(EDITORS NOTE: This bloomberg article tries to tie in RAND PAUL with the tea party. don't be fooled. he's against wars of aggresion and he's FOR the constitution, Sarah Palin has no chance thank god.)
By John McCormick and Catherine Dodge
May 18 (Bloomberg) -- Rand Paul, a favorite of the Tea Party, won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Kentucky, demonstrating the movement’s ability to convert anger toward Washington into a political win.
In other races today, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania was seeking to overcome anti-incumbent sentiment in his primary race for re-nomination, as was two-term Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln. Early returns from the Associated Press showed each was locked in tight contests
Results from primaries in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Arkansas will collectively offer a broad measurement of the mood of voters ahead of this November’s midterm elections.
Paul, 47, defeated Secretary of State Trey Grayson, 38, who was backed by Kentucky’s Republican establishment, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
An ophthalmologist and son of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, Paul called the mandate of his victory “huge,” as he embraced Tea Party activists and their quest to promote a limited-government agenda.
‘Day of Reckoning’
“Washington is horribly broken,” he said in his victory speech tonight. “We are encountering a day of reckoning and this movement, this Tea Party movement, is a message to Washington that we’re unhappy and that we want things done differently.”
Paul was winning 59 percent of the vote, while Grayson had about 34 percent, with about 90 percent of precincts reporting, according to AP.
Specter, 80, was running against Representative Joe Sestak, 58, who has questioned Specter’s commitment to Democratic causes.
Last year, Specter switched parties and, at the time, gave Democrats the crucial 60th vote needed to thwart Republican stalling tactics in the chamber.
Lincoln, 49, faced a primary challenge from Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, 49, who has been supported by labor unions and the liberal activist group MoveOn.org.
Halter gained favor among Democratic activists when Lincoln in March voted against landmark health-care-overhaul legislation. Since then, Lincoln pushed a derivatives provision into the financial-overhaul bill before Congress that would require commercial banks to wall off their swaps-trading desks. It has been among the bill’s most contentious issues.
The presence of a third primary candidate, businessman D.C. Morrison, may force a June 8 runoff between the two top finishers if nobody wins at least 50 percent of today vote.
A Specter or Lincoln loss would be the third for a congressional incumbent in less than two weeks and underscore potential difficulties for lawmakers in both parties in November’s general election. The Utah state Republican convention’s May 8 vote ended three-term Senator Bob Bennett’s re-nomination bid. Democratic Representative Alan Mollohan, a 14-term incumbent from West Virginia, lost in a May 11 primary.
With nationwide unemployment at 9.9 percent, Republicans are hoping voter discontent will enable them in November to reduce Democratic House and Senate majorities -- or perhaps take control of one or both chambers. Democrats control the Senate, 59-41, and the House, 254-177.
Special House Election
Another race that could offer insight into the midterm elections is in a coal-mining area of western Pennsylvania, where a special election was held today for the House seat vacated by the death of Democratic Representative John Murtha. The district is the kind of setting Republicans will need to win in November, if they are to take control of the House.
Democrats have about a 2-to-1 advantage in voter registration in the district, where Mark Critz, 48, a Murtha aide, and Republican businessman Tim Burns, 42, are battling. The district is the only one in the nation where 2004 Democratic presidential nominee Senator John Kerry won and where Obama lost in 2008.
In the Pennsylvania Senate primary, Pat Toomey, a former congressman, won the Republican nomination.
When Specter switched parties in April 2009, he said his decision was based in part on his slim prospects of winning the Republican nomination in 2010. At the time of the switch, President Barack Obama pledged to back his re-election. Specter used the president in his advertising, although Obama didn’t campaign in the state in the race’s closing days.
Obama in Ohio
As voters were casting their ballots, the president flew over Pennsylvania on his way to an event highlighting the administration’s efforts on the economy. He made no mention of the primaries during his appearance today in Youngstown, Ohio.
Paul will be the favorite in Republican-leaning Kentucky this November to fill the seat of retiring Republican Jim Bunning. His father once ran for president as the Libertarian Party candidate and, as a Republican House member, for years has sought the abolishment of the Federal Reserve. McConnell has said he will support the party’s nominee.
Paul had the backing of 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, as well as that of South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican who is donating funds to more conservative candidates within the party.
Democrats in Kentucky picked between Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo and Attorney General Jack Conway for their Senate nominee. Conway had a slim lead with about 90 percent of the vote counted, according to AP.
In Oregon, where term limits prevent Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski from running again, voters are selecting Democratic and Republican candidates for that office. The nine- candidate Republican field includes Chris Dudley, a former National Basketball Association player for the Portland Trail Blazers.