Tonight's the night for political junkies. With voters hitting the polls
in 11 states,
this is the biggest primary day of the year thus far. For your reading
convenience, we've distilled the most important races and trends into
eight bullet points. Here's what to watch for:
- Watch for Everything! writes Politico's Charles Mahtesian: "The headline-grabbing
excesses of a few states have obscured a larger fact: With a Senate
runoff, a House special election and 10 states going to the polls, it’s
the single biggest day on the 2010 election calendar prior to November."
- Watch for Nothing! writes
Michael Tomasky at The Guardian:
"In general, I'm not sure today's elections have much to tell us about
national trends. Lots of factors in these races look pretty
state-specific or race-specific to me. But as you know already, I'm the
- Watch These Key Races, writes Carl Cannon at Politics Daily: "The
most crucial contests Tuesday are statewide gubernatorial and Senate
races in South Carolina, Arkansas, Nevada and California. The rest of
the Tuesday calendar, looking at the map east to west, features
elections in Virginia, New Jersey and Maine; Iowa and the Dakotas in the
Midwest; and the mountain state redoubt of Montana."
for Big Players in Trouble, writes The Wall Street Journal:
"In Arkansas, Sen. Blanche Lincoln is scrambling to avoid becoming the
third incumbent senator this season to be defeated by her own party.
Six-term Rep. Bob Inglis of South Carolina may be forced into a runoff.
In Nevada, Republican voters may reject a mainstream GOP candidate and
instead back a conservative firebrand to challenge Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid."
- Watch for Anti-Incumbent Fervor, writes
Dalia Sussman at The New York
Times: "As voters in a dozen states cast ballots today, two new polls
further highlight the anti-incumbent mood sweeping the nation. In a USA
Today/Gallup poll out today, 6 in 10 registered voters say they
would rather vote for a candidate who has never served in Congress than
for one who has. This sentiment rises to about 7 in 10 independents and
Republicans, but is shared by just about 4 in 10 Democrats, who are
seeking to maintain their Congressional majority... A new ABC
News/Washington Post poll delivers similarly bleak news for
incumbents. Just 49 percent of respondents in the poll say they approve
of the way their own representative in Congress is handling his or her
job, the lowest rating since 1994."
- Watch for Pro-Party
Fervor, writes Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:
"Part of the narrative that's emerged
is that these primaries show an anti-incumbent, anti-Washington, year.
That's right, but it's mixed, incoherently, with pro-party -- which is
to say, pro-Washington establishment -- results. The different bases are
eliminating politicians who've been insufficiently dedicated to holding
their party's line. The result will be much more significant than
merely the election of three new senators. Rather, surviving senators
will upgrade the threat an unhappy base poses to their reelection and
trim their independence accordingly. The moderates and compromisers who
are left will stop acting like moderates and compromisers. This election
looks, if nothing else, like it's going to be a big step forward in
bringing strong party discipline to the Senate."
Republican Women, implores Carl Cannon: "California, already
represented in the U.S. Senate by two Democratic women, may have two
female general election candidates from the Republican Party, which has
never before nominated a woman to run for governor or Senate. This could
change on Tuesday night. Two former Silicon Valley chief executives,
Meg Whitman (e-Bay) and Carly Fiorina (Hewlett-Packard), are running
strongly in their races." Besides that, there's Sharron Angle and Sue
Lowden in the Nevada senatorial primary and Nikki Haley in South
Carolina gubernatorial primaries.
- Watch Margins, writes Chris Cillizza at The Washington
Post. He homes in specifically on California "Polling conducted in the
final week(s) of the California Senate Republican primary suggests that
former Hewlett Packard executive Carly Fiorina is going to be the GOP
nominee against Sen. Barbara Boxer (D).The question now is how big
Fiorina's margin will be over moderate former Rep. Tom Campbell and
conservative state Assemblyman Chuck DeVore. The bigger the margin,
the quicker Fiorina will be able to move beyond the primary and focus
her fire on Boxer.
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