Night of the Thousand Primaries: Results

Tuesday night's primaries are over, with some expected outcomes and some unexpected. Here's a quick wrap-up of what happened in the big races last night:

  • Arkansas Senate: Lincoln def. Halter. This is a tough loss for labor unions, and an unexpected one. The biggest U.S. labor organizations poured over $6 million into this race to try to secure Halter as a 59th vote in favor of the Employee Free Choice Act, and it looked like a long shot from the start. But Halter had surged ahead of Lincoln in last the three polls prior to Tuesday night (all by Research 2000), and it started to look like he'd win after all. He didn't, to the dismay of many. Read about what it means here and here.
  • Nevada Senate: Angle wins. Sharron Angle crushed the crowded GOP field in Nevada, as polls have predicted. Angle will largely thank the efforts of Tea Party Express (see more on that group, its anti-Muslim chairman, and its general situation, here) and the Club for Growth (see more on them here). It's a big victory for Tea Partiers, shows that a slip-up (Lowden's chickens-for-health-care story that would never die) can be costly, and it further cements Tea Party Express's position as a formidable money player in electoral politics. And Harry Reid is going to be really happy about the result.
  • California Senate: Fiorina hangs on. The former HP CEO, Carly Fiorina, lived up to expectations and defeated former Rep. Tom Campbell and Tea-Party-style fiscal conservative Chuck DeVore. Fiorina will challenge Sen. Barbara Boxer in the fall, and she'll have a chance to win; she trails Boxer by single digits, and the incumbent senator has a 46% disapproval rating.
  • California governor: Whitman cruises. It was a big night for millionaire former-CEO women in the Golden State. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman beat out the more conservative Steve Poizner, a millionaire tech businessman. This primary was ridiculously expensive, as Whitman spent $80 million of her own money and Poizner spend $24 million of his. Poizner ran a creative campaign and harped on immigration, but it's tough to overcome that kind of cash advantage.
  • South Carolina governor: Haley faces runoff. Nikki Haley, currently weathering accusations of multiple affairs, came just over 4,800 votes shy of avoiding a runoff with her nearest competitor, Rep. Gresham Barrett, whose campaign, it so happens, is the one that's rumored to be slinging some of the affair-allegation mud. Haley had polled in the 40%'s and was expected to win; having come so close to avoiding a runoff, it seems she will coast to victory over Barrett on June 22. But you never know; the tawdry stories will continue. Polygraphs are involved. It could be a crazy two weeks.
  • California Prop 14: passes. In what Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called a "historic change" for California elections, voters have passed an initiative to create open primaries in the state--meaning that statewide races in California will see the top two primary vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party. It's a big change for a huge state that hosts some of the most expensive and high-profile races in the country. It passed with just over 54% of the vote.
  • South Carolina congressional: Inglis in a runoff. Republican Rep. Bob Inglis will face a runoff against the more conservative Trey Gowdy. It appears Inglis's TARP vote has cost him, and he is not expected to win when voters reconvene June 22; Gowdy beat him 39% to 28% on Tuesday night.