In recapping the GOP primary runoff in South Carolina, Jim Antle neglected to mention the result that rendered this a trifecta of good news for limited-government conservatives: The defeat of Rep. Bob Inglis, who voted for the 2008 TARP bailout and lost Tuesday by more than a 2-to-1 margin to Trey Gowdy. As National Journal's Reid Wilson notes, the TARP vote was also a factor in the gubernatorial primary:
Republican politics in South Carolina has been a rough sport since the era of the legendary Lee Atwater, but the dirty games have descended to a new low in the past 10 days.
On May 24, GOP consultant/blogger Will Folks claimed that he had an "inappropriate" relationship in 2007 with Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley, who had surged to the front of the four-candidate primary field after being endorsed by Sarah Palin.
Folks was unable to substantiate his accusation, which seemed likely to fade away until Wednesday when -- mere hours before the final televised debate leading into next Tuesday's primary -- a campaign staffer for one of Haley's GOP rivals claimed that he had a one-night stand with Haley in 2008.
Coming out of Tuesday's primaries, the big headline at the New York Times is that Rep. Artur Davis lost his bid to become Alabama's first black governor, being defeated in the Democratic primary by state agriculture commissioner Ron Sparks.
The basic problem for Davis was that he ran a general-election campaign in the Democratic primary. Davis voted against ObamaCare and, when I traveled to Alabama in February and covered a gubernatorial candidate forum in Montgomery, I was struck by how conservative Davis's rhetoric was. Sparks ran as a liberal populist, and got endorsed by the major black political organizations in the state.
A one-point lead on the eve of Tuesday's special election for Jack Murtha's old seat in western Pennsylvania:
Since Doug Hoffman's electrifying campaign in last fall's wild three-way special election in upstate New York (see "Battle Cry in the North Country"), other candidates have thrown their hats in the ring for the GOP nomination for the seat now held by Democrat Rep. Bill Owens. Among those candidates is Matt Doheny.
Jude Seymour of the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times reports that Conservative Party chairman Mike Long says he's committed to supporting Hoffman this fall and that Doheny missed his chance last year:
Democrats are starting to sweat the May 18 special election in Pennsylvania's 12th District:
In what was the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha's western Pennsylvania district . . . Democrats watch nervously, hoping his former top aide can hold on to the House seat. . . .
A loss would unnerve Democrats, who face the backlash against the party in power typical for a midterm election year, and depress the outlook for the party's other candidates in Pennsylvania, which Barack Obama won easily in 2008. . . .
Of the two congressional special election in May, which is more important, Pennsylvania's 12th District or Hawaii's 1st District? Chris Cilizza of the Washington Post makes the case for PA-12: