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New Super Tuesday May Be Litmus Test For Voter Anger Nationwide

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Editor’s Note – Obama and the Progressive wing of the Democrat Party ignored the first shot across the bow – Scott Brown’s stunning victory in Massachusetts.  They choose to look the other way when Democrat incumbent Allan Mollohan went down in flames in West Virginia. 

On they march – Cap and Trade, Amnesty and ‘so called’ Financial Reform…

Today, the future course of America could very well be determined by the citizens of Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Let us pray that these citizens are up to the task – it is time for a reckoning, America!

 

By Sean J. Miller
The Hill

Lawmakers may have little time for anything but election news Tuesday.

It’s the new Super Tuesday, with races likely to tell incumbents whether voters are heading toward November thirsty for congressional blood.

It is widely agreed that voters are angry with Washington. Now, after the crushing ouster this month of two incumbents —one Democrat and one Republican — two more senators will learn their fates.

Both parties fear a whirlwind of public dissatisfaction building toward the 2010 midterms. Early indications are that voters are in an unforgiving mood.

This month three-term incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah) and Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a 14-term veteran, lost their parties’ nominations to upstart challengers — and they may just be the first casualties of May.

Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who chairs the Agriculture Committee, and Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), a five-term incumbent, could also lose their jobs as a result of Tuesday’s vote. In Kentucky, the GOP Senate primary tests the influence of the party establishment. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is backing Trey Grayson against the Tea Party-supported Rand Paul.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania will also host the only direct clash between the parties. Observers expect Tuesday’s hard-fought special election to fill the late Rep. John Murtha’s (D-Pa.) seat to foreshadow the outcome of the midterm elections. Democratic strategists are confident that if they hold the district, where President Barack Obama is widely disliked, they’ll be able to hang on to their majority in November. Polls show the race is a toss-up.

Prestige is also on the line. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) hosted a Washington fundraiser in April for Pennsylvania House candidate Mark Critz (D) — a favor she did not extend to either Democrat competing in the Hawaii special election, which concludes on Saturday.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) also invested himself in the race, hosting a Washington fundraiser for the Republican candidate, Tim Burns. Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) also campaigned for Burns, while Vice President Joe Biden helped Critz raise money in Pittsburgh last month.

Both House campaign committees have invested heavily in the special-election race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent close to $1 million in the 12th district, a figure closely matched by the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Congressional leaders are also anxiously watching whether Lincoln makes it through her primary with Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D). Lincoln received the chairmanship of the Agriculture Committee late last year after Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) moved to the helm of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee following the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.). The move was expected to help her with her reelection bid; agriculture is a $15 billion industry in the Natural State, making up roughly 20 percent of its economy.

But voters are in no mood to be placated by a member’s ability to bring in federal dollars. Bennett made a similar pitch in Utah before going down to defeat at his party’s convention in Salt Lake City May 8.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who has delivered millions in federal spending to Nevada, will surely be hanging on the outcome of Lincoln’s race. He’s expected to face a tough campaign against likely GOP nominee Sue Lowden.

 Lincoln or Halter need to break 50 percent of the vote to clinch the nomination; otherwise, they will face each other in a June 22 runoff. It’s not possible for either to pivot and run as an Independent if they lose, according to elections officials. Neither Specter nor Sestak would have the Independent option either, according to Pennsylvania officials.

The White House political operation could face criticism after Tuesday’s vote. It failed to lure Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) out of the Pennsylvania Democratic primary after Specter switched parties, despite reportedly offering him a job in exchange. And in Arkansas, it wasn’t able to convince its union allies to back away from supporting Halter’s challenge to Lincoln.

 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to say what the results might mean for the Obama administration before voters go to the polls.

But Gibbs did acknowledge the anti-incumbent environment, pointing to Bennett’s recent loss and other election results.

“Obviously, I don’t think it’s breaking news to say that this has been — based on the election results that we do know, it’s been a tough year for incumbents,” Gibbs said. “Everyone noticed that a senator from Utah reelected just six years ago with 70 percent of the vote got a quarter of the convention vote to be re-nominated.”

Gibbs said Obama has not been following the campaigns closely, but he said the president has done “quite a bit” for Specter and Lincoln even though Obama has not hit the trail for either in recent weeks.

“I think everyone knows that we’ve supported who we support in those two races,” Gibbs said. “Again, we have supported incumbent Democratic senators. And we’ve done a lot on behalf of each campaign. Again, there are races all over the country that we’ll have a chance to look at from the Democratic and the Republican side as to what it means.”

It seems telling that Obama chose to avoid making a last-ditch weekend trip to Pennsylvania in support of Specter, as he did for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine last November and Massachusetts Senate nominee Martha Coakley (D) in January. (They both lost their races.) Instead, Obama played golf on Saturday and basketball on Sunday, according to pool reports.

Tom Tillison

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