Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A few thoughts on why three unpopular incumbents just won primary challenges.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz's official congressional portrait. 

There were two states that had important primary races yesterday and in all three cases the incumbents won despite unpopularity. In Arizona, John McCain fought off an insurgent campaign against him and won with 52% of the vote, while his main opponent, Kelli Ward got 39% of the vote. In Florida ousted DNC head and congresswoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz won 57% to 43% over her opponent, a Bernie Sanders backed Tim Canova. Finally, also in Florida, Marco Rubio trounced his only primary opponent, Carlos Beruff with 72% of the vote. 

This continues a recent trend of very unpopular/out of touch politicians wining primary battles that they probably shouldn't. Remember, it was just a little while ago that Paul Ryan won his primary election as well. Ryan at least has the excuse of being extremely powerful, but the rest of these people? I don't see it. 

The election result that makes the most sense to me here is Marco Rubio. Though Rubio is often thought as a lazy senator that skips out on a lot of votes, he had the least resistance. Most of his primary opponents immediately dropped out when he announced that he wasn't quitting after all. Though he ran a pretty pathetic election campaign, he's still marginally popular, and despite his flaws, he will probably win in November. 

John McCain makes less sense to me. He's 80 years old for crying out loud! He may be a powerful senator and a war hero, but does he really need to be working at 80 years old? In six years will he even be alive? Hell, will he make it one year? He's also completely out of touch with his party and I lost a lot of respect for him because he isn't supporting the Presidential nominee, Donald Trump, with the kind of zeal that a man of his stature should be doing. 

Most baffling of all is how on earth Debbie Wasserman Schultz survived her primary challenge. From what I understand, her opponent didn't get much help from Bernie Sanders, but that is no excuse after what she and the DNC did to our elections. And I say that as a Republican. Remember, she was caught, red handed, fixing the election for Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that her role at the DNC was supposed to be neutral. This didn't happen all that long ago either, did everyone just forget? 

The fact that all three of these people won their primary challenges just shows the power of incumbency. You can be lazy like Marco Rubio, ancient like John McCain, or even completely corrupt like Wasserman Schultz, and still have a decent shot of winning your seat back. I would not be surprised if all three of these people hold onto their seats. I'd be ok with that for Rubio but McCain and Wasserman Schultz should be gone, even though that has little chance of happening. 

So why do people keep voting like this? Well people don't like change and they also like their hometown people. Approval for congress is always rock bottom but people tend to like their representatives. If a rep can bring home the bacon, then who cares if they are lazy, old or corrupt? Other then the people outside of the state/district that have to deal with them... 

I don't think this will change anytime soon. It's clear that people are angry, but it never seems that people get mad at the representatives that they can actually hurt. If people want change, why not vote for it? Kick the bums out if they are like Rubio, McCain and Wasserman Schultz. 

I also think that there should be term limits for both congress and the senate. We don't need these people to have job security that is only limited by how long they are going to live/stay healthy. As far as I am concerned there is no reason whatsoever that any public servant should serve more then 8 to 10 years in one position. But term limits is dead on arrival, congress isn't going to vote to limit their own power... 

I am hoping that people don't get to discouraged from this. Even though everyone won their primary this time around, shockers can still happen. Just because it didn't happen here, and didn't happen with Paul Ryan, doesn't mean that incumbents are invulnerable. It just takes a lot more work to take them down... 

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