May 20, 2010

Media Misrepresents Tuesday Election Results

by Florida Pundit: The mainstream media was quick to describe primary election results in Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Arkansas as "anti-establishment" and hyped the victory of a Democrat in a special Congressional election to replace the Jack Murtha who died in February.

Not so fast. Let's look at each of these races and see whether there is an overall trend.

In Pennsylvania, Senator Arlen Specter lost the Democrat primary. Most Democrats had voted against Specter in five elections to the Senate when he was a Republican. When Specter switched parties last year, he explained that he became a Democrat so he could win reelection, not because he suddenly identified more with Democrat positions. Not surprisingly, Specter's cynical calculation had crossed a line and he was rejected as a calculating politician whose only concern is holding on to power. Specter voted for Obamacare and other bills on the Democrat's agenda since he switched parties and, as a Republican, had never been a reliable supporter of conservative positions.

In Kentucky, Rand Paul, son of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, won against the candidate supported by Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Rand Paul is a principled libertarian whose anti-government sentiments would not have won him elections before the age of Obama when most Americans where too complacent to support a candidate like Paul. Clearly, this was a vote against Obama's policies and Paul is in a strong position to win the Kentucky senate seat in November.

In Arkansas, Democrat Blanche Lincoln failed to win 50 percent of the votes in the Democrat primary. She is likely to lose a primary runoff election next month. Arkansas is a conservative state and Lincoln's party-line vote for Obamacare, the stimulus and other Obama projects alienated moderate Democrats. This is another result indicating opposition to Obama's policies.

In the Pennsylvania special election, Democrat Mark Critz defeated Republican nominee Tim Burns. Critz ran as a pro-life, pro-gun candidate and said he would have voted against Obamacare. The Democrat won because of his positions in opposition to the Obama administration. Higher turnout among Democrats because of the high profile Specter-Sestak senate primary may also have played a role in Critz' victory.

The conclusion from these results is not that voters are blindly voting against incumbents. Instead they are voting, in the case of Specter and Lincoln against candidates who had supported Obama's policies, and, in the case of Rand Paul and Mark Critz, for two very different candidate who both oppose key items in the Obama agenda.

In Pennsylvania Joe Sestak, a more leftist Democrat, will run against Republican Pat Toomey in November which makes a Republican victory more likely. The same is likely to happen in Arkansas. In Kentucky, the Republican establishment is quickly uniting behind Rand Paul.

The mainstream media got it wrong again. Tuesday's election's dominant theme was a rejection of Obama's policies, not just an ideologically neutral vote against incumbents.

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