Voters continue to send Washington, D.C. conflicting messages as primary results over the past week showed both contempt and election love for those already in the Congress.
Last week, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came back from a string of defeats to put insurgent Republican candidate Joe Miller on the verge of defeating Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) – with the help of Palin – easily dispatched a Tea Party backed candidate who had been given much more attention than Miller could ever dream of getting in Alaska.
Last week in Florida, one outsider with money wins (Rick Scott) on the GOP side and one outsider with money loses (Jeff Greene) on the Democratic side.
Meanwhile, even with all that turmoil – other than Murkowski in Alaska, incumbents in Congress did just fine.
That theme continued this weekend, as on Saturday, every incumbent for U.S. House (in both parties) in Louisiana had an easy primary win.
Meanwhile, in the Louisiana Senate race, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) – whom Democrats have been saying for months is in big trouble – won 88% of the vote against two opponents in the GOP Primary.
That set up a race which will probably be one of the nastiest this election year, as Vitter will face Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) in November. He won 71% in the Democratic Senate primary.
This week, we will get a better idea on the future of Sen. Murkowski, as Alaska elections officials begin counting absentee ballots.
As of now, she trails by 1,700 votes, and could well become the third sitting Senator to be dispatched this year.
There is one round of primaries left to go on the schedule – that’s in two weeks on September 14. It is mainly an East Coast thing, with voting in Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and then the one outlier, Wisconsin.
While this election year is certainly tilted towards Republicans, it is not going to surprise anyone for incumbents of both parties to be given a pink slip in November.
Election Day is nine weeks from tomorrow.