Why are people over-thinking Alvin Greene's victory in the Democratic Senatorial primary in South Carolina, where he garnered some 60 percent of the vote? Some suggest he's a plant of Republican Senator Jim DeMint, his general election opponent, or other evil forces of the Right. Others speculate voter fraud was involved. Still others insist it's the luck of the alphabetic draw.
Let there be no mystery about how Mr. Greene accumulated his 100,000-plus votes. Here's the full story behind Greene's canny three-pronged strategy to beat his well-funded primary opponent Vic Rawl.
- Roughly a third of Al's votes came from soul and pop music lovers who believed they were voting for sexy Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Al Green, nee Albert Greene. Green, who was a superstar who sold millions of records in the '70s, also evoked sympathy from voters who remembered he was once doused by his girlfriend in a sea of boiling grits. When citizens heard Al's signature song, Let's Stay Together, on the radio, they took it as a compelling campaign theme. Here's one woman's explanation of her vote.
- Another 300,000 or so votes came from Democrats convinced they were casting their ballots for the Reverend Al Green, who, in service of his ministry, recorded many Gospel hits beloved by black and white audiences alike. (Hat tip to Bob Adels.) This association had the added benefit of mitigating the damage from the prospect that Alvin Greene might be jailed for showing dirty pics to a college coed
- The final chunk of pro-Greene-ers were folks who thought Rep. Al Green (D. Texas) had carpetbagged over to South Carolina to capitalize on the "If Rand Paul can be a Senator, so can I" craze.
Cleverly, Alvin never staged any rallies or campaign events or gave any interviews, thus avoiding probing questions from investigative journalists about his true identity.
Though Greene wouldn't tell post-victory interviewers how he raised the $10,500 filing fee to run in the primary, here's the scoop on that: Every now and then Alvin gets a sizeable, misdirected royalty check meant for soul singer Al or Rev. Al, who, it turns out, are one and the same guy.
Michael Sigman is a writer/ editor, media consultant and the president of Major Songs, a music publishing company.
Crossposted from Huffington Post with the author's permission.