Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Two Big Senatorial Primaries Today

There are Senatorial primaries today in Delaware, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Maryland and Rhode Island, but the ones of consequence are in the latter two.

In Maryland, Democrat Paul Sarbanes is retiring and the two men vying for the Democratic nomination to replace him are Congressman Ben Cardin and former Congressman Kweisi Mfume. It's looked lately like Cardin has pulled into a solid lead, but Mfume is a dynamic candidate and I would not be blown away if he pulls off an upset. It's past time to get this one locked in because Republican Candidate Michael Steele may run tougher than a Republican should in a solidly-blue state like Maryland and this would be an agonizing loss for Democrats in November.

Rhode Island's drama is on the Republican side only -- with former Rhode Island Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse having long ago nailed down the Democratic nomination -- and the biggest thing political folk will be watching tonight is whether former Cranston mayor Stephen Laffey can knock off incumbent moderate Lincoln Chafee.

While Chafee is as good a Republican as we Democrats get in the Senate -- he votes with the Democrats on important issues more often than Ben Nelson (D-NE) -- I'm hoping for a Laffey win, as the nomination going to someone so conservative will almost assure Whitehouse's general-election victory in a state like Rhode Island.

Stay tuned…