Primary Season Heats Up

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There are a lot of races this week — perhaps the busiest primary week since the 2008 season. Here’s a story from me about the five top Democratic primaries. Obviously, as I mention, there’s also the Rand Paul/Trey Grayson smackdown in Kentucky on the Republican side which it looks like Paul will likely win in a victory for the Tea Partiers.

A question on Arlen Specter: Though Alex notes that the White House seems to be girding for a Specter loss tomorrow (thus, President Obama’s flap-in-the-face speech tomorrow in Ohio near the Pennsylvania border after refusing to stump for Specter this week), I have to ask: is it wise for the White House to be discounting Specter? The race is too close to call. Joe Sestak’s poll numbers have leveled off in the last few days, showing his surge might have peaked too early. And the tight special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th district helps Specter as those voters are more likely to also turn out for him than Sestak, according to Jennifer Duffy, Senate editor at the Cook Political Report. Perhaps the White House knows something that I don’t — they probably do, in fact — but what will they say if Specter ekes it out? It’s not like they could claim the credit…

Speaking of Pennsylvania’s 12 district, that is the one competitive race I didn’t mention in my story. There’s a fascinating special election for Jack Murtha’s old seat which many are labeling the truest test of all the CW’s out there: is this a wave Republican year or can Mark Critz, Murtha’s old district manager, carry his former boss’s seat? Republican businessman Tim Burns is trying to portray Critz as a Pelosi-Obama rubber stamp — but in a district that has flourished on the bounty brought home by Murtha for more than 35 years — is that a bad thing? No one knows yet as the race is too close to call.