Republicans Who Voted For TARP Having A Bad 2010 So Far

There may not be much evidence that this is an anti-incumbent year, but Reid Wilson at Hotline notes that Republicans who voted for the TARP bailout are not fairing well at the polls so far this year:

GOPers who supported George W. Bush’s urgent request for money aimed at bailing out Wall Street have a troubled asset of their own: A vote for the TARP program has proven a sure political loser in a series of GOP primaries this year.

On Tuesday, Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) became the third GOPer to lose his bid for re-election, falling to Spartanburg CO. Solicitor Trey Gowdy (R) by a lopsided 72%-28% margin. Inglis, a 6-term incumbent from the Spartanburg-Greenville area, has voted against his party on several occasions, and a vote against the Iraq war surge in ’07 rankled his constituents. His vote for TARP legislation, though, may have killed his career.

Also Tuesday, Rep. Gresham Barrett (R), once the front-runner in the race to succeed SC Gov. Mark Sanford (R), finished way behind state Rep. Nikki Haley (R) in a runoff election. Haley beat Barrett, who voted for TARP, by a 65%-35% margin.

Inglis’ and Barrett’s losses come a month after Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) lost his chance at winning a fourth term when he finished third at his state’s GOP convention. Bennett was one of 34 GOP senators to vote in favor of TARP legislation in Oct. ’08 — a vote both his opponents used to campaign against him.

Meanwhile, a new poll shows the stain of backing TARP could impact the MI GOV race as well. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R) has been under assault from rivals for voting for the package, one of 91 House GOPers to vote that way. A survey released earlier this week shows Hoekstra in second place, trailing AG Mike Cox (R) by a 26%-24% margin. In the last poll, conducted about a month ago, Hoekstra led by a 30%-18% margin. Several other candidates split most of the remaining vote.

It’s not universal, of course. As Wilson points out, John Boozman, who won the GOP Senate primary in Arkansas by a landslide, does not appear to have suffered any ill effects from his yes vote on TARP. Nonetheless, if you’re a Republican who voted for TARP and you’ve got a primary coming up, you should probably be a little concerned.

H/T: Ed Morrissey

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    John Boozman is my Congressman and believe me, if he were running for re-election for his seat in the House, he would be having the same difficulties. I think he knew that because, instead or running for re-election, he chose to switch and run for the Senate seat currently held by Blanche Lincoln. She is hated in this state and he must have figured that it would be easier to run against her than try to keep his current seat.