My Take on the Two Big Congressional Races
Congratulations to Andy Harris and Donna Edwards. No matter your political persuasion it is no easy thing to run for elected office, much less Congress. They campaigned hard and won.
I tip my cap the cap to both of them. Its a Terps cap, because you know the most important matchup is tonight . 😉
My congratulations to to Harris supporters and their efforts like Michael Swartz goes without saying. I also wish to congratulate Isaac Smith, Bruce Godfrey et al., at FSP. I know those two in particular put in a great deal of time on behalf of Edwards, and their effort paid off. Disagree on everything we may, I cannot but admire their passion and effort in support of their principles.
Much is being made of the fact that two long time incumbents lost. That is definitely newsworthy and an important outcome. However, I think the real importance is that they lost to challengers from their respective political bases. Wynn lost to challenger from the left, and Gilchrest lost to a challenge from the right.
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I think that is an interesting phenomenon given that a lot of focus, especially in the presidential primaries, has been on which candidate can win over independents and moderates. Harris’ win also says something about conservative distaste with John McCain, in state he won decisively.
What do I think this all means?
The base matters, core ideological principles matter. Indepenents and moderates are important as they must be accounted for in general elections, but you cannot court them to the detriment of your base and your first principles.