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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid