[O]ne of the biggest — and most overlooked — surprises of Tuesday night was in a northeast Ohio Republican congressional primary. There, Samuel Wurzelbacher, who is better known from campaign 2008 as “Joe the Plumber,” almost lost his House bid to an obscure auctioneer named Steve Kraus — when the dust settled, Wurzelbacher escaped with a narrow 51 to 48 percent victory.So, Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher won't be going away for a while. Great.
To say Kraus was underfunded would be an understatement: Through the middle of last month, Kraus had raised and spent less than $10,000 — a pittance in the world of modern-day congressional campaigns. Wurzelbacher, by contrast, raised and spent over $60,000.
Wurzelbacher hasn’t exactly been embraced by the Republican establishment, largely because GOP officials regard the northeastern Ohio-based 9th District as tilting heavily Democratic and an unlikely November pickup. The National Republican Congressional Committee hasn’t bothered to add Wurzelbacher to its “Young Guns” program for top recruits. After Kaptur beat Kucinich, “Joe the Plumber” will now face the veteran Democrat in the fall.
Still, Wurzelbacher’s candidacy has been greeted with enthusiasm by some conservatives. Late last month, Herman Cain came to Ohio to campaign for him.
Thanks, John McCain.