by Ken Feltman
First take on yesterday’s primary elections:
+ Big Labor flooded Arkansas with advertising and get-out-the-vote workers. The effort, expected to end the Senate career of Blanche Lincoln, fell short.
Lincoln used an endorsement by former President Clinton to take on Labor directly: “This is about using you and manipulating your votes.”
Labor leaders pointed out during the campaign that they were making an example of Lincoln for her failure to follow the unions’ legislative agenda. That makes Big Labor the big loser in Tuesday’s voting.
Lincoln is trailing her Republican opponent in the November election by 15 to 20 percentage points.
+ Exit interviews in many of the states that held primaries yesterday showed that Republican voters are becoming more critical of the Tea Party movement. Asked what they thought of the Tea Party candidates they knew about, slightly more than one in five Republican voters expressed concern or opposition. Many mentioned Kentucky’s Rand Paul, who won the GOP Senate nomination and quickly got into trouble when he was critical of the Civil Rights Act. The word “scary” was used frequently by Republican voters who expressed concern about Tea Party candidates.
+ South Carolina Republican women are angry at the unsubstantiated charges of adultery leveled against Nikki Haley, who faces a run-off for the GOP nomination for governor. Haley fell just short of 50 percent of the votes against three male candidates. Her closest competitor had 22 percent.
Workers conducting exit polls reported that as couples left South Carolina polling places, many wives expressed anger at their husbands for supporting one of the males. They also criticized South Carolina GOP Senator Lindsey Graham and the South Carolina GOP leadership for allowing a “double standard” to be applied against Haley. The women were especially angry that the charges against Haley were never substantiated by the two men making the allegations, but were repeated by Republican leaders and the media.
+ The big winner may be Sarah Palin. Some of Palin’s riskiest endorsements won, demonstrating her power in Republican primaries.