Election Results LIVE: August 24 Primary Liveblog
12:45 AM ET DNC congratulates 'the shell of a politician that was once John McCain.'
“Today, the Republican party of Arizona nominated for Senate JD Hayworth in the shell of a politician that was once John McCain,” said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan. “The complete takeover of the Republican party by the Tea Party has included taking over the soul of a Senator who was once the face of comprehensive immigration reform and who now would just build the ‘danged fence;’ a man who once reveled in being a maverick and who now is a rubber stamp for the extreme rightwing; a man whose name was synonymous with campaign finance reform and who now barely registers a notice when the law that bears his name was gutted by the Supreme Court to favor corporate America. So, we congratulate JD Hayworth on his nomination tonight.”
The tough statement might give off the impression that Democrats see little opportunity to engage with McCain even after his race moves into general election. The reality, however, is that both Democrats and Republicans alike have come to the realization that the Senator will make compromises so long as they suit his immediate interests. McCain may hold a grudge against the DNC for calling him a chameleon. But if he thinks a vote on, say, small business legislation could help his electoral prospects, the going bet is he’ll end up swallowing his pride.
-- Sam Stein
11:22 PM ET John McCain declared winner in AZ-Sen GOP primary.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has also been declared the victor in the GOP primary by the AP.
John McCain's daughter Meghan tweets: "Congratulations dad!! @senjohnmccain ... And jd way to 'have the biggest upset in political history' - how bout them apples?"
11:19 PM ET Opposition research starts to fly against Rick Scott.
The big-moneyed conservative candidate, as Karl Rove pointed out Tuesday night, received government funding for his hospital (at a time when anything involving federal spending is deeply agitating to Republican voters). Scott was also CEO of the health care firm when it was slapped with a $1.7 billion fine over fraud charges.
But a sharp-eyed Democrat, dispensing tidbits of opposition research right before Scott’s win was formally announced, actually highlighted another controversial part of his past that failed to really surface during the primary but seems likely to be an issue in the months ahead.
During his career in the private sector, Scott served on the board of Secure Computing, a company that was used by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iran to prevent citizens from accessing the Internet.
As the Huffington Post reported back in May 2009:
Scott secured his board position in early 2006 after the company for which he previously worked -- CyberGuard -- was bought by Secure Computing for $295 million. According to Hoovers.com, Scott received $35,000 per year for serving on Secure Computing's board. He also received a half share of Secure stock and $2.73 for each CyberGuard share that was purchased. According to the company's website he remains in his Secure Computing post, though an SEC filing says he left in November 2008.
At the time of merger, Secure Computing was already facing criticism for allowing its SmartFilter software to be used by governments eager to limit public Internet access. As far back as 2001, Saudi Arabia had been using Secure Computing's content filtering technology to block access to certain websites. Often the prohibited sites were pornographic in nature. Occasionally, however, the censorship was of political, religious or culturally sensitive content.
This line of research scarcely touched the surface during the health care debate, when Scott was spent millions to try to derail reform. That may change during the bruising battles of a gubernatorial campaign. Scott has been one of the few Republican candidates to attack President Barack Obama for supporting the controversial Cordoba House project in downtown Manhattan, described by Scott as "Obama's Mosque." Democratic efforts to tie Scott to controversial Middle East interests would seem, by Scott's standards, fair political game.
-- Sam Stein
11:09 PM ET Bad omen.
11:03 PM ET Tonight's lesson.
10:53 PM ET AP calls Florida race for Rick Scott
10:19 PM ET Rick Scott wins in Florida?
Dave Weigel, who's at Rick Scott's Florida election party, published a tweet a few minutes ago that reads, simply, "Rick Scott wins."
Meanwhile, conservative activist and pundit Eric Erickson writes, "A reporter on the ground is telling me McCollum is going to concede. Have not verified. Also hearing from Scott sources who think they won."
10:12 PM ET Vermont's tight governor's race.
In Vermont, it could scarcely be closer in the highly competitive five-candidate race to determine the Democratic nominee for Governor. After leading most of the night, Secretary of State Deb Markowitz has into a near tie with 2002 nominee Doug Racine. With one-third of the precincts in, Racine now trails by just 39 votes out of the more than 22,000 votes cast. Peter Shumlin is still in the argument, in third place but only 290 votes out of the lead. UPDATE: This is pretty damned amazing. With just over half of the precincts now reporting, it is Shumlin at 26, with Markowitz and Racine both at 25. First and third are still separated by just 226 votes.
In other words, Vermont's popular senior senator Patrick Leahy is crushing his primary opponent Daniel Freilich. After watching the Freilich ad below, you might understand why:
10:08 PM ET Top Senate GOPer John Cornyn slams Crist.
That time has long since passed. Marco Rubio’s Tea Party-powered rise made Crist at once unpopular and dispensable. And with the Senate general election contest formally starting on Tuesday night, the National Republican Senatorial Committee began the inevitable process of framing Crist as not just an opportunist (which they did once he defected from the Republican Party) but, essentially, the political equivalent of a second Democratic candidate in the race, next to the official Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek.
