Politico has declared moderation the winner in yesterday’s primaries. In an article that claims both the angry left and right hit walls in the polls, the paper points out that centrist candidates (as expected) won many races against more ideologically extreme opponents. This may upset left-leaning Democrats and Tea Partiers, but the results aren’t entirely surprising.

Update: NPR’s Ken Rudin has two posts about the primaries: one on a surprising result in South Carolina, and another that points out the success female candidates had in the polls.

From Politico:

Yes, the barbarians are at the gate. They do indeed have pitchforks. But the forces of rebellion they represent are looking less potent on Wednesday morning than 24 hours before.


[Democratic Arkansas Senator Blance] Lincoln’s victory, after she failed to avert a runoff in the May 18 primary, proved so satisfying that a smug Democratic establishment couldn’t help but rub it in the left’s face — and particularly in the faces of the major unions.

“Organized labor just flushed $10 million of their members’ money down the toilet on a pointless exercise,” a senior White House official told POLITICO. “If even half that total had been well targeted and applied in key House races across this country, that could have made a real difference in November.”

Yet it wasn’t simply the day’s marquee Senate race — or the South itself — that outlined the limits of the left’s reach. In Southern California, where progressive anti-war activist Marcy Winograd launched a fierce Democratic primary challenge against veteran Rep. Jane Harman, the incumbent dispatched the grass-roots activist by a comfortable margin.


While tea party forces cheered their win with Angle, a former assemblywoman, in Nevada, neighboring California went in a distinctly different direction. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, at one time hammered by activists for being insufficiently conservative, claimed the GOP nomination for governor in the largest state in the nation.

In a significant setback closely watched by Washington operatives, tea party House candidates fell short against GOP establishment favorites in Virginia — most notably in the closely watched 5th District, where state Sen. Robert Hurt scored a wide, nearly 2-1 victory.

And in South Carolina, Attorney General Henry McMaster tried to show his conservative chops by leading a constitutional challenge to the Obama health care plan and finished a distant third in the GOP governor’s race.