If yesterday’s primary result is any indication, Pennsylvania might have a new senior Senator in January of 2011. In bordering West Virginia, 14-term Representative Alan Mollohan (D-1st) lost his primary fight to State Senator Mike Oliverio. Mollohan’s family had held that seat before men landed on the moon and was voting on legislation when the Beatles was still putting out albums.
According to Real Clear Politics, the seat was not even in play until recently. Mollohan’s loss should be a sobering sign to Democratic incumbents: In 2010, primaries are not going to be an easy win. Last cycle, in Maryland, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-1st) lost his primary to State Senator Andy Harris (who went on to get beat by the Democrat). In tracking polls over the weekend, two out of three polls show Specter behind Rep. Joe Sestak between 2 (Franklin and Marshall) and 5 points (Rasmussen).
Bottom line: The anti-incumbent mood of the electorate, plus the ineffective Presidency of Barack Obama and a pot of simmering tea in western PA, will be the end of one of the more interesting political careers of the past three decades… unless Arlen can find another “Magic Bullet” somewhere.
Faculty, Department of Political Science, Towson University. Graduate from Liberty University Seminary.