At the Polls Yesterday

A scattering of primaries and one special election yesterday should be noted before we all move on; none will get the kind of attention Wisconsin’s recall election received last week.

In Arizona, as expected, former Gabby Giffords staffer Ron Barber held her House seat for Democrats, defeating arch-conservative Republican Jesse Kelly by a 52-46 margin.

In North Dakota, voters handily defeated two ballot initiatives backed by conservative activists: a “religious freedom” law that would have arguably protected clergy against child abuse allegations (it lost about two to one), and an initiative repealing all property taxes, which lost by better than three to one.

In Maine, voters chose Democratic (state senator Cynthia Dill, a progressive favorite) and Republican (well-known Secretary of State Charlie Summers) as their candidates to succeed Olympic Snowe, but independent Angus King remains the heavy favorite.

And in South Carolina, primary turnout reached record lows (under 4% in Richland County, which includes the state capital, Columbia) after a court decision knocked more than 200 challengers off the ballot.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.