Incumbents, run in fear: Election Day scorecard for tomorrow 

Tomorrow is the last big multi-state primary election day until August. A few more incumbents are expected to bite the dust, either tomorrow or in subsequent runoff elections. In open-seat races, some establishment candidates appear headed for defeat.

Arkansas: Endangered incumbent Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., faces Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in a much-anticipated runoff. Lincoln’s failure to get 50 percent (or even close) in the first round bodes poorly for her chances tomorrow. Watch for her to become the third Senate casualty (after Republican Bob Bennett and Democrat Arlen Specter) of this year’s political iconoclasm.

Also watch the open third Congressional District GOP runoff, where conservative activist Cecil Bledsoe takes on Rogers Mayor Steve Womack. Bledsoe is a Palin endorsee and a conservative favorite. The district is heavily Republican.

South Carolina: Nikki Haley, the leading GOP candidate for governor, is riding a wave of sympathy after racial slurs and scurrilous sexual accusations against her. After the state’s filthiest election in recent memory, she will definitely finish first, but she may fall short of the 50 percent she needs to avoid a runoff.

In the heavily Republican 4th District once held by Sen. Jim DeMint, Rep. Bob Inglis, R, may be another incumbent victim in the making. He trails prosecutor Trey Gowdy, R, in the most recent polls of tomorrow’s primary. The race will likely go to a runoff that Inglis, a six-term congressman and one-time U.S. Senate hopeful, is extremely unlikely to win.

New Jersey: Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R, faces a spirited and under-funded primary challenge from attorney Rich Luzzi, a Tea Party favorite. In the Republican primary to face Rep. John Adler, D-N.J., former Eagles star Jon Runyan (the GOP favorite) faces Tea Partier Justin Murphy.

California: Establishment candidates will likely carry the day in the Golden State’s top-ticket races. Despite early expectations that former Rep. Tom Campbell would prevail, Carly Fiorina is now the favorite in the GOP primary to face Sen. Barbaba Boxer, D-Calif. And despite a brief scare, EBay CEO Meg Whitman is on track to win the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Nevada: Former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle has come from nowhere to lead the race for the GOP nomination for Senate. She must defeat former state GOP chairwoman Sue Lowden and college basketball star Danny Tarkanian for the right to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D, this fall. Angle, whose campaign was practically non-existent one month ago, got a huge boost with endorsements from a major Tea Party group and the Club for Growth, even as Lowden, the establishment choice, was wounding herself with comments about trading chickens for health care.

Virginia: With no statewide races on the ballot, all eyes here are on the GOP contest in Northern Virginia between Keith Fimian and Patrick Herrity. The winner will take on Rep. Gerry Connolly, D. In the Hampton Roads area, Republicans are expected to nominate Scott Rigell, R, to take on Rep. Glenn Nye, D. An auto salesman well-known on area television, Rigell says he contributed to Barack Obama ’s 2008 presidential campaign only out of dislike for Obama’s primary opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Other contests:

Georgia: No primary here until July, but there is a special Congressional election. Lee Hawkins, R, and Tom Graves, R, are in a runoff to replace Rep. Nathan Deal, R, who resigned to run for governor.

South Dakota: Lieutenant Governor Dennis Daugaard and State Senate Majority Leader Dave Knudson are the main candidates vying for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. The likely Democratic nominee is Scott Heidepriem. (No, this election is not taking place in Scandanavia.)

Three Republicans are vying to take on Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin, D, this fall: Secretary of State Chris Nelson, state Rep. Kristi Noem, and state Rep. Blake Curd.

North Dakota: Republicans will nominate State Rep. Rick Berg, R, to take on Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D, in November. Berg leads in early polls of that matchup.

Iowa: Former Gov. Terry Branstad, R, is heavily favored to win the nomination for governor, and then to defeat incumbent Gov. Chet Culver, D, in November.

Maine: Democrats are holding a competitive four-way primary for governor, with Libby Mitchell receiving support from Hillary Clinton. Republicans are holding a seven-way primary.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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