A few thoughts on yesterday’s primaries:
Nothing’s the matter with Kansas: Conservatves beat moderates in 17 out of 21 Republican senate primaries. It was a big win for Gov. Sam Brownback and a possible turning point in the moderate versus conservative clashes that have roiled the state GOP for years.
Photo finish in Missouri: In a mild surprise, Todd Akin beat John Brunner by six points in the Missouri Republican primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Sarah Steelman finished just behind Brunner, three other candidates were inconsequential. The polls generally showed Brunner beating Akin and Steelman by five points. Nevertheless, this was a competitive three-way race throughout with all three leading McCaskill, who must be beaten for Republicans to have a realistic chance of retaking the Senate. The sense is that Democrats wanted to run against Akin the most and Brunner the least (Brunner can’t be tied to Washington, among other things). But the initial polls do show Akin beating McCaskill.
It’s Hoekstra in Michigan: Despite rumblings that a challenger to his right might emerge (mainly in the form of Clark Durant) Pete Hoekstra — of “Pete Spend It Not vs. Debbie Spend It Now” fame — easily won the Michigan GOP rimary to take on Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Fed up with the Fed in McCotter’s former district: Kerry Bentivolio easily beat back a party-supported write-in campaign by Nancy Cassis to win the Republican nomination in Thad McCotter’s old district. Bentivolio is a Ron Paul fan and Federal Reserve critic. One Michigan Republican who supported him Justin Amash, the neighboring congressman who was also renominated last night.