Thursday, January 5, 2012

No Senators In The GOP Primary

One odd feature of the Republican presidential primary is that there aren't any sitting Senators. This hardly ever happens. The Republicans had McCain and Brownback in 2008, McCain and Hatch in 2000, Bob Dole, Gramm, Specter and Lugar in 1996, and Bob Dole and Laxalt in 1988. On the Democratic side, we had Obama-Clinton-Dodd-Biden in 2008, Kerry-Edwards-Lieberman-Graham in 2004, Bradley as the sole Gore-alternative in 2000, Kerrey and Harkin in 1992, and Gore-Simon-Biden in 1988.

Why did this happen? I guess part of the reason is that Democrats did really well in the 2006 and 2008 Senate elections, clearing out lots of possible candidates. Rick Santorum would've been able to run from the Senate, and George Allen might've been in the race if he hadn't already run in 2008. Even so, the fact that 0 out of the 40 GOP Senators in office during 2009 ran is pretty unusual for a time when the weak economy made Obama look vulnerable. (My expectation early on was that Jim DeMint would run and win, but he decided not to get in for reasons that are his own.)
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