Super Duper Tuesday’s Top Three Super Surprises

Last night’s elections lacked any Dewey/Truman moments, but there were enough surprises to make it interesting.

Lincoln Defeats Halter
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) survived to fight the final round in the general election last night. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way. For days — in fact in the final hours of her runoff — Arkansas insiders expected Lincoln to lose, while supporters of Bill Halter were pre-emptively dancing in the end zones. Lincoln’s obituary was written. But both camps underestimated her ability to get out the vote, and she defeated Halter 52 to 48.Inglis Comes In Distant Second, Faces Runoff
It’s looking increasingly likely that Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), a six term incumbent, will lose his House seat. Inglis came in second in last night’s primary, taking 27% of the vote to county solicitor Trey Gowdy’s 39%. Gowdy attacked Inglis for not being conservative enough, panning him for voting against the Iraq War surge and ANWR drilling, and voting for the bailout. Inglis will have to erase that 12 point lead if he wants to win the runoff, scheduled for June 22 — just two weeks away.

Unemployed Vet With No Campaign Wins Dem Nod In SC
Alvin Greene’s campaign didn’t come with any bumper stickers, web sites, or debates. He had no contributions, hasn’t filed with the FEC and says he paid the $10,400 filing fee with his own money. But he won the Democratic primary for Senate in South Carolina against a judge, Vic Rawl, who’s served four terms in the state legislature and had $186,000 in his war chest. He will face Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) in November. The Dem party chair thinks voters chose alphabetically — which may say more about who the party put up for the race than it does about Greene.

Additional reporting by Brian Beutler