Voter anger crossed party and ideological lines Tuesday, tossing out Democratic and Republican incumbents and establishment candidates while cementing the message that they are mad at the whole damn mess in Washington.
Voters issued fired Republican-turned-Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, forced Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas into a runoff and rejected Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell’s handpicked candidate in Kentucky.
Tea Party candidate Rand Paul easily won the Republican Senatorial primary Kentucky, soundly defeating the candidate endorsed by McConnell and the GOP establishment.
Specter’s defeat follows earlier voter rejections of GOP Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah and West Virginia Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan.
Even the one bright spot for Democrats — a win by former John Murtha aide Mark Critz in Pennsylvania for a seat the Republicans hoped to pick up — was marred by Critz’s public distancing of himself from President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress.
Tuesday’s results are seen not only as a voter rejection of incumbents across the board but also as a defeat of Obama and his policies just five months before mid-term elections that could dramatically change the face of Congress.