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View Diary: We unlucky few: A look at the incumbents who lost their primaries, 1994-2012 (55 comments)

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  •  Regarding Mike Synar (17+ / 0-)

    The idea of a Democrat being primaried out for being too liberal sounds crazy these days, but it definitely happened in the past as former New Deal strongholds in the South became Dixiecrat legacy areas, and then eventually conservative bastions.

    Senator Donald Stewart (D-AL) won a special election in 1978, but was attacked as "too liberal" for the increasingly Republican state, and unseated in the primary by conservative Democrat Jim Folsom Jr. (Folsom lost the general election).

    Senator Ralph Yarborough (D-TX) was another one of the solidly liberal Democrats the South used to send to DC, before being unseated by the more moderate Democrat Lloyd Bentsen in 1970 who ran a blatant liberal-shaming campaign.

    Other liberal southern Dems like Al Gore Sr. also faced difficult primary challenges from conservative Democrats in decades past as their states shifted from under their feet.

    Eventually, even those conservative Democrats would see their influence wane in the 1994 and 2010 wipeouts, as most of their voters had joined the GOP and the states became solidly Republican.

    •  That's a very good point (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, MichaelNY, paulex

      Synar was the last victim of this (at least in the House) so he does stick out as an anomaly but it definitely happened a bit before the 90s.  

      Contributing Editor, Daily Kos Elections. 24, male, CA-18 (home and voting there), LA-02 (resident).

      by Jeff Singer on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:04:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  in comparison (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, MichaelNY

      how many Republicans have lost primaries for being too conservative?

      The first man who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his head to say, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society. - Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality Among Men

      by James Allen on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:34:53 PM PDT

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      •  Can only really happen in one-party states. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skaje

        There haven't been one-party Republican states in a very long time.

        21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        politicohen.com
        Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

        by jncca on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 02:57:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Michael Dukakis (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY

      was (incredibly) defeated in a primary for re-election in 1978  because he was too liberal. In Massachusetts. 51-42 with a third left wing candidate getting 7%. In a Democratic primary. In a state that George McGovern had six years earlier 54-45 in a general election.

      Strange things can happen in low turnout primaries.

      •  Who defeated him? nt (0+ / 0-)

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 03:52:54 PM PDT

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        •  Port Authority Director (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, LordMike

          Edward King.  Attacked Dukakis for raising taxes, raised $ from business, and won the primary (and general).  King went on to endorse Reagan in 1984.

          21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
          politicohen.com
          Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
          UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

          by jncca on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:20:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And for that matter died in 2006 a Republican. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, LordMike, pademocrat

            21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
            politicohen.com
            Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal, not progressive. For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.
            UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city.

            by jncca on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 04:21:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Edward J. King, not Edward F. King (0+ / 0-)

            There were two Edward Kings running for governor that year, both as right wingers. Edward J. King ran as a Democrat, Edward F. King as a Republican. Edward F. King won the Republican convention endorsement but lost the primary to Francis Hatch. I voted for Hatch against Edward J. King in the general election, one of the very, very few times in my life (I think the number is 3) that I've voted for a Republican against a Democrat in a general election. But Edward J. King won nevertheless, 53-47. In a state that George McGovern won easily. Edward F. King went on to be the leader of the Proposition 2 1/2 movement that resulted in massive cuts to property taxes in Massachusetts.

    •  That was the election that inflicted Tom Coburn (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AussieforObama2ndterm

      on the country, after Synar was taken out in the primary by a pro-NRA puppet who's not worth Googling.

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 05:10:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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