From NRSC Chair John Cornyn’s statement Tuesday evening:
While Meek is an unabashed liberal, Governor Charlie Crist has made it clear that he will simply say or do anything to win an election, as his positions seem to move wherever the most politically-expedient wind blows.
Within a few short months, Charlie Crist has espoused different positions on the Democrats’ massive health care bill. Back when he needed Republican votes, he talked about being pro-life and filled his website with pro-life language. Now that he needs Democrat votes, he has scrubbed all pro-life language from his site and now claims to be pro-choice. Crist switched his position on off-shore drilling while vying for a Vice Presidential nod in 2008, and then switched it back again after leaving the Republican Party. And he flip-flopped on whether he supported President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor after abandoning his Republican primary bid.
Both Crist and Meek have championed President Obama’s failed economic policies, but at least Meek was honest about it. After campaigning in support of the stimulus, Crist later went on to deny ever backing it, and then flipped back again to support it.
-- Sam Stein
10:06 PM ET SEIU trumpets its help for Meek in Florida.
Here are some stats provided by SEIU, via Chris Good of The Atlantic:
* 1,000 SEIU member political organizers volunteered across the state.
* SEIU distributed nearly 50,000 workplace flyers in support of Kendrick Meek.
* SEIU members made 432,527 volunteer and independent expenditure phone calls to primary voters and knocked on nearly 3,700 doors.
* Members led petition collection teams across the state to help Meek become the first U.S. Senate candidate to qualify for the ballot by petition.
Meanwhile, ABC's Amy Walter notes: "The big question in FL SEN: how much $ will DSCC put up for Meek? He starts waay behind Rubio and Crist." -- Nick Wing
9:28 PM ET Meek begins the general election.
9:09 PM ET Rep. Alan Grayson has an opponent.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee immediately blasted out their "welcome" to Webster:
Newly minted 8th district Republican nominee Daniel Webster’s pledge to cut Social Security shows how wrong he is for Central Florida’s seniors. If Webster had his way, Seniors who are already struggling to get by on a fixed income would be dealt drastic cuts to their Social Security payments and the result would be devastating. [...]
· Daniel Webster said one of his first priorities in Congress would be to cut entitlement programs like Social Security. At a forum on August 12th, 2010, Webster said “My number one priority would be to cut spending, turn off the spigot. We can do that, and the way we would do that is to roll back the budget to 2007. Just three years ago, if we would take that budget and pass it today just as it was, does it roll back some salary increases? Yes. Does it get rid of TARP and health care and all of the other things, including the stimulus package? Yes, it does that. Does it take back some of the COLAs for the entitlement programs? Yes, it does that, too. But it's only three years ago. If we took that budget and passed it, it would self-balance in two more years.” [Orlando Sentinel, 8/12/10]
More on Webster and Social Security here.
9:01 PM ET Rick Scott's lead bumps to 3 points with 51% of precincts reporting.
- Mark Blumenthal
8:42 PM ET The forgotten Arizona Democratic Senate primary.
The Democratic front-runner, Tucson city councilman Rodney Glassman, is up against attorney and labor organizer Randy Parraz, former state lawmaker Cathy Eden, and former journalist John Dougherty. Glassman was an early favorite within the Democratic establishment, and he spent some time on Capitol Hill working for Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.). He also has a sizable cash advantage, having raised $650,000 and contributed another $500,000 of his own money. Glassman has taken significant hits from progressives, however, and hasn't been able to pull comfortably ahead of his rivals. A late-July poll by Rasmussen showed the councilman at 15 percent support, followed by Eden with 11 percent, Parraz with 10 percent and Dougherty at 7 percent. More recent internal polling released by the Parraz campaign showed Glassman ahead with 20 percent, followed closely by Parraz himself at 17 percent. Most notably among Glassman's recent woes, he's had to fight back allegations that in 1997 he said he didn't want to sit next to openly gay councilmember Karin Ulrich. Glassman later said he was "proud" to sit next to Ulrich claiming that she had promised to support his campaign, but Ulrich confirmed the incident took place and said she is supporting all four of the Democratic candidates.More here.
8:26 PM ET Twitter reaction to multi-millionaire Jeff Greene's major loss in FL-Sen.
Dave Weigel (@daveweigel): "Wow, Jeff Greene is even losing Palm Beach County. I should have shorted him."
8:23 PM ET Rep. Allen Boyd on the knife's edge.
8:21 PM ET AP declares Kendrick Meek victorious in FL-Sen Democratic primary.
At 8 p.m., the big screen at Scott HQ (playing CNN, not Fox) tells the crowd that Marco Rubio has won the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination. No one stops talking, eating, or using the open bar. Two minutes later, CNN runs the AP headline "SCOTT LEADS MCCOLLUM IN FLA GOV RACE" and there are loud, nervous cheers.With 35 percent of precincts reporting, Scott is leading McCollum 46% to 44%. - Nico Pitney