So there are midterm elections coming up in America this November, and today kicked off a string of primary elections to be held throughout the country.
The story so far!
Sen. Bennett of Utah was unceremoniously dumped from the GOP ticket two weeks ago at a party convention for daring to support a very wonk supported and very, very free market health care bill with Sen. Wyden of Oregon (a Democrat!).
Tonight lots of interesting things happened!
Rand Paul (son of Ron Paul, libertarian Congressman from Texas and Kevin Nash favorite) handily won the Republican side against the Mitch McConnell supported Secretary of State Trey Grayson.
On the Democratic side, Attorney General Jack Conway defeated Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo. Conway was the more liberal candidate, hooray!
That creates a fascinating general election. The Republicans should be favored here, but the GOP primary was not a friendly affair and there doesn't seem to be a huge enthusiasm gap, at least based on the primaries where turnout was roughly proportional to registration (it's a closed primary in Kentucky).
Rep. Joe Sestak defeated many, many time incumbent and party flipper Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary. He in fact won fairly handily despite Specter being supported by the President, Vice President, Gov. Rendell, and the Mayor of Philadelphia. Turnout here was about half of what it was for the Democratic primary for President two years ago. Also a 50% increase over 2006 turnout in a Democratic primary, but now Senator Casey didn't have a real competitor so that probably depressed things. Tough to say what that means. Though I think turnout in Philly was depressed and that lack of machine support ended up killing Sen. Specter.
Sestak will face crazy person and former Club for Growth President Pat Toomey for the seat in the fall. He should be able to keep this one for the Democrats, but it'll be an interesting test of the media's Tea Party hype.
Democrats also easily won a special election in PA-12 and will hold that seat for the next six months.
On the Republican side, sadly the strongest candidate John Boozman won with a majority tonight. Boo!
On the Democratic side, incumbent Senator Lincoln failed to gain the 50%+1 needed to prevent a runoff against hard charging Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter. Lincoln is facing a ton of criticism from the liberal flank of the Democratic Party concerned with her actions on health care, labor, environmental and a ton of other votes. Recently, she's tried to push through strong regulations of derivatives to shore up her support on the left, but it didn't seem to work terribly well. There will be a runoff in two weeks and Halter is probably a slight favorite at this point. He was 1.8% behind with 13.1% of the vote going to a third candidate. It seems unlikely that Lincoln will get enough of the already anti-her vote to win, but is certainly possible.
On the turnout front, more than twice as many votes were cast in the Democratic primary. Interesting!
Use this thread to discuss further primaries (though I think the biggies were all tonight), the Lincoln-Halter runoff election, general Congressional election news (like the Hawaii special election Democrats have inexplicably blown on Saturday), and how you think the midterms will go.