Portending things to come, yesterday’s primary elections were a rousing reality of America’s anti-incumbent mood: Specter lost, Paul won, Lincoln will be in a run-off. In Pennsylvania’s District 12 special election, Critz was victorious. Or, as Michael Scherer from Time characterized it:
This is how it goes in 2010 at the ballot box: Old orders are upended, political lions become roadkill, chosen successors get left behind, and the outsider, riding a wave of discontent, becomes the new frontrunner.
Highlights from Breitbart.com:
Party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter fell to a younger and far less experienced rival in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, and political novice Rand Paul rode support from tea party activists to a Republican rout in Kentucky on Tuesday, the latest jolts to the political establishment in a tumultuous midterm election season.
In another race with national significance, Democrat Mark Critz won a special House election to fill out the term of the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha in southwestern Pennsylvania. The two political parties spent roughly $1 million apiece hoping to sway the outcome there, and highlighted the contest as a possible bellwether for the fall when all 435 House seats will be on the ballot.
On the busiest night of the primary season to date, Arkansas Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln was forced into a potentially debilitating runoff election against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in her bid for nomination to a third term. The run-off will be June 8.
Specter, seeking his sixth term and first as a Democrat, fell to two-term Rep. Joe Sestak, who spent three decades in the Navy before entering politics. Sestak was winning 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Specter. He told cheering supporters his triumph marked a “win for the people over the establishment, over the status quo, even over Washington, D.C.”
Sestak’s campaign calling card was a television commercial that showed former President George W. Bush saying he could count on Specter, then a Republican, and then had Specter saying he had switched parties so he could win re-election. Once unleashed, it coincided with a steady decline in Specter’s early lead in the polls and signaled the end of the political line for the most durable politician of his generation in Pennsylvania.
Former Rep. Pat Toomey won the Republican nomination and will run against Sestak in the fall in what is likely to be one of the marquee races in the battle for control of the Senate.
UPDATE: I’ve replaced Rand Paul’s acceptance speech video with Karl Rove’s analysis this morning of yesterday’s primary results. It contains a portion of Paul’s speech:
Though our chat forum is back to normal size, we want to say thanks to all who filled our full-page chat box last night with comments and updates as election results were announced. We shared a great evening together!