L’affaire Alvin Greene is already a treasured part of this year’s political lore. The story in brief: A young, unemployed military veteran without any visible means of support, running a virtually invisible campaign, easily wins the June 8 Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate. And the winner faces a felony obscenity charge to boot.
The primary defeat Tuesday of Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) on the heels of the convention loss last Saturday of Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) confirms a trend that has been evident for at least the last two decades – namely, that it is not congressional freshmen and sophomores who are most vulnerable to being denied renomination by their party, but veteran members who have served 10, 15, or even 20 years or more on Capitol Hill.
With the 2010 midterm election barely six months off, the numbers continue to look ominous for the Democrats. President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the venerable Gallup Poll and other public opinion surveys lags below 50%, roughly the dividing line between modest congressional losses for the president’s party and huge ones.
We are in the midst of one of the most contentious, polarized and highly partisan times in American history. But in terms of voter engagement, that is not all bad.
Only two states have held their primaries thus far this year, but they are too big ones – Illinois and Texas. What do the results say about anti-incumbent sentiment in 2010? It actually depends on which level of government one is focusing on.