● Oregon: No surprises on Tuesday in terms of federal elections. All five members of the House of Representatives from Oregon appear to hold safe seats for reelection this fall. As with Idaho, there is no U.S. Senate seat up for election this fall.
● Idaho: The two incumbents in the House of Representatives crushed all opposition yesterday. Raul Labrador (R) of District 1 received over 57,876 votes while the winner of the Democratic primary for the same seat, Cynthia Clinkingbeard, gathered in 4,721. In District 2, Mike Simpson (R) easily deflected a Tea Party-backed primary opponent, while the Democrats chose Nicole LeFavour for the general election. The problem for Ms. LeFavour? She and her Democratic primary opponent combined for a total of 12,427 votes versus the combined Republican vote total of 72,726. The only positive for the two Democrats in terms of this fall’s election—and I still peg their chances of election to Congress in 2012 at slightly above zero—is that yesterday’s statewide primary election suffered from a low voter turnout.
● Nebraska: Deb Fischer won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in an unexpected victory yesterday. Proving that money does not always provide the decisive edge, her campaign spent about $450,000 to some $3.6 million by just one of her two opponents. Her family has a cattle operation, so she should be in tune with that state’s largest industry—agriculture. Her Democratic opponent in the fall will be Bob Kerrey, both a former governor and U.S. senator, who has spent the last decade living in New York City. (For the fall election, I pick Fischer over Kerrey, Nebraska’s prodigal son.)
● Texas: On May 29, Texas will hold its primary elections, including one for the United States Senate seat now held by the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison (R). The Republicans will have nine candidates to choose from, including Craig James. Why the interest here? On today’s “The Daily Roundup” with Chuck Todd on MSNBC, Mr. James was interviewed about his attempt to represent the Lone Star State on Capitol Hill. Almost half the interview consisted of questions about current Washington State University football coach Mike Leach. It seems that Craig James’s son once played for Coach Leach, when he led a successful program at Texas Tech University. A heated dispute, stoked by Craig James, arose over some player disciplinary action. The upshot was that Coach Leach was booted out of his job at Texas Tech. Will the hard feelings still held by some Texas Tech fans against Craig James tip the contest on May 29?
POLITICAL PAST: “The polling begins on Friday, and then we shall have an incessant repetition of the sounds and sights of yesterday ’till the Election is over—bells ringing, candidates speaking, drums sounding, a band of eight trombones (would you believe it?) blowing—men fighting, swearing, drinking and squabbling—all riotously excited, and all disgracing themselves.” From a letter by Charles Dickens, December 16, 1835.