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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Some Primary Takeaways

Paul Steinhauser, Ashley Killough and Dana Davidsen have “Top takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries” at CNN Politics. Distilling their conclusions ever so slightly yields:

1. The tea party is still pretty bad-ass in Mississippi, but the old guard incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran may yet win the day in the run-off. It appears that the mini-scandal in which a tea party supporter tried to photograph Sen. Cochran’s ailing wife in the hospital may have prevented a slam dunk win for tea party GOP challenger state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Not that there is a lot of difference between them on policy.The bitter run-off may give Dems a chance for a much-needed pick-up. Ed Kilgore concludes of this race that “you can probably add Mississippi to the list of states where Republicans may have to play defense in a Senate race this fall.”
2. In Iowa, at least, ads mattered. Joni Ernst’s ballsy (pun intended) ad generated a lot of buzz which likely helped her big win in getting the nod to run for U.S. Senate. Democrat Bruce Braley will have to show some moxie to hold this seat for the D’s. Kilgore adds, however, that “Ernst may have really overdone the “I’m more conservative than everybody” routine, and could pay a price in the general election. ”
3. It looks like CA’s open primary helped the more moderate Republican Gov. candidate Neel Kashkari, who beat out state Rep. Tim Donnelly. But no one thinks Democratic Gov. Brown has anything to worry about. Kilgore notes at Washington Monthly that “what we do know is that turnout was terrible; the electorate was likely a lot more conservative than the voters who will show up in November; and the state’s Top Two system creates a lot of strange strategery and sometimes unlikely results.”
4. Mitt Romney did much better as an endorser, than he did as a candidate.

All in all, Dems are still in decent shape looking toward November. there were no big shockers, and nothing that happened yesterday should provoke any trembles among the donkeys.

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