Today, voters in 11 states take to the polls for yet another round of political primaries. The results are likely to reinforce a key theme we’ve seen thus far this election season: big government stands to lose big. Other themes that have defined this round of primary campaigns: sex, spending and slaying the dragon. Here are the ones to watch:
In South Carolina, incumbent six-term Representative Bob Inglis could lose his primary because his opponent has effectively linked him to the bailouts of the big banks. He's being painted as not conservative enough, and as an insider -- two messages that will be useful everywhere from here on out. In the battle for the House, Democratic Representative Alan Mollohan of West Virginia and Representative Parker Griffith of Alabama have lost primaries. Inglis could be the third.
In Arkansas, bank bailout backer Blanche Lincoln is fighting for her political life, though many say it’s a futile effort at this point. Despite Lincoln’s rebuke of a public option and opposition to pro-union policy like the Employee Free Choice Act, she’s been backed into a corner for being associated with saving Wall Street. Some speculate that if she wins, it’ll show how the unions, who are spending millions to unseat her, have lost their luster.
No matter who wins, the candidate will face a tough uphill battle against GOP challenger John Boozman who is polling ahead of both Lincoln and Halter, her current opponent.
In California, GOP candidates, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina are spending millions of their own cash to win the primaries for governor and senate. Though immigration has been factor in the campaigns, both women are poised to win because of their perceived abilities to get the Golden State back on track economically and rein in the out of control spending that’s crippled their state’s economy. Barbara Boxer beware.
In South Carolina, GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has faced an onslaught of attacks claiming she cheated on her husband with two staffers. She’s denied the allegations and had Sarah Palin vouch for her credibility. It’s worked. Many S.C. voters feel sorry for Haley: a poll from this weekend shows her leading the pack of GOP rivals with 43 percent of the vote. Gresham Barrett had 23 percent, Henry McMaster 16 percent and Lt. Governor Andre Bauer just 12 percent. If no candidate receives more than half of the vote, the top two candidates will proceed to a June 22 runoff. The group is running to fill the seat vacated by disgraced Governor Mark Sanford after he admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentinean beauty.
Slaying the Dragon
The three candidates in Nevada running in today’s primary all hope to be the one who can pull out a victory and take down the big guy in the fall: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Currently, Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle has pulled ahead in the polls with Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden trailing behind. Expect Democrats and the White House to be acutely focused on this race from now until November. Losing their leader, and another seat in the already close Senate Democratic majority, is at stake.
In New Jersey, a race that has received little attention, but likely will soon, is the fight for the 6th Congressional District. GOP candidate Diane Gooch is facing off against Tea Party challenger Anna Little. Both women hope to battle superduper incumbent and lifetime politician, Frank Pallone. Expect Pallone, author of the unpopular health care bill, to go on defensive starting tomorrow since he'll have to defend one of the most questionable and costly policies in our nation's history against one of these two women.
If today's races have told us anything thus far, it's that Americans are so terrified of the instability in the economy and in their own states that they have no faith in the governing party. They don't just disagree; they are scared.
Expect more than just anti-incumbent sentiment driving today’s elections; expect a rejection of anyone who’s wasted taxpayer money and grown government to go down.
Andrea Tantaros is a FoxNews.com contributor. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros.
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Andrea Tantaros currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's The Five (weekdays 5-6 PM/ET). She joined the network as a contributor in 2010. Follow her on Twitter @andreatantaros or on Facebook.com/andreatantaros. Click here for more information on Andrea Tantaros.