Tea Party surprises during primaries, Democrats may come out on top
The Tea Party really got raucous Tuesday night, and what it means for November and — President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes in 2012 — is the subject of hot debate, especially within the Republican Party, which has unmistakable evidence now of open rebellion within its ranks.And watching from the sidelines are Democrats, who may well have the last laugh in November. A Tea Party candidate whooped a traditional Republican in Delaware, where the inexperienced, Sarah Palin-backed Christine O’Donnell trounced GOP stalwart Mike Castle in the Senate race. Tea Party-favorite Ovide Lamontagne almost defeated Attorney General Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire’s Senate race, in a cliffhanger that was settled yesterday afternoon. The elections are a watershed moment that speaks to a “mad as hell” movement in politics. But political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia thinks Democrats will benefit most. “[O’Donnell’s] victory is a clear setback to Republican hopes of taking the Senate,” he said “It’s still theoretically possible for the GOP to win it, but it’s much tougher without the Delaware seat.” Here are some highlights from primaries around the country: In Massachusetts, U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch defeated challenger Mac D’Alessandro in a Democratic primary. D’Alessandro largely focused on Lynch’s opposition to the health care bill. In Rhode Island, Providence Mayor David Cicilline won the Democratic nomination for a seat in the House. In 2002, Cicilline became the first openly gay mayor of a U.S. capitol. A former star of MTV’s “The Real World” won a House nomination in Wisconsin. Republican Sean Duffy, who appeared on the show’s 1997-98 season, is already being attacked for his role on the show.
Maryland’s gubernatorial race will now be a rematch between former Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr., who won the GOP nomination Tuesday night, and Gov. Martin O’Malley.In Washington D.C., City Council member Vince Gray upset incumbent Adrian Fenty in the mayoral Democratic primary. Fenty earned praise from both parties for his education reform stance, calling for more school responsibility. Gray is expected to win easily in November.