WASHINGTON (CNN) – Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski placed a distant third in his state's GOP gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, behind former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and former state Sen. John Binkley.
It's not often that incumbent governors lose their party's primary for another term, it's even more rare when an incumbent governor places third. Why did Murkowski lose? One analyst said his personality may be part of the reason.
"Governor Frank Murkowski is very unpopular, despite his nearly 22 years in the U.S. Senate (1981-2002) and easy victory for governor in 2002," University of Virginia political analyst Larry Sabato said on his Web site.
"So what's the problem? It's partly personality, partly a rocky economy and partly his audacious appointment of his lightly-qualified daughter Lisa Murkowski to succeed him in the Senate."
Murkowski was elected governor in 2002 after serving 22 years as the state's junior U.S. Senator. Once elected, one of Murkowski's first decisions in office was to appoint his daughter, Lisa Murkowski (R), to his U.S. Senate seat.
Former Gov. Tony Knowles won the Democratic nomination and will face Palin in November. Knowles is a former two-term governor and the 2004 Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate. He lost that race to Lisa Murkowski.
With nearly 70 percent of the precincts reporting, Palin had 51.1 percent, Binkley 29.5 percent, and Murkowski 18.9 percent, according to the Alaska Division of Elections.
Other incumbents who have lost primary bids this year are Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga. and Rep. Joe Schwarz, R-Mich.
Lieberman has since launched an independent bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate. He lost his Aug. 8 Democratic primary to millionaire businessman Ned Lamont.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, continued to shake up his re-election campaign Friday by hiring new political consultants, including a prominent Republican pollster. It is his second major re-shuffling of campaign staff since losing the Democratic primary to businessman Ned Lamont on August 8.
Lieberman has tapped Neil Newhouse of the Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies to serve as campaign pollster. The POS firm has served a long list of prominent Republican clients over the years, including Govs. Jeb Bush of Florida and Robert Ehrlich of Maryland, and Sens. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Pete Domenici of New Mexico, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, and Pat Roberts of Kansas, to name a few. Newhouse also serves as a top advisor to Connecticut's Republican Gov. Jodi Rell. The firm also partners with Democratic firms to produce non-partisan polling for NBC/Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio.
The campaign also tapped Democratic strategist Josh Isay to serve as media consultant. Isay has previously worked for both New York City's Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as the state's Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer.
"They are not just among the best in their respective businesses, but they bring a deep knowledge of Connecticut from across the political spectrum, which will be essential to our effort to build a broad coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and independents," said Lieberman of his two new hires in a written statement.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Last week, we told you the tale of one Kenneth McKellar, the 35-year U.S. Senate veteran from Tennessee who, despite his clever "Thinking Feller? Vote McKellar" campaign slogan, lost his state's 1952 Democratic primary to a candidate with an even more clever slogan. We asked Grind readers the world over to name that winning slogan in exchange for a fabulous, that is to say, "available," prize.
As many of you pointed out, some with the help of the good folks at Wikipedia, the winning candidate in that primary was Rep. Albert Gore, Sr., whose slogan "Think Some More – Vote for Gore," helped propel him to the Senate, and probably indirectly boosted the political fortunes of his son, future vice president Al Gore, Jr.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, now serving his third term in the U.S. Senate, made news this week by losing his party's primary to political newcomer Ned Lamont. Three terms is nothing to sneeze at, but former Tennessee Sen. Kenneth McKellar (D) had served a whopping 35 years before being unceremoniously booted in his party's Senate primary in 1952. McKellar's campaign slogan that year was, "Thinking Feller? Vote McKellar." What was the campaign slogan of the candidate who defeated McKellar in the primary?
Submit your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. The lucky Grind reader who answers this question correctly will win a mildly coveted, special edition "CNN Mardis Gras 2006" bead necklace and pendant. Sure to impress all of your raucous friends during your next visit to the Big Easy. If there are multiple correct answers, a winner will be selected at random by our departing political intern Josh Lipsky, whose last day is today. In your response, please include your first name, last name, and your home town and state. The answer and winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!