Cleaning House: Voters Oust Incumbents in Primaries

National political landscape receives a shakeup as voters reject establishment candidates

By Michael Preston
|  Wednesday, May 19, 2010  |  Updated 1:15 PM CDT
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Cleaning House: Voters Oust Incumbents in Primaries

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Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) talks with reporters while touring the site of his primary night gathering for staff and supporters May 18, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Specter is fighting a close campaign against Rep. Joe Sestak for the Democratic Senate nomination as voters go to the polls today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

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A handful of Democratic and Republican primaries across the country Tuesday revealed that the torrent of public discontent over the current state of affairs in the nation’s capital shows little sign of abating. But what do the results mean for the November elections and President Obama's political fortunes?

  • Mark McKinnon of the Daily Beast says that establishment is on notice after Tuesday's elections. "What is clear and consistent is that voters are mad and don’t trust anyone or anything anymore. If you’re running for office, it’s tough to be an incumbent. It’s tough to run out of Washington. "The bumper sticker for this year ought to be: Wanted: Candidates. No experience preferred."

     

  • The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder believes that the Democrats can hold seats like John Murtha's in Pennsylvania if they choose their candidates wisely. "Dems can be competitive in races if they run the right candidates the right way. And Republicans aren’t gonna cruise to victory in the fall."
     
  • Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post think Tuesday's outcome holds unnerving signs for both parties. "Democrats remain on the defensive heading toward November, in large part because of divisions over Obama's agenda, the high jobless rate and the size of the federal budget deficit. The Kentucky race underscored the energy of anti-government conservatives who intend to shake up the capital,” they write. “But the results in Pennsylvania's special House election will raise questions about whether Republicans will be able to take control of the House in November, as many of their leaders have predicted.”
     
  • Paul Mirengoff of the conservative-leaning blog Powerline sees Democrats running from their real beliefs in order to stay electorally competitive. “They are ... pulling the wool over voters' eyes.” 

 

 

 

 

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