Well, ABC News billed today’s primaries as the “Last Chance for Tea.” What it really was, was the last chance for intramural warfare on the right before November. The Tea has just begun. And in New York, Tuesday’s primary was a chance to show that chaos is never far away. What else do you expect where liberals run everything?
Taking stock of the major primaries around the country, the big action was in Delaware, where upstart and Palin-endorsed Christine O’Donnell defeated Rep. Mike Castle in the GOP primary by about 2000 votes, which puts a seat thought to be safe for Republicans into play for the Democrats. There has been enough said about this race to last a lifetime. Interestingly, GOP turnout trounced Democrat turnout in Delaware. That’s likely a function of the high interest in the O’Donnell/Castle contest, and the boredom on the other side. That may carry over into November, which would obviously be good for the GOP side in a deep blue state. The state GOP’s overt and aggressive intervention against O’Donnell may carry over to November too, though. Closing ranks will not be easy. If the Delaware GOP wants to get an early start on targeting the Democrat who walked into his party’s nomination, they should start here. The question “So, when did you stop being a Marxist?” takes on a certain relevance.
To no one’s surprise Bob Ehrlich defeated Palin-endorsed Brian Murphy in the Maryland GOP primary. The only question here was by how many points Ehrlich would win. He won by *60. That’s percentage points, not votes. Ehrlich is the former governor, the first Republican to hold that office since Noah’s flood, and his win sets up a grudge rematch against the only person to have ever defeated him in an election: the Boy Governor and failed former Baltimore mayor, Martin O’Malley. Maryland is a deep blue state so O’Malley should have the edge, but 2010 is a bad year for Democrats everywhere so it will be competitive, and O’Malley has been a tax-raising, big-spending liberal monster. I say Ehrlich wins by 4 in November. (*It was 60 when I wrote this. It’s tightened a little bit but not enough to change the result for Ehrlich).
In the New Hampshire GOP primary for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Judd Gregg, the former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte lost to upstart Ovide Lamontagne. But in a twist of sorts, it was the establishment candidate Ayotte who had the Palin endorsement, while Lamontagne had the Tea Party’s backing.**
In Wisconsin, it’s Ron Johnson who will take on liberal Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold. Johnson can self-finance and the polls are already tight. Feingold is in deep trouble here.
Tea Party candidates mostly did well, which is mostly to the good in my opinion. If the flurry and fighting that ended Tuesday represented a “war for the soul of the Republican Party” as the mainstream media is fond of saying, here’s the silver lining: at least the GOP still has a soul worth fighting for.
**I posted far too soon. Ayotte has caught and passed Lamontange with about 50% of precincts reporting.