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    Throwing the bums out is the bipartisan theme of 2012 primaries

    Throwing the bums out is the bipartisan theme of 2012 primaries

    If it had seemed like anti-incumbency fever reached its pitch in 2010, take another look at the sleeper phenomenon taking over the 2012 primary races. reports that, so far, a total of 135 incumbents have been defeated in the state legislative elections alone. This is an astounding number of defeats–nearly double the rate of incumbency defeats in 2012.

    Bob Weeks reports from Kansas, which just held its primary on Tuesday, where 18 incumbents were defeated:

    But yesterday, Kansas voters said goodbye to many of the left-wing Republicans — the so-called “moderates” or “traditional Republicans” — and nominated conservatives in their place. Some nominees face Democratic challengers in November.

    The results are a surprise not only for the number of victories by conservatives, but the margin of victory.

    It’s not just affecting Republicans; 44 of the 135 defeated incumbents were in Democratic primaries.

    A report by’s Geoff Pallay analyzes the phenomenon and how it compares to 2012 in a report available on

    While the percentage of incumbents defeated in primaries in 2012 might seem low, the increase is nonetheless impressive. Redistricting may have played a role; in the 2012 primaries, 40 of the 44 states are using maps different from those used in 2010. A number of these redistricting efforts were challenged in the courts, and some were thrown out as the primary elections drew near. While redistricting is usually assumed to make it more difficult for incumbents to be re-elected, the unsettled nature of district boundaries also meant that all candidates were scrambling to adjust to these new district boundaries and re-arranging their campaign strategies accordingly.

    Such developments made challenging an incumbent in a primary election even more difficult than it was in 2010, when redistricting did not take place. The costs of campaigns may have been driven higher, and candidates taking on entrenched officeholders historically have found it difficult to raise money.

    Finally, it is significant that a pronounced “anti-incumbent” sentiment already existed in 2010, which benefitted challengers no less than it did in 2012. A possible explanation for the higher victory rate for challengers is that the higher win rate for challengers in the 2010 general elections triggered more aggressive challenges this cycle. Emboldened by the results of 2010, stronger candidates may have come forward to challenge incumbents in 2012.

    With both Democratic and Republican incumbents losing at a higher rate than 2010, it shows Americans on both sides of the aisle are fighting back against an entrenched political establishment.


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    NC Mountain Girl | August 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    California will be fun to watch. They really scrambled the boundaries of some Congressional districts plus they have the open system where the top two vote getters in the primary face each other in the general regardless of party affiliation. some incumbents are campaigning for the first time in years.

    That voters have never been more anti-establishment than they are today is not exactly an obscure observation. The fastest growing party in America is the “unaffiliated independent” party. We are close to outnumbering “both” Democratic parties combined. The Democratic parties might as well merge because their socialism is probably soon going to be challenged by a new majority party.

    That is why the “party over principles” dead-enders that still control “both” parties get more and more strident. Their corrupt shrinking worlds are fraying and they can feel the earth moving beneath their feet. Partisan logic has lost most of its traction among the majority of Americans. All they have left is fear-mongering and insults.

    It’s just not a good time to be a noseholder in EITHER Democratic party these days.

    Ragspierre | August 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    What’s the “unaffiliated independent party” position on gun control, Fillie?

    What’s the “unaffiliated independent party” position on abortion, Fillie?

    How ’bout the “unaffiliated independent party” position “gay marriage”?

    How about the “unaffiliated independent party” position on repealing the Bush tax cuts, like your buddies in the OWS movement insist on?

    I’d like you to put up the platform of the “unaffiliated independent party”, please, ’cause I read extensively, and have not seen that.

    Oh, and all their candidates running for office in 2012.

    Who is this WE, you keep talking about? Because I’ve been an independent CONSERVATIVE for about two decades, and we DAMN sure don’t agree on much of anything.

    Henry Hawkins | August 9, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Speaking of incumbent bums, take a look at what Obama said in Colorado today:

    “I said, I believe in American workers, I believe in this American industry, and now the American auto industry has come roaring back. Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry.”

    OK, I’m starting to wonder if he isn’t trying to throw this election.

      Ragspierre in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm

      I look at the gutting of welfare’s work requirement, the 4x increase in 5 years in taxpayer transfers to illegal aliens, the vast expansion of Federal payments to households, and it all adds up to one thing.

      Cloward-Piven has been implemented, with the devastating admixture of crippling the productive capacity of the producers.

      We have a choice. “Forward” into that maw, or try to redeem our nation.

      heimdall in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      He might have been speaking without TOTUS again. What will it take for him to be chained to that damn teleprompter? Every time he is away from it, he commits these unforced errors and lets his mask slip.

    I’ve been pretty happy with the election results in Kansas, lots of losses in the left wings of both parties, many gains in the right wings. The funny part is what the KS Dem party has been saying (paraphrased) “Hey all you moderate Republicans who lost your primaries because you were too liberal, come over to the Democrat party and get *really* liberal, that will help.”

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