The flip side of nine-term Congressman Wayne Gilchrest’s loss in the Maryland Republican primary is the defeat of eight-term Congressman Albert Wynn in Maryland’s Democratic primary. Wynn was one of just four members of the Congressional Black Caucus to vote for the Iraq war, he opposed the McCain-Feingold/Shays-Meehan campaign-finance reforms, and he had favored repeal of the death tax. Wynn lost to liberal nonprofit executive Donna Edwards, whom he narrowly beat in the 2006 primary. This time, it wasn’t that close.
Even if the presidential race turns into a contest for swing voters, the party’s bases seem to be hardening on core litmus test issues. That has to at least be a small advantage for Obama, if he wins the Democratic nod, since his appeal to independents doesn’t come from bucking his party’s base on the issues, while John McCain’s in no small part does.