For anyone who paid attention to last night's primary election returns, the pattern that was established in earlier primary races this year, seemed to be the same, as was the message: "America is sick of Washington."
In a potential Alaska primary upset Joe Miller, a Tea Party favorite, will likely edge out the second generation U.S. Senate political-legacy-placeholder Lisa Murkowski. The winner of Tuesday’s primary is also expected to win the general election in November.
In Florida's Senate race, the general election win was almost handed over to Republican candidate Marco Rubio as Obama-endorsed Democratic candidate Kendrick Meek throttled a self-funded, big spending challenger. The win for Kendrick Meek clearly helps Rubio draw the biggest and brightest line possible between himself and two nearly identical candidates in Charlie Crist (independent) and Meek. The branding for Rubio coming out of the evening was simple: If you want a candidate who offers carbon copies Obama's vision for America, you have two candidates to choose from. But if Floridians want an outsider... I'm your man.
It's also important to point out that Republican Rubio racked up over 900,000 votes, running as an unopposed candidate, while the Democrat Meek--in a hotly contested race--scored his win with a little more than 600,000. If these turn-outs are considered passive for the GOP and intense for the Democrats, Rubio will win in a landslide come November.
In Florida's gubernatorial race, the citizens of the Sunshine State sent one last parting shot against the Washington establishment by voting for outsider Rick Scott and defeating state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the party's nod to replace Crist. Scott may very well be able to ride Rubio's coattails to victory in November, or vice versa, but either way Florida looks like it’s going to be bright red this November.
Speaking of landslides, even the Arizona Senate race had an outsider feel to it although it featured John McCain. And before you dismiss the idea that John McCain's victory was a win for non-Washingtonians consider this: No one has been more consistently tough on getting rid of earmarks over the course of their political career than Senator McCain.
Former Congressman J.D. Hayworth did McCain a great favor by forcing him to return to the roots of his conservatism in order to win. One can’t help but wonder if McCain had run as such a conservative against Barack Obama if he might not have done better there as well. But let's face it, Hayworth was the toughest competition Senator McCain could face and he beat him 56%-32%. (Is there even a Democrat running for Senate in Arizona in the general election?)
Another outsider James Lankford defeated a GOP establishment candidate Kelvin Calvey in Oklahoma's Fifth District Congressional seat. And former Vice President Dan Quayle's son Ben took down establishment candidates in the race to replace long time Washington Congressional insider John Shadegg.
Lastly it needs to be pointed out that Sarah Palin, the queen-bee-mama-grizzly-favorite of the Tea Party movement, had another huge night. In fact, McCain's "outsider" status was strengthened by the support he won from Palin, not hindered by it. But her support of Miller in the closing days in Alaska, as well as her steadfast enthusiasm for Rubio, not to mention McCain's new "I owe you one," likely puts three more Palin endorsements in her bag of tricks from soon-to-be U.S. Senators, should she desire to run for the 2012 White House as perhaps the biggest long-shot "outsider" of all time.
Kevin McCullough is the nationally syndicated host of "'Baldwin/McCullough Radio"now heard on 212 stations and columnist based in New York. He blogs at The Kind Of MAN Every Man SHOULD Be is in stores now. And host of "The Kevin McCullough Show"weekdays 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. ET on Sirius 161.
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