Sen. Blanche Lincoln and Lt. Gov. Bill Halter will proceed to a run-off election, as neither reached 50% in the Arkansas Democratic primary. "Move-on"-style liberals are celebrating Lincoln's morass as a reprimand to incumbents who opposed Obama's agenda, though broader and more general anti-incumbency sentiments are likely responsible.
Accordingly, turncoat incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter lost to Rep. Joe Sestak. Specter, a 5-term GOP senator, switched parties last year to avoid certain defeat as a Republican. Seems the switch didn't preserve him, after all.
Also, Tea Party candidate Rand Paul (son of Rep. Ron Paul) won the Kentucky primary, giving the movement a taste of legitimacy and institutional presence. Like Specter, endorsed by President Obama and much of the Democratic machine, Paul's adversary, Trey Grayson, was favored by the GOP establishment, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
However, in the only 2-party contest of the night, the late Rep. John Murtha's seat was successfully defended by his former aide. GOP strategist Tom Davis interpreted the result as ominous for the GOP. "If you can't win a seat that is trending Republican in a year like this, then where is the wave?"
Hawaii's special election for the seat vacated by Rep. Neil Abercrombie will be held on Saturday.