Conservatives can’t believe their hero Tony Bennett lost.

Bennett had the support of the national conservative establishment.

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute had crowned him the American Education Idol.

He had nearly $1.5 million to spend.

Republicans loved his attacks on unions.

The Obama administration loved his support for the Common Core standards.

He is president of Jeb’s group of rightwing superintendents called Chiefs for Change.

He is on the board of directors of the Council of Chief State School Officers (its president is Tony Luna of Idaho, whose teacher-bashing laws were repealed by the voters).

Education Week invited Bennett to lead a forum on “Road Maps to Success” in implementing the Common Core in March 2013 (that should be a hoot, especially since one of the session will be held in Indianapolis!).

And he got shellacked in the election by a political novice.

Glenda Ritz received 100,000 votes more than Mike Pence, who was elected Governor.

The pondering goes on and on.

How did David beat Goliath?

Here is one effort to explain it.

Let’s see: teachers, principals and superintendents were angry, but that would not be enough to beat him.

The unions were angry, but that would not be enough to beat him.

Parents were angry at the avalanche of testing. There are lots and lots of parents. That would matter.

Hoosiers who graduated from public schools, who loved their teachers, who respect the importance of public education figured out that he was doing his best to turn it over to entrepreneurs.

Maybe that’s what did it.