'AN ANGRY ELECTORATE LOOKING FOR CHANGE.' Connecticut's Senate primary clearly captured the political world's attention, but let's not forget that other states had noteworthy primaries as well. In Georgia, Democrats replaced a combative and controversial lawmaker, while in Michigan, Republicans rejected a rare House centrist.
The defeat of Georgia's outspoken Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) and Michigan moderate Rep. John J.H. "Joe" Schwarz (R) appeared to confirm the strong headwinds that polls suggest members of Congress will face in November from an angry electorate looking for change.
McKinney lost to former DeKalb County commissioner Hank Johnson in a runoff election. Schwarz was defeated in the Republican primary by a conservative challenger, Tim Walberg.
Meanwhile, Colorado's Ed Perlmutter, who ran as "a Democrat's Democrat," defeated former state representative Peggy Lamm and a third candidate.
Amy Walter, a House political analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, told The Washington Post, "I don't want to read too much into primary results, because by their very nature [primary voters] are different from the broader electorate, but what these races suggest is that, yes, the antiwar, anti-Bush, anti-establishment, anti-Washington message is very effective."
If so, the results were hardly reassuring for Republicans hoping to maintain their majorities in Congress. After all, as National Journal noted last night, the last time three incumbents in three states lost primaries on the same day, it was 1994. I seem to recall some fairly significant changes occurred that year.
Cross-posted on Midterm Madness