Anti-Incumbent Wave Starts to Roll
The message sent with Tuesday’s election was clear: voters are fed-up with the “establishment,” and they will make those feelings known at the ballot box. From Pennsylvania to Kentucky to Arkansas, incumbents are feeling the sting of an electorate that sees Washington growing too big, too powerful, and too out of touch. With incumbent party-switcher Arlen Specter sent packing, Sen. Blanche Lincoln sent to a run-off, and Tea Party favorite Rand Paul sent to the general election as the Republican nominee, there are plenty of signs pointing to a turning point in the American political landscape.
The Associated Press reports in a story on GOPUSA, that with “the electorate’s intense anger reverberating across the country, this is all but certain: It’s an anti-Washington, anti-establishment year. And candidates with ties to either better beware.”
First, there is Pennsylvania. This race shows not only the evidence of an anti-incumbent wave, but also the fact that the loyalty of Democrat leaders goes about as far as you can throw a feather. When Arlen Specter switched parties to become a Democrat and give them key votes on health care and so-called “stimulus” packages, Obama, Reid and others said they would back him up. But as the race between Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak became closer, the “support” got quieter and quieter. Specter was Obama’s “man,” yet like most candidates that Obama supports, Specter lost.
As noted by Fox News, “Specter becomes the third incumbent member of Congress in two weeks to lose his job, after Republican Sen. Bob Bennett lost the GOP nomination at the party’s Utah convention and Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan lost a primary in West Virginia.”
Sestak will face Republican nominee Pat Toomey. If you recall, it was Toomey who sent Specter bolting to the Democrats, because Specter felt that he couldn’t beat Toomey in the Republican primary. Specter was right… he couldn’t win the primary… it just didn’t matter which one.
In Arkansas, incumbent senators rarely face anything but token opposition. On Tuesday night, incumbent Democrat Blanche Lincoln failed to get 50% of the vote and was forced into a run-off election against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter. Whoever emerges from that race will face Republican Rep. John Boozman in the general election. That race will be a golden opportunity for Republicans to pick up a critical Senate seat.
In Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul secured the Republican nomination by easily defeating the establishment candidate, Sec. of State Trey Grayson. As noted in a report by CNSNews.com, Grayson was the pick of “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.” Paul was the pick of the Tea Party activists.
What do these results say about how elections may go in November? First of all, we must look at the fact that an anti-incumbent mood is an anti-incumbent mood. This means that some Republicans could be as vulnerable as some Democrats. But, there are many more incumbent Democrats out there, and it has been the taxing, spending, and power grabbing of the Democrats that have sent the American people over the edge and have allowed the Tea Party movement to grow.
According to a Rasmussen Reports poll released on Monday, Republicans hold a 5-point lead over Democrats on a generic congressional ballot. The party who is on top of this poll is usually the one standing tall when the votes are counted.
While solid majorities of Democrats and Republicans support their own party, the plurality (42%) of voters not affiliated with either major party now prefer the Republican candidate, while 24% like the Democrat. These findings have remained fairly consistent for months now.
Democrats will have to defend their votes which have led to record spending and record deficits. They will have to defend their vote on health care reform… legislation that the American people did not want. Then, there is the surprise issue of immigration. Obama and his cohorts can spend time and energy muscling bills through Congress to put government more in control of our lives, but they can’t even protect our borders. With Arizona’s immigration law gaining national media coverage and the American people supporting such a measure, illegal immigration could be the issue that truly sinks the Democrats.