Establishment Candidates Tested in Tonight’s Primaries « The Washington Independent
Being a “party favorite” in an election has been more of a hindrance than a help in some elections this year (right, Charlie Crist?). So will this trend continue?
Tonight’s primary season kickoff elections in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana include several tests of whether party favorites still reign or if outsider candidates continue to gain steam.
After the jump, I break down a few things to watch in tonight’s elections.
**Indiana: ** Former Sen. Dan Coats (R) is vying for his old seat. Though he faces other experienced challengers in the open seat primary, such as former Rep. John Hostettler, Coats’ primary challengers are running to Coats’ right under the Tea Party banner. Coats has been repeatedly attacked as the “establishment” candidate in the primary.
And in Indiana’s 3rd District, Republican Rep. Mark Souder is facing two conservative challengers on his right. The fact that there are two of them, potentially splitting any anti-Souder sentiment, bodes well for the incumbent.
Republican Rep. Dan Burton in the 5th District is also up against some unusually strong GOP primary opponents tonight, but the incumbent is expected to clinch his party nomination.
**Ohio: **The Democratic establishment, including Gov. Ted Strickland, is supporting Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher for Senate, but Fisher faces competition from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner for the Democratic nomination. Still, it appears that the establishment will come out on top in this race. Polls show Brunner badly trailing Fisher. She would have to pull a major upset to win this one.
**North Carolina: **Initially, Republican Sen. Richard Burr appeared to be vulnerable to a primary challenge, but it looks all but impossible for Burr to lose the contest for the GOP nomination tonight. Instead, the fight to retain his seat will happen in November. There’s something of a tossup race on the Democratic side that political observers say may extend to a runoff. Here, former state Sen. Cal Cunningham’s advantage as the Democratic party recruit will be tested in his primary race against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall.