Winners and Losers: 8/10/10 Primary Edition

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

There were some definite winners and losers coming out of yesterday's primaries in Connecticut, Colorado, and Georgia. Here are a few.Winners
1. Barack Obama: The President endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado over former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. If Bennet had lost, you can bet that Fox and the rest of the conservative, corporate media would be playing it up as a sign of Obama's "weakness." With Bennet's win, I'm sure we'll see all the Obama bashers eating their hats? No? Gee, that's shocking! Heh.
2. The Colorado Tea Party: A huge winner last night, as their favorites Ken Buck and Don Maes (who believes "a popular Denver bike-share program is a 'very well-disguised' part of a plan by Denver mayor...John Hickenlooper for 'converting Denver into a United Nations community.'"), defeated party-picked pros, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton and former Congressman Scott McInnis.
3. Colorado Democrats: Sen. Bennet should now have a fairly clear, {albeit not} easy path to reelection, having gotten the opponent he was dreaming of facing. Among other things, Buck believes that rape and incest do not justify abortion, that the "greatest threat to the United States" is Barack Obama (e.g., not Al Qaeda), who believes in eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education, and that people should vote for him because he "doesn't wear high heels". Congratulations on your {hopeful} reelection, Sen. Bennet! Ha. :)
4. Connecticut Democrats: With the victory of wacky World Wrestling Entertainment owner Linda McMahon over more moderate, more sane RepublicanRob Simmons, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal should cruise to victory in November. Also, Connecticut Democrats are now in excellent position to take back the governor's mansion.
5. Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes (D): While Republicans slug it out in a bitter nomination contest for Georgia governor (between Palin-endorsed Karen Handel and Newt Gingrich-endorsed Nathan Deal) that remains too close to call this morning, former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) emerges strong and with a unified party behind him for the fall election. All that translates into a good chance for Democratic victory this November.
6. Nathan DaschleRead here for more about why the Democratic Governor's Association executive director is in a great mood this morning!
7. The Red and the Blue: Former University of Pennsylvania school mascot ("The Penn Quaker") Brian Becker, a close friend of mine since we were 6 years old, won his first race for elective office last night. Brian won 57%-43% and is now the Democratic nominee for Connecticut State House of Representatives from the 19th District (West Hartford, Avon, Farmington). As the Penn victory song goes, "Hurrah for the red and the blue!"

1. National Republican Party: Disaster in Colorado, with Tea Partier Ken Buck's victory over party pick Jane Norton almost guaranteeing a loss for Republicans in this U.S. Senate race this November. Also, Connecticut's a complete mess for Republicans at this point, and Minnesota's not looking good either for the red team, with Nathan Daschle commenting that Republican gubernatorial nominee Tom Emmer is a "fringe candidate" with an "extreme agenda."2. Dick Wad(hams): Why does anyone hire this guy for anything? Since defeating Tom Daschle in 2004, pretty much everything Dick Wad(hams) has touched has turned to...well, something that's the color and consistency of thick mud, but smells a lot worse. Now, Colorado's Republican Party is in turmoil, with Tea Party victory last night, and also with former Rep. Tom Tancredo running as an American Constitution Party candidate for governor, probably handing victory this November to the Democratic candidate, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. It couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
3. Bill Clinton: Endorsed Andrew Romanoff for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Colorado. Romanoff lost to Sen. Michael Bennet, who was endorsed by Barack Obama. Ouch. (note: Clinton also strongly endorsed Terry McAuliffe for governor in 2009; McAuliffe lost badly to Creigh Deeds in the primary)
4. Joe Abbey: Creigh Deeds' former campaign manager has now gotten crushed two times in a row (Ned Lamont lost by 16 points last night, despite spending $9 million of his own money).  Both times, Abbey has run campaigns for conservadems who have completely failed to fire up the base. Last night in Connecticut, turnout for Ned Lamont was abysmal, just as it was in Virginia for Creigh Deeds in 2009. Watching the results last night, and reading some of the commentary, what I'm hearing is that the Lamont campaign failed to excite people, that its ads were uninspired and not particularly well done, and that its campaign lost despite outspending its opponent by a 4:1 margin. How much of this was the candidate, how much the campaign, and how much other factors? We'll never really know, but as former Webb senior strategist Steve Jarding told me, "when you win you're a genius, when you lose you're an idiot."
5. Ned Lamont: Lamont's concession speech last night was excellent. Other than that, there's not much good you can say about the race Lamont ran the past few months. If this guy's political career isn't over now, after losing to Joe LIEberman in 2006 and now Dan Malloy in 2010, I'm not sure what else it will take.
P.S. If Nathan Deal hangs on over Karen Handel in Georgia, then put Deal endorser Newt Gingrich in the "winners" column and add Handel endorser Sarah Palin to the "losers" column.