Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Senate primaries

Australian Labor supporters are a complaining lot (a good thing), and perhaps Kim Beazley's so-so approval ratings reflect belief among many Labor partisans that he is too close to the Howard government on 'security' issues. Interesting to see that Connecticut Democrat senator Joe Liebermann is being challenged in the Democratic primary on the grounds he is too close to the Bush administration, particularly on the Iraq war. His challenger's ability to raise funds is seen as a triumph for bloggers, fitting a narrative that pits progressive internet insurgents vs. party centrists. However would Liebermann’s defeat endanger the Democrat hold on the seat, especially given he has dropped hints about running as an independent? Says one report:
Sharon Palmer admits to being a "left-wing, liberal Democrat. And I'm proud of that. But I'm also practical," she said Sunday. "And that's what I am weighing." Palmer, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, is one of a number of delegates to this year's state Democratic convention who remains undecided on whether to support Democratic U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman's re-election bid.
Meanwhile in Rhode Island Republican moderate Lincoln Chafee is under attack from conservatives in the Primary:
The GOP senator had appeared the previous night before the Scituate Republican Town Committee to seek the endorsement of the small but influential group. In his halting, soft-spoken way, Chafee defended his opposition to the war in Iraq, domestic wiretapping and the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. as the principled positions of an old-school conservative. Chafee, 53, once could count on voters in Rhode Island to tolerate his maverick ways, but this time the response was blank stares. "Nobody listened to my reasoning," Chafee recounted as he piled hay into a wheelbarrow. "They support the president on everything.
A list of primary dates is here. The degree of public participation they encourage does look good compared to the closed-shop of ALP preselections or the Liberals.


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