Posted Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012, at 7:02 PM
Primaries in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington state all conclude tonight, and they'll tell us... ah, hell, Charlie Mahtesian went and wrote a bluffer's guide that previews all of the results you should care about. The short version, in Eastern Time:
8 p.m.: Focus on Republican races. Watch the state legislative races in Kansas, the U.S. Senate and district 11 primaries in Michigan, and the U.S. Senate and district 1 primaries in Missouri. If it's Palinschadenfreude you want, root against Sarah Steelman in Missouri. If it's utter chaos you want, watch that Michigan district, which Republicans might bumble away by nominating a 9/11 Truther and Democrats might give up on by nominating a LaRouche cultist.
11 p.m.: In the first district, there is a moderately compelling Democratic primary for the right to replace Rep. Jay Inslee. Darcy Burner, who tried and failed to win two elections in a tougher suburban district, dusted herself off and became a Netroots office. Her main competitor, Suzan DelBene, ran in that district in 2010 and did much worse.
As luck would have it, I'm spending the night on an ever-hotter, ever-slower Macbook Pro, attacking rewrites on an upcoming music series, and will be back with the occasional update.
10:40: I've waited for actual results to stream in. Here's where we are.
Kansas: The widely-expected moderate Republican purge -- the umpteenth one of these in Kansas -- is well underway. Senate President Steve Morris, who was tied in final polling, is losing by 20 points so far.
Michigan: We're at 70 percent of the vote in the 11th district, and it looks like former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter has gifted Democrats a perfect chance to take his seat. Dr. Syed Taj, the Democrats' preferred candidate, is handily defeating a Lyndon LaRouche cultist. And Kerry Bentivolio, the fringe candidate who originally declared against McCotter, is easily defeating the GOP's desparate write-in candidate Nancy Cassis. Overall, the redistricted Michigan map is bad for Democrats -- they're losing Rep. Hansen Clarke -- but they might have pulled this one off.
Missouri: With 68 percent of the vote in, 65-year-old Rep. Todd Akin is heading toward the GOP's U.S. Senate nomination. He's 30,000 votes ahead of former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman -- the Palin-backed candidate -- with much left to count in his St. Louis suburban base. Akin had the backing of Mike Huckabee, and ran a positive, cornpone campaign that us hard-hearted beltway scum refused to take seriously.