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A few brief thoughts on a selection of Tuesday’s primary results:
Florida: The decisive victory of Kendrick Meek in the Democratic US Senate primary over his billionaire opponent is very bad news for the Democrats and very good news for Marco Rubio. Since Meek will now be the only serious black candidate for Senate, the Democrat Party cannot abandon him and go all-in for Charlie Crist. Crist’s only chance of winning was getting a lot of Democrat voters, since he will get very few Republicans. To get a lot of Democrat voters, at least to get enough to have a chance, you need big turnout by blacks in your favor. If blacks turn out in November, they’re going to go for Meek, just as they went for Obama. Unless something quite unexpected happens, Meek’s primary victory all but sealed the general election for Marco Rubio.
Arizona: John McCain 2.0 handily beat the rather unappealing J.D. Hayworth, in a race that signifies very little. Elsewhere in the state, Dan Quayle’s son Ben won a 10-candidate primary for the 3rd CD with 23% of the vote in the primary for the seat being vacated by Rep. John Shadegg who will be missed. Although Quayle is not the most appealing candidate, the district is very Republican and especially in a year like this it’s hard to imagine he won’t soon be Congressman Quayle. Governor Jan Brewer won her primary with 87% of the vote in a campaign that went from dead to unstoppable when Brewer signed the controversial SB 1070 law regarding illegal immigration enforcement in her state.
Alaska: With some votes still to be counted, the Sarah Palin-endorsed Joe Miller appears poised to unseat incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Senator who many conservatives would love to see back on the job market. As of August 4th, Miller had spent $200,000 on his campaign while Murkowski had spent over $1.4 million. It’s a huge victory for Sarah Palin and for the anti-RINO tide sweeping the nation.
Turnout: In Florida, a state with 4.64 million registered Democrats versus 3.97 million registered Republicans (about 17% more Dems than Republicans), only about 910,000 Democrats turned out to vote in their hotly contested (or at least it seemed to be before yesterday) primary versus about 1,253,000 Republicans in a primary where the second-place finisher didn’t even get a double-digit percentage. The enthusiasm of Rubio voters, which some might have been questioning during the brief period when it seemed like Charlie Crist had a chance, seems alive and well.
I suggest, particularly combined with the outcome in Alaska, that those (particularly those in the media) who doubt the reality and the intensity of the anti-incumbent and anti-big government mood across the country are going to be this generation’s version of Pauline Kael who famously said (or is reported to have said) of Richard Nixon’s election “How could he have won? Nobody I know voted for him.”
Following Tuesday’s primaries, here are a few betting odds from Intrade.com, along with my position and prices: