Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GOP establishment gets mixed results on Primary Night

What appeared to be a ho-hum line-up late season Primaries turned out to be quite dramatic in several.  Here's a quick look at some of them: 

The Republican Primary for US Senate went as expected with Marc Rubio winning by a wide margin.  In the Republican Primary for Governor, Rick Scott (former head of Columbia/HCA hospitals that paid a $1.7 billion fine for Medicare and Medicaid fraud) looked like he was fading fast heading into Tuesday, but pulled off the upset of GOP establishment candidate and Attorney General Bill McCollum. 

On the Democratic side, Florida state CFO Alex Sink won easily.  Some polls had McCollum ahead of Sink by 10 points, but with Scott the nominee, this is a totally different race and possibly a Democratic pick-up. 

The Democratic Primary for US Senate had Congressman Kendrick Meek beating out billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene.  This sets up the anticipated three way Senate Race between Republican Marc Rubio, (former Republican turned Independent) Governor Charlie Crist, and Meek.  An interesting alternative story line to this race, this is the second Democratic Billionaire to go down to defeat during the 2010 Primary Season (Ned Lamont lost earlier in Connecticut). 


Arguably the most watched race of the evening was the Republican Senate Primary between John McCain and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth.  Hayworth was counting on low turnout and Tea Party anger to propel him to the upset, instead McCain pounded him.  

In Arizona's 3rd Congressional District, Ben Quayle (son of former Vice President Dan Quayle) won a crowded (10 candidates) and contentious Republican Primary.  The district is heavily Republican, but Ben Quayle hasn't exactly shown he's got the maturity to be in Congress (then again, he might fit in just fine). 


What appears to be the shocker of all the races, current Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is trailing Tea Party favorite and Sarah Palin endorsed candidate Joe Miller.  Miller is leading by just a few thousand votes, with absentee ballots still to be counted, which could take a couple of weeks. 

Sarah Palin 

Just when you thought she was gone, done, out for the count, Palin's streak of primary endorsement duds came to and end on Tuesday.  Everyone of her endorsed candidates won (or is leading). 

What does this mean? 

This was a mixed bag for Republicans and heading into November with the collection conservative and ultra-conservative candidates they now have, who knows.  The GOP will still make gains, but how many seats they pick up is still the question. 

GOP incumbents spent tens of millions of dollars to just get out of their primaries, like John McCain and Lisa Murkowski.  Others, like Rick Scott, spent heavily out of their own personal fortunes to get the nomination.  The questions here are will they be able to dig back into their own wallets and can they mend the fences they need with their GOP establishment to win in the General Election? 

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