Whether you’re the party darling or the federal office holder, 2010 is shaping up to be your last year in politics. In Kentucky, Tea Party Republican, Rand Paul, opened a can of whoop-ass on Republican party favorite, Trey Grayson. No single race proves the strength or impact of the Tea Party, but races like Paul’s demonstrate that the right candidate with the right campaign team with the strong backing of the Tea Party and 9-12 Project can blow away the party candidate. Don’t read anymore into it.
And don’t read too much into the PA12 race to fill Jack Murtha’s seat. This race involved a single district in Pennsylvania where Democrats outnumber Republicans two to one. Tim Burns's opponent ran to the right of Ronald Reagan: pro-life, pro-gun, anti-ObamaCare, and anti-Cap and Trade. Critz also was credited with being shovel man in Murtha's pork-barrel filling operation.
Additionally, thanks to traditional Republican circular firing squads, there were approximately 16,000 under votes in the special election. Yesterday, Burn was not only the GOP candidate in the special election, but he was on the Primary ballot against establishment Republican, Bill Russell, for this November’s general. It seems Russell’s supporters were encouraged not to vote in the special election. It's difficult for a Republican to beat both a Republican and a Democrat.
Russell's strategy backfired. He's losing the primary race to Burns. But he did succeed in ensuring Burns will face an incumbent Democrat. Way to go, Einstein.
Across PA, RINO-cum-Democrat, Arlen Specter lost soundly to Any Democrat. In this case, Any Democrat was played by Congressman Jay Sestak. (Pronounced: who cares?) This commercial explains why cynicism, even naked cynicism, won’t cell in 2010:
In Arkansas, it appears Blanche Lincoln’s career will be decided by a run-off in June.
So what does it all mean?
1. Incumbents and party favors are out
2. Money can still buy votes
3. Republicans are still the only people who can beat Republicans—and they do it very well.
4. Pat Toomey (PA) and Rand Paul (KY) will be freshman Senators together next January.