As Tuesday primaries hit, John McCain, a Sarah Palin-backed insurgent, and Dan Quayle’s son are all fighting for their careers. Today, Dan Quayle defended his son against “ugly” and “slanderous” charges of writing for a scandalous website. The Daily Beast has the scoop on the biggest races.
Will America Have a New Quayle?
Americans love a good political dynasty—but mostly to root against. Arizona’s 3rd District provides a perfect opportunity in the figure of Ben Quayle, the 33-year-old son of former Vice President Dan Quayle. Having never held higher office, Quayle is hoping to fill the seat of retiring Republican Rep. John Shadegg. It’s been rocky going for Quayle fils, as documented by The Daily Beast’s Benjamin Sarlin. The operator of a raunchy adult-themed website says Quayle was a long-time commenter. Quayle’s camp denies the charge and even his father has weighed in, but it may be enough to keep him off the ballot in November.
Can McCain Buy Your Vote?
Call it the McCain Stimulus. The Arizona Republican dropped $21 million on his campaign to fend off conservative radio personality and ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth. McCain’s outlay seems a bit excessive considering he was up 35 points in July (Or in the words of McCain’s spokesman: “J.D. Hayworth is deader than Elvis”). In Florida, a huge primary outlay may not prove enough for two candidates. In the Democratic Senate race, Palm Beach’s Jeff Greene spent $24 million out of his own pocket in what looks like it will be a losing effort against Rep. Kendrick Meek. But Greene is a scrooge next to Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott. The health care executive poured $50 million of his own money into his campaign. The last poll had Scott trailing state Attorney General Bill McCollum by 9 points.
Will Alaskans Listen To Palin?
All over the Lower 48, politicos have been watching how the candidates endorsed by Sarah Palin fare. Going into Tuesday’s primaries, 16 out of the 26 candidates with the Palin stamp of approval won their primaries. But Palin has a personal score to settle in her home state. She’s backed Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller in his challenge of incumbent Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. There’s some bad blood between Palin and the Murkowski family, one of the state’s ruling clans. Palin’s standing in Alaska is far from secure, and Murkowski is expected to withstand Miller’s challenge. What remains to be seen is whether a loss of prestige at home will affect Palin’s political fortunes outside Alaska.
Can Charlie Crist Hold His Lead?
The Florida governor, who’s running as an independent, has benefited greatly from the division on the Democratic side of the Sunshine State’s Senate campaign. While the party is lukewarm on the prospects of Kendrick Meek, a sense of purpose should kick in following Tuesday’s vote. If the party apparatus moves squarely behind the congressman, will Crist’s slim lead over Republican candidate Marco Rubio grow slimmer? Surely, Democrats would prefer to vote for one of their own to take Mel Martinez’s seat, even if the candidate hasn’t excited the party faithful.
Are Insiders In Again?
Maybe. A funny thing happens when voters go to the polls: they can really mess with the Tea-Party-triumphant, throw-the-bums-out storylines reporters have been crafting for months. This is supposed to be the Year of the Outsider. Except, on Tuesday it won’t be, if insiders like John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Kendrick Meek, and Bill McCollum carry the day. But have no fear. That storyline can be easily recycled come November 3.
Samuel P. Jacobs is a staff reporter at The Daily Beast. He has also written for The Boston Globe, The New York Observer, and The New Republic Online.