FINALLY. It...

FINALLY. It looks like someone tipped off The Washington Post to the existence of a major primary in Rhode Island, as they sent Ruth Marcus to cover hyperconservative Stephen Laffey's attempt to dethrone Lincoln Chafee. Most polls show him within spitting distance of succeeding -- a far more significant act than anything Ned Lamont pulled off, as a Laffey victory will almost certainly flip the seat to the Democrats. But the Laffey campaign isn't fueled by blogs, and Markos Moulitsas has nothing to do with it, so Chafee's looming defeat has attracted nearly no media attention. That's a shame because the fall of the most prominent Rockefeller Republican would be significant, and the victory of the Laffey campaign, which relies on a "Time to Change Washington" slogan, would be further evidence of the vibrant anti-incumbent sentiment rippling through the electorate. And that doesn't even get into the potential importance of Laffey's populist message -- he claims Teddy Roosevelt as his personal hero, favors permitting Medicare to bargain with drug companies, and mentions eliminating corporate welfare every time he talks about government waste. In many ways, Laffey's potential victory is more portentous than Lamont's was, both for the Republican Party and this election. It�s nice to see the press finally noticing it.

--Ezra Klein

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