Will Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Specter survive Tuesday's primaries?
Anti-incumbent sentiment could be pivotal in Tuesday’s votes. Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter, both Democratic senators, are facing tough challenges from the left.
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Voters today are in such an anti-incumbent mood that even if Lincoln and Specter survive Tuesday’s primaries (and that’s a big “if,” particularly in Specter’s case), they would have an uphill climb to victory in November.Skip to next paragraph
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Right now, Arkansas looks almost certain to fall into the GOP column in November, as it is a generally Republican-leaning state in what is shaping up to be a strong Republican year. Currently, there is a 92 percent chance that Lincoln’s seat will be won by the GOP, judges polling analyst Nate Silver on his blog FiveThirtyEight.com.
Republicans are favored to win Pennsylvania, too: There’s a 71 percent chance of a GOP takeover in that state, according to Mr. Silver.
Other Senate incumbents who have more than a 50 percent chance of unemployment in November, according to Silver’s number crunching, include Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Michael Bennet (D) of Colorado.
Given today’s voter anger, Democrats should lose their current control of the House and Senate, right? They are the incumbent party, after all.
Right now, many political handicappers don’t think that will be the case. Given the pattern of open seats and vulnerable incumbents, Democrats should suffer a net loss of seven Senate seats and 27 House seats, according to predictions made by Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics in Charlottesville.
Such losses would leave Democrats in control of both chambers – barely.
Then again, November is still a long way away.
“Voters’ anti-incumbent mood is like nothing Gallup has seen in the past four midterm election cycles. While that could have a negative impact on incumbents from both parties, the greater exposure of the Democrats by virtue of their majority status means greater risk for their candidates,” wrote Ms. Saad of Gallup in April.
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