You really can’t swing a dead cat around the chattering class these days without hearing about the “anti-incumbent” situation both political parties are facing this primary season and then this November. It’s really become the CW of a wide stripe of armchair political analysts, both the (over)paid type on TV and their counterparts at your water cooler. Judging by those two bellwethers, you’d think that most of the House was in serious danger of losing this fall.
I agree that there’s something very interesting (and perhaps quite unusual) going on right now in American electoral politics. But I’m skeptical that “anti-incumbency” is the right word for it.The supposed evidence has significant flaws: there was no incumbent running in PA-12. there’s no incumbent running for Senate in Florida. There’s no incumbent running for Senate in Kentucky. The Pennsylvania Senate race featured an incumbent who was facing a new primary electorate for the first time.
But, you say, what about the other primaries? Read more »