Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Primary Motivations, Con't

A good night for Democrats last night as primary contests were held in Virginia, Maine, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Nevada, plus a couple of special elections in Wisconsin. Overall, it was a pretty good night for Team Blue, especially for women.

Virginia is quietly one of the most important states in the race for the House — at least four seats should be competitive in November — and Democrats have now nominated a woman as their candidate in every one of those important elections.

In the Virginia Second, they nominated veteran Elaine Luria to challenge Rep. Scott Taylor, In the Seventh, Abigail Spanberger got the nod and is now tasked with toppling Dave Brat, one of the most conservative members of the House. And Jennifer Wexton emerged from a crowded primary and will now face Rep. Barbara Comstock, long considered to be one of the most vulnerable House Republicans in the country, in the 10th.

And prior to primary day, in a local Democratic convention, the party picked Leslie Cockburn in the campaign to replace outgoing and scandal-plagued Republican Rep. Tom Garrett. Each of this races is pegged by election forecasters to be either a toss-up or to lean slightly toward the Republicans. These seats would absolutely be in play in a wave year, especially in a state that is consistently trending bluer all the time.

We’ve seen again and again this year that Democratic primary voters want women to be their candidates. Virginia is maybe the starkest evidence yet.

This is a good thing.  Increasing the percentage of women in Congress has been badly needed for, I dunno, 240-plus years or so and Democrats in Virginia are leading the way. Oh, and Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's veep pick in 2016, lucked out last night too as Virginia Republicans decided on white-supremacist adjacent Corey Stewart as their party's candidate for challenging Kaine in November, not that Kaine was in real trouble before.

Wisconsin was also a place for Dems fighting back against GOP Gov. Scott Walker.

After two Republican state lawmakers stepped down to take spots in Walker’s administration, the Wisconsin governor decided to just not call special elections as state law seemed to clearly demand. His lawyers cooked up a farcical literal reading of state law to justify the decision, but Democrats — led by former Attorney General Eric Holder — intervened, the state courts laughed off Walker’s case as absurd, and so the elections were called.

That was the first part of the liberal win, and the second part came on Tuesday, when Democrats prevailed in one of those special legislative elections. Caleb Frostman won in Senate District 1, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 17 points in 2016.

One out of two isn't bad considering both special elections were considered safe seats a year ago.  And Walker himself?  He's got to be feeling nervous as he runs for a third term in November.

Oh, and as I mentioned this morning, Mark Sanford did indeed lose his primary contest.  Don't feel too bad for him though.

Onward towards November.

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