Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Election Day

Voting in primaries in PA, KY, AR, OR, and in special elections for the House in PA and HI.

The headlines, and rightly so, are going to be about the Senate primaries, especially the challenges to Specter and Lincoln...Specter's race is a toss up going in; Lincoln is leading, but perhaps not enough to avoid a runoff.  It's hard to tell what difference either one makes...the Dems are probably doomed this year in Arkansas either way, and I don't think it's predictable which Democrat would run better in Pennsylvania.  But the two specials are also significant, especially the one in Pennsylvania.  The GOP is expected to win the Hawaii race and then probably lose the seat in November, but in Pennsylvania it's a toss-up -- but the winner probably will hold the district for a while.  Also important and close is the Kentucky Senate primary on the Democratic side.  Rand Paul is going to be the Republican nominee (barring a surprise), and could be vulnerable in November, in my opinion; my guess is that Jack Conway is a stronger general election candidate than Dan Mongiardo for the Dems.  If 2010 turns into a GOP landslide, the Republicans should win Kentucky regardless of the candidates, but if not, this remains a possible Democratic pickup. 

Plenty of other stuff to look at today.  TPM has a rundown on some of the second-tier contests.  Via Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, polls close at 7PM in KY, 8PM in PA, and 8:30 in AR, all Eastern Time.  As usual, Oregon is vote-by-mail and usually takes a long time to count, and Hawaii is nine or ten time zones over, so we won't get the results there until a week from Thursday or something like that (it's a joke, ok?).  I'm not sure that it quite lives up to the "Super" Tuesday hype that the cable nets seem to be going with this morning, but since I like the hype, that's fine with me.

And I'll close with a cut and paste rerun, with a bit of an edit, from my standard election day comment....

You know, a lot of my academic work and interests, and a lot of what I write about here, are all about how small a portion of democracy is occupied by today.  I think democracy is found in the complex workings of elites within party networks, and in Congressional committee rooms, and in interactions within issue networks, and in White House showdowns between the president and a reluctant Senator...all those things, to me, at an intellectual level, are democracy just as much as today's events. But nothing beats the rituals of Election Day. Hey, I even like the annoying and useless "What Does It All Mean" stories, as long as I can restrict my intake enough. I love watching the spin.  I love the weather stories, and the cheesy shots of the candidates voting, and the oh-so-careful anchors not revealing what they all know from the exit polls.  I'm one of those people who could easily do without the National Anthem, and the Pledge doesn't do much for me -- and I really dislike the Selig-imposed 7th inning GBA. But then today comes around, and I know that I'm a very patriotic citizen of the USA.

So, Happy Election Day, everyone! Vote early, vote often!

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