Lieberman + McKinney + Schwarz Defeats = Anti-Incumbent?

WaPo’s Jonathan Weisman sees a trend:

In the shadow of the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut, angry voters in three states showed their discontent last night by unseating two incumbents and choosing a candidate who campaigned against his primary opponent’s bipartisan past. The defeat of Georgia’s outspoken Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D) and Michigan moderate Rep. John J.H. “Joe” Schwarz (R) appeared to confirm the strong headwinds that polls suggest members of Congress will face in November from an angry electorate looking for change.

Uh, against how many incumbents who won their primaries? Don’t they signal anything?

Oddly, since I tend to vote Republican, I have paid no attention to the Schwarz contest. I gather that he was, like Lieberman, defeated by a candidate more closely aligned with his party’s base.

McKinney is, well, McKinney. Slapping a police officer, making one outrageous statement after another, and an even nuttier dad making constant idiotic statements to the media were, shall we say, not helpful.

Now, I don’t doubt that there’s a strong anti-incumbent wind out there. But three losses easily explained by the idiosyncracies of the individual contests are hardly further evidence for it.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

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  2. walter66 says:

    the McKinney defeat…….Georga is one of twenty states that has an open primary

    it is pretty well accepted that McKinney’s 2002 primary defeat was caused by republicans crossing over and voting against McKinney. Something tells me that this is the case in this primary

    this is my question……how honest is the person who knows who he will vote for in November “crossover” and vote in the other party’s primary?

  3. James Joyner says:

    I’m a fan of closed primaris, myself, for a variety of reasons. I’m not sure “honesty” is at question, though, for people who play the game by the rules that exist.

  4. […] My first reaction to last night’s results with Lieberman, McKinney, and Schwarz all defeated was that there was an anti-incumbency movement at work.  But on reconsideration I’ve decided that, as James Joyner notes, the results are more clearly explained by issues specific to each individual campaign than some general movement against incumbents. […]

  5. walter66 says:

    so you don’t find anything inherently dis-honest about someone who is without question going to vote republican “crossing over” and voting in the democratic primary?

    shorter James….the end justifies the means?

  6. James Joyner says:

    Uh, no. Just that, if parties hold open primaries, they implicitly give people not affiliated with the party the right to vote in them. That’s what open primaries are.

  7. Missing Cynthia McKinney…

    What are conservative bloggers going to do for material now?

    So goodbye Cynthia McKinney. Somehow I think some of my fellow bloggers will be missing you…

  8. LJD says:

    Right. Blame Republicans crossing over. Not Mckinney’s record or behavior. Perhaps DENIAL is a river in leftie-land as well.

  9. walter66 says:

    so with open primarys not only should we expect dis-honesty, we shold condone it as well?

    LJD….it is a pretty well accepted fact that that is exactly what happened in 2002. You might also want to get a paddle there buddy.

    LJD and James….let me ask you this…….you are a republican…..you have absolutly no intention of voting democratic in November……you have absolutely no intention to vote for either McKinney or her democratic primary opponent in November…..would you go and vote in the democratic primary?

  10. LJD says:

    LJD….it is a pretty well accepted fact that that is exactly what happened in 2002. You might also want to get a paddle there buddy.

    Among you and the tin-foil hat brigade.

    So riddle me this hack-man, what about the majority of Independent voters in CT? They don’t get to play with the party people?

    What if the honestly, at the time, they for some crazy reason want to vote Democrat. Then during the election, world events, debates, perhaps some uncovered scandal, urges them to vote the other party line?

  11. walter66 says:

    “So riddle me this hack-man, what about the majority of Independent voters in CT? They don’t get to play with the party people?”

    I assume we are talking the primarys here…

    sure, if they change their party affiliation

  12. Dancing Bear paux de trois…

    Some bloggers take note but fail to appreciate the bear’s fancy footwork:James Joyner at Outside the Beltway wonders if: Lieberman + McKinney + Schwarz Defeats = Anti-Incumbent?
    “three losses easily explained by the idiosyncracies of the individual …

  13. Herb says:

    I was sorry to see Lieberman get defeated, but I think he will win in the general election

    As for that “dingbat McKinney” the world is celebrating her passing.

    She will NOT be missed.

  14. Dancing Bear pas de trois…

    Some bloggers take note but fail to appreciate the bear’s fancy footwork:James Joyner at Outside the Beltway wonders if: Lieberman + McKinney + Schwarz Defeats = Anti-Incumbent?

    “… three losses easily explained by the idiosyncracies of the indiv…