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Michael L. Millenson Headshot

Does Anti-Reid Obit Foretell Dem Demise?

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Talk about anti-incumbent passion. James L. Srch used his obituary to get in one last protest against the re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In a paid obituary notice in the Chicago Tribune and the Reno Gazette, the family of Mr. Srch -- presumably with the deceased's consent -- sounded this unexpected political note. "Jim will be especially remembered for his love of country, his devotion to family and friends and his determination to oust Harry Reid."

And here's the really bad news: at the time of his death, this postmortem partisan seems to have been a registered Democrat.

Although Mr. Srch's obituary does not say exactly what activated his anti-Reid animus, one suspects it was the entirety of the Obama administration's legislative agenda, which Reid spearheaded. If other voters who fit Mr. Srch's demographic profile prove equally alienated, it means Democrats have lost precisely the kind of independent voters who swing mid-term and presidential elections alike.

Mr. Srch's obit tells an all-American story: Born, raised and educated in Chicago. Devoted Catholic. An engineering degree. Married high school sweetheart. Military service. Worked his way up to an executive post in an industrial corporation. Retired to Reno, joining the exodus to the Sunbelt. Mr. Srch's name also tells a particularly Chicago story: I read the obit in the first place because the lack of vowels in the surname immediately reminded me of Chicago's large Eastern European immigrant population.

The obit, alas, did not note whether Mr. Srch was able to vote in advance of the Nov. 2 elections by using an absentee ballot before he died.