First, while I’m pleased to see Arlen Specter go down to the defeat in the primary that he switched parties to enter because he thought he was certain to win, I think Pat Toomey would have an easier go at the opportunistic octogenarian. Still, Sestak is cut from the same liberal cloth as Nancy Pelosi. And he’ll have to defend a lot of big government votes.
And the Mark Critz victory, although expected, still stings. It doesn’t seem the GOP did a good enough job of getting blue collar Democrats, inclined to buck their party in this region, to get out to vote. As Michael Barone put it:
More important, I suspect, is that the primary/special election evidently didn’t bring out the kind of voters who put this traditionally Democratic district (narrowly) in the McCain column in 2008: tradition-minded Democrats who didn’t like Obama and never much liked Republicans but who felt obliged to vote out of civic duty. They didn’t, or so my theory goes, feel compelled to vote in the Specter-Sestak primary, between two liberals from the faraway Philadelphia area they didn’t have anything in common with, and they didn’t feel compelled to vote in the Pennsylvania 12 special between a Democrat who took care to distance himself from Nancy Pelosi but was still a Democrat and a Republican who was a businessman conspicuously not endorsed by the retired military officer who was the party’s candidate 18 months ago.
That’s right, Bill Russell, the Republican who ran against Murtha in 2008 who was competing against GOP nominee Tim Burns in a primary the same day Burns faced Critz in the special, “pointedly,” as Barone put it, “did not endorse special election Republican candidate Tim Burns.”
Did voters who came out to vote for Russell in the primary pointedly refuse to vote for Burns in the special?
Still, as David Freddoso put it, while it was a good night for Democrats, it was a bad night for Obama. Neither incumbent Democratic mustered 50% in their respective primaries (Specter in PA, Lincoln in AR). Lincoln could still win the primary in the Natural State.