Monday, August 23, 2010

Candidates fending off reformist challengers

Tomorrow’s primaries in Arizona and Florida appear likely to deliver a few surprises for anyone who accepted the conventional wisdom of just a few months ago.

At that time, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, was considered in danger of becoming the next victim of a Tea Party movement uprising that was threatening Republican candidates who were viewed as straying from conservative orthodoxy.

In what was taken as a sign of his nervousness, he brought in his 2008 vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, who vouched for his conservative bona fides. Now he enjoys a double-digit lead in the polls over his challenger, former representative J.D. Hayworth.

In Florida’s Democratic primary for US senator, Representative Kendrick Meek was nearly written off earlier this summer as he was being buried under an avalanche of television ads from his wealthy opponent, political novice Jeff Greene. Today, Meek leads Greene in the polls.

The contests offer more evidence that establishment candidates can prosper in this year of the outsider. They also are a reminder that personal wealth cannot overcome personal flaws, particularly among political novices.

Long before Hayworth emerged as a likely challenger, McCain took steps to protect himself, according to advisers. He concluded soon after he lost the 2008 presidential race that his party’s base was rapidly moving into a posture of total opposition to President Obama. McCain quickly became an outspoken opponent of the president on virtually all major issues.

1 comment:

Joe said...

It good to see that all of the controversy with the illegal immigrants has not hurt his position in the polls.