Tuesday, May 18, 2010

McCain/Hayworth isn't the only colorful Senate race this year

...of course, given that we live in Arizona, McCain v. Hayworth is the one we've heard the most about.

Not a good day for incumbents and "establishment" candidates in either major party.

...In Kentucky, in a development that is certain to gladden the hearts of Tea Party types, Rand Paul (the son of Congressman Ron Paul) seems to have won the Republican primary in the Senate race there. The "establishment" GOP candidate there, Trey Grayson, had the support of most of the big names in the GOP, including Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell.

It didn't help Grayson, though Paul's victory may help the Democrats - Paul may be too extreme even for Kentucky's voters.

...In Pennsylvania, incumbent Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat again Senator Arlen Specter is facing a spirited challenge from Congressman Joe Sestak. While it's hard to consider a sitting Congressman to be an "outsider", Specter has been supported by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Pennsylvania's Governor, Ed Rendell, and the party infrastructure. Sestak definitely qualifies as the outsider in this race.

Specter has lost the primary; now Joe Sestak will find out if it is an anti-incumbent wave sweeping the country, or an anti-Democrat.

...In Arkansas, incumbent Blanche Lincoln (D-Wal Mart) is being challenged by progressive Democratic Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. She was favored to gain a plurality in today's primary, but under Arkansas law, she needed to gain a majority to avoid a run-off in early June. She didn't reach a majority, so a run-off will take place.

Her vulnerability seems to be over her wishy-washy stance on health care reform. She voted for the final HCR package, ticking off the Tea Party types, but was adamantly opposed to a public option (you know, *real* health care reform), ticking off the Democratic base and every Arkansan who is un- or under-insured.

Again, the party establishment (and Big Business) is supporting Lincoln (with Labor supporting Halter), and while she seems likely to win the nomination, grassroots disaffection with her may cost the Ds the seat in November.

...In other "colorful" elections developments, the presumed D nominee in Connecticut to replace the retiring Sen. Chris Dodd, current CT Attorney General Richard Blumenthal has been fighting allegations that he exaggerated his record of military service, saying that he had served in Vietnam when he had in fact only volunteered for the Marine Corps Reserve and had never actually been in Vietnam. He says that he "misspoke" and has apologized. It remains to be seen how this affects his candidacy.

The Connecticut Democrats will be holding a nominating convention this weekend. If another D candidate receives 15% of the vote, there will be a primary. Stay tuned on this one.

The next question, and we won't learn the answer until November, is whether tonight was an indication of a general anti-incumbent wave or if it was more the grassroots of each party flexing their muscles and knocking off candidates who weren't seen as "good" Democrats/Republicans.

1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

I'm hoping that people get a better description of Rand Paul in the next 6 months than "too extreme".