Primary night: Florida, Arizona, Alaska; Update: Meek wins big; Update: Massive Republican turnout in Florida; Update: Scott upsets McCollum in Florida

posted at 7:22 pm on August 24, 2010 by Allahpundit

You can follow the results at Politico. Results from Florida should begin at 8 p.m. ET and then Arizona and (much later) Alaska thereafter. The glass-half-empty take: None of the really big races should be close. McCain’s a heavy favorite over Hayworth, Lisa Murkowski’s a heavy favorite over Palin-backed tea party candidate Joe Miller, and Kendrick Meek’s a heavy favorite over Jeff Greene. If those results hold, tomorrow’s what-it-all-means media spin — Establishment Crushes Insurgents! — is set in stone. The glass-half-full take: If the early results in any of these races look close, it’ll be a thrill ride for the rest of the night. Worth tuning in!

Subplots to look for tomorrow: (1) We’ve already been over the glories of a Meek victory. Assuming he finishes off Greene, the real winner tonight is Rubio. (2) If Miller flames out, it’ll start another round of “Is Palin losing her endorsement touch?” navel-gazing even though she was careful not to invest too much energy in what was always a longshot bid. Miller’s an impressive candidate (veteran, master’s degree, Ivy League law grad), but Murkowski pushed her seniority during the campaign to reassure Alaskans that she’ll continue to deliver the pork. As NBC says, “Bottom line: Alaskans like their ‘Bridges to Nowhere.’” (3) As for McCain, presumably victory tonight will kick off a new round of caterwauling from the press about how much they miss their Maverick, which is his cue to start tacking back to the left. A choice quote from Jim Inhofe, who’s none too pleased to see McCain on the brink of victory:

Inhofe, rated as one of the most conservative members of the upper chamber, attacked McCain’s conservative credentials and said he only gets elected because of his opposition to earmarks.

The Tulsa World wrote that Inhofe “attacked” McCain as a “closet liberal,” then quoted Inhofe as saying he “gets elected because of one thing — earmarks.”

If McCain’s lead in the polls holds up, Hayworth’s legacy is this: Somehow, in Arizona, in a year characterized by tea-party enthusiasm, facing a candidate who epitomizes what it means to be both establishment and a RINO in the minds of grassroots conservatives, he … got crushed. Even getting heavily outspent, how do you manage that?

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Update: A formality taken care of in Florida: Rubio is now officially the GOP nominee for Senate.

Update: Wonderful news — the AP’s already called it for Meek, who was outspent five-to-one by Greene. Rubio’s giving his own nomination victory speech as I write this; he’s likely to be giving another one in November now.

Update: Geraghty flags an amazing stat: With roughly 50 percent of precincts reporting, the hotly contested Democratic Senate primary in Florida has drawn roughly 600,000 votes. The virtually uncontested Republican Senate primary? North of 900,000. I assume that’s an artifact of the gubernatorial race between Scott and McCollum drawing people out to the polls, but even so, the Meek/Greene contest should have made the margin closer than that. This bodes very well for November.

Update: Finally, an upset: Tea party candidate Rick Scott bumped off Bill McCollum in the Florida gubernatorial primary. Is that good news? Not sure.


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Impressed by the demonstration of Palin power.

The lady moves votes, plain and simple.

Dismiss her at your peril.

tigerinexile on August 25, 2010 at 6:55 AM

Tea party candidate Rick Scott bumped off Bill McCollum in the Florida gubernatorial primary. Is that good news? Not sure.

mccollum would have walked into the governors mansion but he instigated a nasty, democrat style campaign. mccollum lost last night because of what he did, not what scott did. If he had stuck to the issues there would not have even been a contest. He showed himself to be a typical, principleless politician throughout the campaign and his classless statement at the end of the night last night supported that. He played the class card, calling scott a gazillionaire in his ads, yet he is a millionaire who has never worked in the private sector, he has made his million expoiting the publics trust. He attacked scott for using his own money in the campaign, exhibitting the typical politician mentality that the taxpayers money should be used for everything including campaigns.

peacenprosperity on August 25, 2010 at 7:10 AM

wow. I look forward to hearing more about this joe miller guy that is looking like he bumped Lisa Mrkowski.

ted c on August 25, 2010 at 7:41 AM

Currently, from State of Alaska Division of Elections
http://elect.alaska.net/index.shtml

Precincts Reporting 369 84.2 %

Miller, Joe REP 45188 51.45%
Murkowski, Lisa REP 42633 48.55%

So far so good.

Kirin on August 25, 2010 at 7:46 AM

The Rick Scott/Bill McCollum campaigns ads were extremely vicious and may have given Sink an advantage in the November elections already. If Scott goes as negative as he did with McCollum, he’ll hand the election to Sink. Both Sink and Scott have many skeletons in their closets which will come out in the upcoming months.

Kendrick Meek is one of those people of whom I wouldn’t vote for under any circumstances. He’s just bad news all around and has a serious amount of political baggage.

Carl on August 25, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Ha – Mike Huckabee on “Fox and Friends”.

Huckster: “As you know, I supported Joe and endorsed him. He’s a good guy…..”
Gretchen: “Will you comment on the “Palin effect”?”
Huckster: “Well, I think sometimes endorsements are entirely overblown….”

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM

So basically Huckabee just said his endorsement doesn’t mean squat?

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:55 AM

Huckster: “As you know, I supported Joe and endorsed him. He’s a good guy…..”
Gretchen: “Will you comment on the “Palin effect”?”
Huckster: “Well, I think sometimes endorsements are entirely overblown….”

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM

So you mean, like your own, eh Mike?

facepalm….heh

ted c on August 25, 2010 at 7:56 AM

State of Alaska Division of Elections just updated their site.

Precincts Reporting 429 97.9 %

Miller, Joe REP 45909 51.09%
Murkowski, Lisa REP 43949 48.91%

But I belive absentee ballots are still uncounted?

Kirin on August 25, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Kendrick Meek is one of those people of whom I wouldn’t vote for under any circumstances. He’s just bad news all around and has a serious amount of political baggage.

Carl on August 25, 2010 at 7:50 AM

We agree. Sink has no skeletons as far as I can tell. Scott? How do you win with a candidate guilty of Medicare fraud? McCullum was not much better. Sigh. I despair.

BrideOfRove on August 25, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Ha – Mike Huckabee on “Fox and Friends”.

Huckster: “As you know, I supported Joe and endorsed him. He’s a good guy…..”
Gretchen: “Will you comment on the “Palin effect”?”
Huckster: “Well, I think sometimes endorsements are entirely overblown….”

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM

He’s a lowlife.

the_nile on August 25, 2010 at 8:06 AM

Looks like Allen Boyd barely survived a primary challenge in Florida’s 2d District. Should be a GOP pickup in November.

rockmom on August 25, 2010 at 8:08 AM

Not quite sure about the HCA thing with Scott. I voted for RINO McCollum simply because I believed that Scott would be radioactive.

Scott’s ability to turn his HCA liability into an asset will tell the story of whether or not he can beat Alex, who is Bill McBride’s wife. McBride lost to Jeb Bush in 2002.

victor82 on August 25, 2010 at 8:13 AM

But I belive absentee ballots are still uncounted?

Kirin on August 25, 2010 at 8:02 AM

According to this AP story from a few hours ago more than 16,000 absentee ballots were mailed, and they won’t be counted until Aug. 31. YIKES!

leilani on August 25, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM

So basically Huckabee just said his endorsement doesn’t mean squat?

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 7:55 AM

Wonder if anybody saw this or will collect the tape. It wasn’t the beginning and end of the interview. It was “I endorsed him”, a Palin question, and “endorsements are overblown” in that order, that rapidly.

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 8:14 AM

To expand, I believed we were walking into a Nathan Deal situation with Scotty, who is a good conservative and knows health care, but carries baggage (according to some, done deliberately because of his opposition to Hillarycare).

If Scott can aikido this and make health care an issue, sort of “nationalize” this race and put Sink on the defensive, tie her to Obama, now that will make him a national star.

Right now, Scotty has a high weirdness content, but he’s a good campaigner, there’s no doubt about that.

victor82 on August 25, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Ha – Mike Huckabee on “Fox and Friends”.

Huckster: “As you know, I supported Joe and endorsed him. He’s a good guy…..”
Gretchen: “Will you comment on the “Palin effect”?”
Huckster: “Well, I think sometimes endorsements are entirely overblown….”

Marcus on August 25, 2010 at 7:51 AM
He’s a lowlife.

the_nile on August 25, 2010 at 8:06 AM

ROFL huck just said about the Ga election it was his endorsement that won it…….

anyone that would support huck is an idiot.

next mitt will be coming out and endorsing Joe Miller after all the votes are in

unseen on August 25, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Mitt will endorse Miller after Miller is sworn in.

victor82 on August 25, 2010 at 8:16 AM

Miller 51.09%
Murkowski 48.91%

with 97.9% of preceints reporting.

