Every once in a while you get a multi-contest election night where absolutely nothing happens that wasn’t predictable. Unless I’m missing something, that’s pretty much what happened in last night’s six-state primary extravaganza.
In the marquee Senate races, Mitch McConnell beat Matt Bevin by about the expected margin in Kentucky. The candidates that spent the most money (by a large margin), David Perdue and Jack Kingston, ran 1-2 in Georgia, with Kingston beating third-place finisher Karen Handel by running up a big margin in his southeast Georgia base. Incumbents Butch Otter and Mike Simpson survived in Idaho. The front-runners won in Arkansas’ two competitive GOP House primaries. Thanks to mail ballots cast before her world started melting down, Oregon Senate candidate Monica Wehby won her primary, which could be good news for Jeff Merkley if there are any more stalking incidents in her background.
On the Democratic side, Tom Wolf’s humiliating defeat of three veteran politicians in the gubernatorial primary was a bit more crushing than expected, but it was a good lesson for people like Allyson Schwartz who position themselves for years for a statewide campaign and then get hit by a self-funding bulldozer. The closest thing to an upset all night (yes, I’m know I’m missing something, and don’t know anything about downballot dramas) was Marjorie Margolies’ loss to Brendan Boyle for a PA congressional nomination.
That’s not to say last night’s returns didn’t make some future drama likely. For one thing, Georgia will now have a good, vicious nine-week runoff campaign featuring what could become classic everybody-get-crazy GOP contests for the Senate and three House seats.
But I hope none of you were in a gambling mood yesterday and bet on the upsets. Caprice simply was not in the air.