Orly Taitz, the California dentist-lawyer most famous for challenging President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, failed to win the Senate primary in California on Tuesday, but not before racking up tens of thousands of votes.
Under California’s new primary system, the top two finishers in a primary from any party advance to the general election. Taitz, running to challenge Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), was in sixth place with over 60,000 votes just after midnight, with 14 percent of precincts reporting. (Update: with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Taitz was in fifth place with over 113,000 votes.)
In an interview with TPM before the polls closed Tuesday night, Taitz said she had momentum in the race, claiming she gained 800 new followers on Twitter and had 1.2 million visits to her Facebook page in the last three days.
“According to most reliable polls from start to finish, I’m leading,” Taitz said. “As you know, I’m a grassroots candidate, I’m not an establishment candidate. The Republican Party establishment does not like people who rock the boat, and so they are supporting another candidate, but I do have a lot of support.”
Taitz is best known for beating the “birther” drum — she’s compared herself to Nelson Mandela and claimed Obama’s long-form birth certificate wasn’t legitimate because it should have said “Negro” — but she’s made presidential eligibility a relatively minor part of her platform (it comes it at No. 12, after rolling back the EPA and holding government officials accountable for the Solyndra and Fast and Furious scandals).
“People know about the eligibility issue,” Taitz said. “I’ve done over 1,000 interviews on the eligibility issue. So people know about it, and so it was very important for me to talk about the other issues. … In the state of California, we have enormous, enormous joblessness. Particularly, we have enormous joblessness among young people, according to the statistics of the Labor Department.”
Taitz’s three main issues: “jobs, jobs and jobs.”
“That is the No. 1 issue, and a lot of other issues stem from this one,” Taitz said.