November 30th, 2009
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

Analysis: Contentious primaries will precede 2010 Senate elections

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to leave the Republican Party in April handed President Obama a key vote in the Senate, and Specter was rewarded by quickly being endorsed by the president and Democratic leaders in his bid for re-election next year.

But not every Democrat got in line behind Obama.

In Kentucky, GOP leaders spent the first half of the year hoping that Sen. Jim Bunning would retire, thereby allowing a more popular Republican to run and giving the GOP a better chance to hold onto the seat.

For months, Bunning refused to say he was retiring, but by midsummer the Hall of Fame baseball pitcher relented and provided Republican leaders an opening to rally around the candidacy of Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson.

But not every Republican got in line behind the GOP establishment.

Primaries are complicating matters for Democratic and Republican Senate leaders, who would prefer to focus all of their attention on the 2010 general election, not internal battles for party nominations. Republicans have more primaries to sort out than Democrats next year, but Democrats have their own set of issues to address in the midterm elections.

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Filed under: 2010 • Senate
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mark my words that all incumbent republican congressman and senators will be gone in 2010. If they win their primary, they won't win the general. The RNC is going to see how far NO gets them.

    November 30, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. mark

    dems are done in 2010, help vote true Americans back into congress!

    November 30, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Wayne

    Amazing how GOPers think Democrats are not true Americans, while Liberals consider Republicans fascists. No, there's no disunity or polarization here. All thanks to the media.

    November 30, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Any dim bulb that thinks the republicornholers will pick up ANY seats in 2010 is sadly mistaken. All of your statistics are as skewed as your loser religious beliefs. This country is LIBERAL by nature (read the inscription on the statue of liberty). You losers only have power by hook or crook........ and that's getting MUCH harder to do when we can fact check every lie you make!

    Ever heard of a bibliography or a footnote? I didn't think so.

    November 30, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  5. D. Tree

    Until the Republicans have something new to offer, they will continue to lose both elections AND their base!

    November 30, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Scott

    Screw the democrats and screw the republicans. There is nobody in Washington that are working for their constituents anymore. There is nothing but the political elite anymore, on both sides.

    November 30, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. They call me "tater salad"

    No more incumbents,.........Impose term away with the Old mans club form of government we have now..............There isn't one good reason why we need people holding public office for well into their 70's, 80's and 90's........NOT ONE!!!!!!!!!!

    November 30, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Jane/Seattle

    Is there noting in America that is NOT contentious? Show me political leaders who will sit down to solve our crushing problems without this charade called electioneering and I'll show you one I will respect. Show me one who does not suck us dry and I'll salute that one! This is the very reason that nothing very effective gets accomplished. More power to Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich!

    November 30, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  9. MikeH

    Looks like Huckabee's act of springing Maurice Clemmons from a life sentence in prison when Huckabee was governor of Arkansas will end Huckabee's political aspirations, now that Clemmons is wanted for executing four Tacoma police officers.

    I want to see Cheney run for office, then we can hear all about his crimes against humanity, acts of treason, and war profiteering.

    November 30, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. John M, NoHo

    File this one under "D" for "DUH!!"

    November 30, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    All that means is party traitors like Specter will have to spend more money fighting off a preliminary challenge before losing in the general election.

    November 30, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. mjm

    "This country is LIBERAL by nature (read the inscription on the statue of liberty)"

    I missed the part where it says we’re liberal. I do seem to remember something about fighting a war for independence....something about being over taxed.

    The Founding Fathers were all conservatives. They were all religious. They sure as hell did not know what abortion.

    None of them would have voted for today’s liberals. All of them are rolling over in their graves (yes… I checked).

    November 30, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. Cynthia - Arkansas

    What has a Republican Party EVER done for working men and women...I can answer that. NOTHING! They use the same button issues like guns, abortion, scarry terrorist. It always gets people to vote against their own best interest. It's amazing actually. In the mean time, the rich get richer and the rest get screwed.

    November 30, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  14. Jimmy James

    Amazing. The Democrats think they have accomplished anything this year. Besides a waste of billions with the stimulus plan, what exactly have they passed? Don't blame the republicans. You have the majority in both houses. Unemployment is above 10% and nothing is being done about it. The healthcare bill won't go through this year and by dragging into next year will probably kill it. If it drags into next year and it does get passed it will be nothing any side wants,it will just be a bill called reform and cost all of us money and not improve a thing. That alone will sink the democrats in red states.

    November 30, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. BestProfitCompany = WAR

    I like how rethuglicans think they know the future. Just like they knew the future on Iraq. How Iraq will pay for the war, how Iraqis will love us liberating them, and how rethuglicans will hold power for a long time. LOL wanna-be prophets. Now they believe that healthcare reform will kill this economy when it is already dying! I guess that is what happens when you are a drop-out and only watch Fix News.

    November 30, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. ED FL

    as a life long demo straight ticket voter i really hope that Reid and Pelosi get their BUTTS kicked. It may be worth the loss of either the house or senate[ highly improbable] if that would cost either house or senate but it would be for the better interests of the country with those two losers gone.

    November 30, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. Pragmatic

    always interesting to see republicans using the term "real Americans" – according to their new 10 Commandments? If the health care reform fails, the GOP will own it:

    .... as for primaries ... wasn't that why the conservative carpetbagger thought he could win in NYS-23? The republican candidate was picked by local GOP party leaders .... thought that since she was elected mayor and then a state representative maybe the people in the district thought she was doing a great job?

    November 30, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  18. MARK

    The dems are in huge trouble. Thanks to Obama, Pelosi and Reid. Three names that spell TROUBLE.

    November 30, 2009 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Democrats have don nothing for America since 2006, Buh bye in 2010 we are going to rock the vote to the right!

    November 30, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. Patty

    I just wish McConnell was being voted. I'm from KY and he's an embarrassment everytime he speaks. There is no doubt that his opposition is self-serving.

    November 30, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  21. jumbo

    old, tried. self centerd. no ideas ,,,, out with the old ,,,,

    November 30, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  22. D.A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA

    I live in the Puget Sound Region in Washington State. I suggest that the families of the assassinated police officers sue Gov. Michael Huckabee for gross negligence. He commuted Maurice Clemmons sentence (not anyone else), his signature is the commutation document and how dare he blame Washington State's legal system for his incompetent actions. It is typical for a conservative blame other people for the damages created by the neo-con controlled GOP.

    Sue Huckabee for everything he has.

    November 30, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  23. Dan

    Anyone who thinks that the Democrats will not lose any seats in 2010 is drinking way too much of the delusional Kool-Aid.

    November 30, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  24. Bye Bye Arlen

    Arlen you are a Party Crasher. Nobody invited you to the Democratic Party. You jumped parties when you knew you could get reelected as a Republican. Well if they don't want you then the Pennsylvania democrats don't want you either.

    Be prepare to be handed your hat.

    November 30, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Ted

    Scott is correct! We are all idiots if we don't see that we need to stop thinking it's DEM's versus REP's. We need to focus on core beliefs and protecting our constitution. We are losing our country!

    December 1, 2009 12:55 am at 12:55 am |