I'm not a gambling man, but I'm willing to bet that the odds-makers in Vegas were way off on their handicapping of the primary race outcomes yesterday. There has been a fervent anti-incumbent meme ever since the health care bill, primarily fueled by the Tea Party rhetoric. The results, however, suggest that their voice is large, but their voting blocs are small; incumbents held out in numerous races.
One of the most famous (or would that be infamous?) of the tea party crowd (birther division) is Orly Taitz. She was running for Secretary of State in CA, and appears to be losing 3 to 1
. Okay maybe no thought she would win. Bad example? Oddly enough, a former high school classmate of mine was running for Attorney General for CA
on a decidedly "tea party-esque" sounding platform. Sadly (for him) he lost
Across the country, the anti-incumbent fervor did not show itself at the polls. Blanche Linconln held her position against Bill Halter
, despite many progressive groups trying to unseat her for being too centrist. This race was supposed to be the crown jewel of a national anti-blue dog movement, but - states being what they are - voted according to what they wanted for their state. You might be able to blame this on Republicans crossing party lines to vote in the primary - Arkansas is an open-primary
Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) also survived
, garnering enough votes to force a runoff. In CA, two well-connected and rich women (ie: not tea party types) won their party's nominations
. Carly Fiorina will quixotically challenge Barbara Boxer (perhaps we'll see Demon Sheep part II - It's baaahhhd out their). Meg Whitman will try to be Ahnold's successor for the GOP.
In poultry news, Sharron Engle defeated Sue "a chicken in every waiting room" Lowden. This would be the case of a Tea Party candidate with a strong showing. It's good news for Harry Reid, who will likely do better running for his life against an extremist candidate. This being Nevada, though, anything can happen.
So as this mid-term election season plods along, you have to wonder how many voters will end up with buyer's remorse come November after they've gotten to know their candidate a little better, and as the situation in our country changes. Will they wish they'd voted for someone with more experience? Will they wish their candidate had been vetted a little better? Will they realize their candidate is more liberal or conservative than they thought? Will voters who didn't bother to show up kick themselves for their inaction?
That last one is important. You may not like the outcome of the election, but casting a vote is your only real opportunity to effect it. After the primary, you are stuck with whomever wins the vote for your party. Regardless of the odds in Vegas, the best odds for this country is for thoughtful people to participate.