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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The CW Delivers

Results from yesterday’s primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio showed that on occasion the conventional wisdom is right.
Dan Coats did indeed win a Senate nomination in IN with an unimpressive (39%) percentage because the hard-core conservative vote was divided between Jim DeMint’s favorite, Marlin Stutzman (who finished second), and paleoconservative John Hostettler.
Lee Fisher did indeed parlay superior money, name recognition and endorsements into a fairly confortable (56/44) OH win over Jennifer Brunner.
And in NC, Elaine Marshall and Cal Cunningham are indeed headed for a runoff on June 22, with Marshall leading the first round a few percentage points short of the 40% threshold for outright victory. As expected, Ken Lewis ran third, though with a relatively strong 17%.
A PPP survey over the weekend showed Marshall leading a hypothetical runoff contest 43/32 with a quarter of the vote undecided. I guess we will see just how much money Cunningham’s friends in the DSCC are willing and able to raise to help him overcome that lead.
In House races, the closest thing to a real upset was in IN, where endangered incumbent Republican congressmen Mark Souder and Dan Burton narrowly survived. This disappointed journalists who had prepared “anti-incumbent mood” pieces in advance.
Rep. Larry Kissell pretty easily won his primary in NC, and zany self-funded conservative Tim D’Annunzio will be in a runoff in his effort to take on Kissell.
Next up on the calendar is Utah’s Republican State Convention on Saturday, which will determine the fate of endangered Sen. Bob Bennett, who may have fatally displeased conservatives by cosponsoring bipartisan health reform legislation. One of Bennett’s chief tormenters, Red State’s Erick Erickson, is already moving on to an effort to demonize the guy who appears to be running second ahead of Bennett in delegates, so it must not look good for the incumbent.

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