or email@example.com
Let’s block ads! (Why?)