News / USA

Alaska's Republican Senator Murkowski Trailing Conservative Rival

Veteran Republican Senator John McCain has easily defeated a conservative challenger in the Arizona Republican primary election.  But in Alaska, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski is in a race against a conservative Tea Party challenger that is still too close to call.  

Primary elections across America this year to choose Democratic and Republican candidates for the midterm elections in November have shown that voters often appear to be angry with establishment, incumbent candidates.  

Political reporter Alex Isenstadt, of the online and print news agency Politico, says Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski may turn out to be another example of voters punishing the incumbent.

"In Alaska you have one of the biggest political upsets of the year brewing, with Lisa Murkowski, the senator there, so far losing in her primary bid against Attorney Joe Miller, who had been challenging her," he said.

Murkowski trailed Miller by fewer than 2,000 votes, with as many as 16,000 absentee ballots to be counted, beginning next week.

Murkowski's poor showing and possible loss to the politically-inexperienced Miller has shocked many analysts.  Joe Miller made big government a major campaign issue and accused Murkowski of not being conservative enough.

Reporter Isenstadt points out Miller was endorsed by former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a favorite of conservative Tea Party activists.

"Palin has endorsed in a lot of races this cycle, she has had mixed success, but this race last night, if she played a key role there, that really just shows the ongoing influence that Palin has in these races, I think," said Isenstadt.

Palin also endorsed her former running mate for the 2008 presidential election, Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona.  In running for the nomination for his fifth term in the U.S. Senate, McCain faced former Republican congressman J.D. Hayworth.  McCain crushed Hayworth in the primary.  In his victory speech late Tuesday, McCain expressed optimism that Republicans have the momentum for elections in November.

"I am convinced that Republicans will win in November and we will regain our majority in both the Senate and the House," he said.

McCain recognized the threat from challenger Hayworth early in the race, and shifted his position on the biggest issue in Arizona, illegal immigration, to the right.  McCain, who had once supported comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and rejected calls for a fence along the southern U.S. border with Mexico, campaigned for tough enforcement of border security and called for the border fence to be finished.  

Isenstadt said that during the primary race, McCain also rejected the label of "maverick" or independent that he and Sarah Palin had used almost daily during their White House bid against then senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

"McCain ran hard to the right, he portrayed himself as having a more conservative record in the Senate than he probably has had, and he ran away from that maverick label that he had really embraced during his presidential run," said Isenstadt.

Political analyst Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia said John McCain is a survivor.

"Look, it is all about politics, it is all about getting re-elected.  Politicians do what they have to do to win.  If John McCain had run as a maverick in this Republican primary, in this year of the Tea Party, he would lose his Senate seat.  Instead he decided he wanted to win.  And in order to win he had to tack to the right," said Sabato.

Another surprise Tuesday was political outsider and millionaire businessman Rick Scott's win in the Florida Republican primary for governor over well-known state Attorney General Bill McCollum.  Also in Florida, Democratic Representative Kendrick Meet defeated billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene in the race for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.  Meek will have tough opponents, facing Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a former Republican who is now running for the senate as an independent, and Marco Rubio, who easily won the Republican primary.

Political analyst Larry Sabato said it is Democrats and not Republicans who are likely to bear the brunt of voter anger and anxiety in the November elections.

"This is not turning into an anti-incumbent election, it is basically an anti-Democratic election," said Sabato.  "That is because we have a Democratic president.  And traditionally, in American midterms, when conditions are bad in the economy, the voters vote against the incumbent party, not incumbents generally, but the incumbent party, and that is the Democrats."

The entire House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate are up for election in just 70 days.  The vote could change the balance of power in one or both houses, where the Democratic party now holds the majority.  The elections will also affect President Obama's ability to set the agenda and get his polices enacted during the next two years.

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid