As close to Super Tuesday as we’ll get in 2010

A lot of us have been speculating for months now about the power of the tea party, the anger of the hard-left toward more moderate Democrats, and which way independents will swing after a year of ObamaCare, growing deficits and persistent unemployment. In the primaries and special elections to date, the results have been mixed: A Republican took advantage of a Democratic feud in a special congressional election in Hawaii; a Democrat won pretty convincingly in a Pennsylvania special congressional election which some pundits called an opportunity for a GOP gain; tea party favorite Rand Paul won his Kentucky GOP Senate primary but other candidates with support from the movement have fizzled.

After today’s primaries, we’ll have a better idea of where things really stand.

California, Nevada and South Carolina have GOP primaries for the Senate, House and governor’s mansion that will help to show the tea partiers’ mettle. So will the north Georgia congressional runoff between Republicans Tom Graves and Lee Hawkins, although that race to serve out the rest of Nathan Deal’s term in the House is something of a prelude to next month’s primary to hold the seat in 2011-12.

In Arkansas, where Democrat Blanche Lincoln is in a runoff trying to avoid being the third incumbent senator to lose in a primary this year, and in California, where Rep. Jane Harman faces a challenge from the left, we’ll see whether blue dogs are truly appreciated by Democratic voters.

The independent question will be a bit trickier, because not all of these states have totally open primaries. Independents can vote in California’s Democratic primary but not the GOP contest, for instance. So, it’ll be tough to gauge independent interest, although we may get a feel for voter enthusiasm for R’s and D’s.

You can read a more detailed preview of the top races here and see a complete list of the 2010 primary calendar here.

I’ll be keeping a particular eye on the South Carolina races, the Nevada Senate primary and the Graves v. Hawkins runoff. If the tea party is going to make an impact today, I think it’ll be in those contests.

5 comments Add your comment

CJ

June 8th, 2010
11:12 am

To the extent that Tea Party voters influence the outcome of Republican primaries, Democrats will benefit in November. Those Tea Party candidates are crazy.

Incidentally, Blanch Lincoln is no moderate. The majority of Americans supported the public option (and elected Democrats who ran on it). The majority of House members supported the public option. The majority of senators supported the public option. The president supported the public option.

Yet Lincoln, who had previously indicated to her constituents that she supported the public option, changed her mind and banded with the Republicans to prevent an up or down vote on it in the Senate. There’s nothing moderate about that.

Kyle Wingfield

June 8th, 2010
11:40 am

I love it when people think they can pinpoint the reason hundreds of thousands of voters in a congressional district, or millions for a Senate seat or tens of millions in a presidential race, chose one candidate over another. Especially after they argued that, for instance, Bush had no mandate to change Social Security. (I admit I’m making a guess about CJ here.)

If it were as simple as CJ suggests, why did Lincoln and the other blue dogs get cold feet? Are they just that stupid?

CJ

June 8th, 2010
11:58 am

Bush didn’t have a mandate to change SS because neither he, nor the GOP, ran on that issue (nor did most Americans support the reform that he was proposing). Dems and Obama ran on the public option (with Lincoln expressing her support at the time).

Answering your question, yes, Lincoln and the other blue dogs are, evidently, that stupid. Further evidence is the fact that they’re currently prioritizing short-term deficits over jobs when most Americans rank unemployment as the more important issue.

Hillbilly Deluxe

June 8th, 2010
12:08 pm

and the Graves v. Hawkins runoff.

Can’t bring myself to vote for either one of ‘em. Reckon I’ll stay home.

Brittanicus

June 8th, 2010
5:44 pm

Begin the GREAT purge of any incumbent, who has been assimilated by the Pro-Amnesty, Anti-Sovereignty open border zealots. Start with Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV, followed by anybody who believes taxpayers should fund the illegal immigrant occupation. This is far more expensive than the two wars we are involved in? Deal them all a blow that the next public servants we vote into office will never forget. There is a grade score for every Senator or House Representative, along with state politicians at NumbersUSA. YOU DECIDE WHO SHOULD REMAIN IN OFFICE, NOT THE OWNERS OF BIG CORPORATE MANSIONS, THE CHURCH, UNIONS OR RADICAL ORGANIZATIONS? PERSONALLY I AM A MODERATE CONSERVATIVE (NOT A REPUBLICAN) AND A MEMBER OF THE GROWING TEA PARTY. GET RID OF THE ANTI-AMERICAN POLITICAL CLIQUES FIRST, THEN BEGIN ERADICATING ALL GOVERNORS, MAYORS, JUDGES AND OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO HAVE CONDEMNED AMERICA TO OVERPOPULATION & THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION.