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Incumbents, Insiders Stumble as Populism Prevails

There were clear winners and clear losers in Tuesday's primaries-and, yes, there was a clear trend.

The winners were Democratic insurgents and Republican outsiders-and, intriguingly, labor unions and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

The losers were incumbents and insiders on both sides-including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House Minority Leader John Boehner.

But the biggest loser of all was the notion that the real action this year is on the Republican side of the primary ballot.

In fact, it is all over the ballot. And that offers Democrats, especially progressive Democrats, both causes for concern and roadmaps for the rest of the election cycle. That's where the trend that matters comes in: 2010 is shaping up as a year when populist anti-Washington sentiment (with a healthy layer of anti-bank and anti-big business messaging) plays well, no matter what party label is on a candidate. That's something Democrats must understand if they hope to prevail come November.


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