Anti-Incumbent Fever as Primaries Get Underway

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Anti-incumbent fever has taken down two Washington heavyweights in less than a week. First, there was the surprising caucus defeat of three-time Republican Senator Robert Bennett in Utah last Saturday. Then fourteen-term Democratic Rep. Alan Mollohan, from West Virginia, became the first House incumbent to lose his primary race this year. Now, many are wondering if incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, Republican-turned-Democrat, will be the next to lose his primary.

John Avlon, author of “Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America,” and political columnist at, discusses the roots and reach of this anti-incumbent mood.