Primary season continues in full swing, with contests yesterday in Alabama, Mississippi, and New Mexico. As we are legally obligated to do by law, we must now search for the lessons gleaned from these elections, and how well they fit into our preexisting narrative of this being an anti-incumbent, anti-establishment, anti-insider year. Let’s take a look at Alabama, where some of yesterday’s most-watched races took place.
Republican Parker Griffith, a freshman congressman elected as a Democrat who switched parties in December, lost his primary to the commissioner of Madison County, by a lot. In the Democratic primary for governor, black congressman Artur Davis, the party-backed favorite, lost after running against the policies of President Obama, to a guy who basically only wanted to legalize and tax gambling. And, we’re sad to say, Dale Peterson was defeated by thugs and criminals in his quest to become the ag commissioner.
What We Learned: Griffith was an incumbent, but, like Arlen Specter, it was probably his self-serving party switch that voters found most unappealing. Is it a relatively bad year for incumbents? Sure, but it’s always a bad year for party switchers.
Davis was the establishment candidate, but he also lost because what would have been his normal base of support — black Democrats — reportedly stayed home. Apparently, as much trouble as Obama is having among some of the electorate, he still isn’t unpopular among black Democrats. Shocking.
And we also learned that being beloved by the Internet for your insane ads doesn’t translate into real-world success — particularly in Alabama, we’d suggest.