I wasn't planning to keep piling on rookie U.S. Senate candidate Pat Hughes (at least not today), but he doesn't appear to understand the primary election process, among other things, or is just really bad at math.
Today over at Illinois Review Pat Hughes denies that he did not have enough signatures to file as of 8:00 a.m. on the first possible day, which was this past Monday, Oct. 26th. Rather, he claims this is all part of his strategy to wait until the last minute on November 2nd to file and jockey for last place on the ballot (assuming he realizes that a few other GOP contenders may have the same idea). Whether you can believe him, considering his campaign recently seemed pretty desperate for signatures as we reported earlier today, Pat also doesn't seem to know that you have to declare a political party in Illinois when you grab your primary ballot. Pat says at IR:
"We'll be filing on Monday with the intention of getting the last place on the ballot. If you can't get the top spot, and bottom is second best. We had a one in 16 shot at getting the top spot in a drawing if we all filed at 8:00 AM Monday morning, so we're waiting," Hughes said. (TA's emphasis)
Um, 1 in 16? While there are a bunch of GOP hopefuls in the U.S. Senate race that we know of (Kirk, Arrington, Wallace, Zadek, Martin, Thomas, Lowry, and Hughes), that only totals up to eight.
If you add in the DEMOCRATS to Hughes' total (Giannoulias, Jackson, Hoffman and Meister) that is four more, which totals 12, but is still not close to 16.
But as most of us understand, Hughes will not be competing against the Dems for ballot position in February. It will just be Republicans, so we're back down to 1 in 8 as far as chances to be top ballot dog go, and as it turned out, only five of the eight filed last Monday.
There's also the possibility that one or more candidates would be knocked off during any challenges which would further increase your odds of getting that top spot.
Now, he's going to have to figure out how to be last when potentially two other GOP candidates may have the same plan. I'm assuming if you hand in at the last minute (literally), there is a similar lottery to jockey for last position. That makes Hughes' odds potentially as bad as 1 in 3 to get last, which isn't too much different than his chances would have been to be first, as it may turn out.
Given how bad Pat is at calculating odds, I'm not too sanguine about how well he can execute this strategy either.
UPDATED 2:30 p.m.: In a different article today at IR, two other GOP senate contenders are mentioned that I did not reference above, a Tom Kuna and an Ed Varga. That brings the total GOP field up to 10, but even with the four Democrats, that only makes 14 total, not 16. So Hughes' math is still off, at best, if he understands that the Dems won't be on the ballot with him, but the closer total makes it seem even more likely to me that he doesn't have a clue about the parimary ballot process and assumed all candidates would be on the ballot together.