If I read it right.

darwin on August 25, 2010 at 8:25 AM

At this point, for Murkowski to beat Miller, she’d have to win more than 3 out of every 4 absentee ballots returned. There are 7,000 left to be counted.

Mayhem on August 25, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Sarah sticks to her guns. She endorsed McLame early on and stuck with him even tho everyone didn’t exactly like the pick. She just helped clear the field in AK and got us maybe another conservative.

Kissmygrits on August 25, 2010 at 9:07 AM

About Rick Scott and the whole Medicare fraud scandal:

The way the whole “Medicare fraud” settlement with Colombia/HCA was explained to me by Dr. Merrill Matthews of the Institute of Policy Innovation in Dallas last summer as follows:

“I know there were some issues when he left ColumbiaHCA. But to the best I can tell, it was an issue over which lots of hospitals — and states — get criticized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Billing and payments in Medicare and Medicaid are so obscure and convoluted — as you would expect from the government — that doctors, hospitals and states are often accused of gaming the system. And some of them are fined. And it is almost impossible to to tell if a doctor or hospital is using the system appropriately, if aggressively, or defrauding it, or making an honest mistake — just like the IRS.”

He later explained to me in a conversation that one of the things HCA was accused of was “unbundling” series of tests in order to be reimbursed at a higher rate. It’s no secret that the reimbursement rates of Medicare are nowhere near the rate of the true costs of the service. And to reimburse at even lower rates, Medicare was “bundling” diagnostic tests that were performed in close proximity to one another in order to reimburse at an ever lower rate, kind of like a group discount. So in order to be reimbursed at a higher rate, hospitals often “unbundled” the tests by having them performed one at a time, maybe on different days, so they could be reimbursed for each test individually.

From what I understand, this is what HCA was accused of doing- unbundling tests to achieve higher reimbursements from Medicare. At the time, Colombia/HCA was the largest for-profit hospital chain in the country, and therefore an easy target for investigation, once the Medicare crowd caught wind of what was happening. I don’t believe it was ever proven to be a crime, but HCA decided to settle instead of fight a lengthy court battle with the government. When Rick, who was the President of HCA at the time, saw that he was to be the lighting rod for these accusations, he quickly stepped down, I believe for the good of the company, and to this day has never been indicted for wrong doing.

The reason I looked into all of this last summer is because I was trying to vet him as a possible healthcare speaker for a huge Tea Party rally in Dallas on the fourth of July. Rick, after rearranging family holiday plans, had agreed to fly, at his own expense from FL to TX to give a 10 min. speech in triple digit weather. Regrettably, one of our steering committee members had just obtained a job with a major medical center in the area, knew of this “scandal”, and asked me to cancel him. I tried to defend him with letters of recommendation from others, including Dr. Matthews, and did my own digging into his past, but to no avail. So I very reluctantly canceled him. He handled it with such grace and class, it made me feel even worse and like him even more.

I hope he’s finally broken free of this shadow.

BTW, he WAS for Hillarycare in the 90′s, but in his dealings with the NHS in England while owning a hospital there, he “saw the light”. His creation, Conservatives for Patient’s Rights in March of last year, was one of the first non-profits to start the push back against Obamacare. And his Florida chain of walk-in, fee-for-service emergency care clinics called Solantis, are a stroke of genius- a model of how healthcare should be given and paid for in a free market society. Look into it. You’ll be impressed.

parteagirl on August 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM

parteagirl on August 25, 2010 at 9:16 AM

The government seems to have very low standards required before accusing someone of Medicare fraud. I suppose it’s useful to do so, even if you can’t prove it, because the accused — which is often a huge hospital chain like HCA — then has to be extremely careful from then on and every close call in how to bill Medicare is decided in the government’s favor so they can’t be accused again.

I worked for a hospital that was not part of the HCA chain, and I heard about the fraud accusation. Once you start hearing the details, though, you realize that your own company could easily be accused of the same even though you take pains to do your billing as honestly as possible.

There Goes The Neighborhood on August 25, 2010 at 10:23 AM

FYI Mitt Romney got Chris Christie of New Jersey started in his primary election campaign.

scotash on August 25, 2010 at 2:48 PM

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