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Anti-incumbent primaries nationwide

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Wide White: Anti-incumbent primaries nationwide

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Anti-incumbent primaries nationwide

For those of you not political-junky inclined (which begs the question, how do you possibly read this blog and remain interested?), there were primaries in five states tonight. Here are a few rules of primaries.

A. Incumbents don't lose. Only four U.S. Senators have lost primary battles since 1980. Sorry, I don't have numbers on U.S. Congress, but they can't be much better.
B. No one cares. Unless it's an open seat, people hardly ever care about the primary.

Here's how it went down tonight.

Connecticut: Joe Lieberman, the incumbent Democrat who ran for vice president in 2000 with Al Gore (some of you may have heard of him, or not...cbass...), lost in the primary to Ned Lamont, a political nobody who ran on one issue: the war in Iraq. Lieberman's picture with Bush and him, well, kissing after a State of the Union address became a major stumbling block for Lieberman. My prediction: Lieberman will run as an independent (which he's strongly indicated already that he'll do) and will win handily (polls have him slaughtering everyone else as an independent). Remember, Connecticut has around 600,000 Democrats, 400,000 Republicans, and 800,000 independents. Independents can't vote in a partisan primary, and the vast majority will likely support Lieberman, as will many Republicans. (The Republican candidate is a gambling-crazy nobody.)

Michigan: In a Congressional GOP primary moderate Republican incumbent Joe Schwartz lost to staunch conservative Tim Walberg in a strongly Republican district. Walberg was backed by Pat Toomey's conservative group. Pat Toomey, you may remember, was a Congressman who came achingly close to knocking off liberal Pennsylvania Republican Senator Arlen Specter in 2004. However, President Bush put politics above principle and campaigned for Specter and Toomey lost. Bush supported the moderate in this one as well in stumping for Schwartz, but this time, the conservative came out on top anyway. Nothing like the voters giving what can only be accurately described as a big "screw you" to Bush.

Georgia: Lunatic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney got spanked in a primary challenge from Hank Johnson. Apparently her lunacy was something upon which both Democrats and Republicans could agree.

This only reinforces my belief that this is an anti-incumbent year. It's true, two primaries were more of a case of the party deciding the incumbent wasn't loyal enough to the party principles, while one was simply a case of the incumbent being crazy. However, I still think it's very significant.

But we really won't know for another 91 days. (Not that I'm counting.)


Blogger Kate declared,

Political junkie? Perish the thought! :)

Since people make up the "parties", why is it that the people don't take over? WI should have had a strong candidate for Kohl's seat, and we all had an opinion of who should be running. However, the party pussy footed around, and look where we are? I'm looking forward to the new leadership, whoever it is.

8/09/2006 12:06 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Very good point on the people making up the parties. The problem is that the people who lead the parties are very corporate-minded. Many have only had political jobs since college. They don't relate to the grassroots very well.

That's been my experience anyway. I love grassroots Republicans. My problem comes with those at the top.

8/09/2006 1:32 PM  
Blogger KickThemOut declared,

It's about time for an Anti-incumbent Party:

8/14/2006 2:16 PM  

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