Less than an hour to go before the polls close in California . . .

So, I’m wondering, how will the anti-incumbent wave that’s sweeping the nation manifest itself in Sonoma County tonight, if at all?
I could be wrong. But it seems to me one of the biggest mistakes North Coast can make is believing that this area will be insulated from what is happening out there. By this I mean the changes that have been occurring from 10 Downing Street, to Boston, to even Salt Lake City, where ultra-conservative 76-year-old Sen. Robert Bennett was run out of office in May for, well, apparently not being conservative enough — or at least not being tough enough to prevent health care reform.
Voters are upset, and they are taking it out on incumbents, even in their own parties.
Some of the other key races to watch tonight in the ten other primaries going on around the nation:

  • The race between Nevada Republicans Sharon Angle, a Tea Party candidate, and Sue Lowden, to see who will have the best chance to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fall. 
  • The Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Arkansas between Blanche Lincoln and Bill Halter. Lincoln has been in the Senate for 12 years but faces a backlash in the form of Halter, the state’s lieutenant governor. The difference here is that Lincoln is being attacked from the labor-backed left. If she is defeated, she would be the third incumbent senators in this election cycle to be defeated in her own party.
  • Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons could also be in trouble in his efforts to win his party’s nomination. He faces a major challenge from Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge. And it looks to be close.

Primaries also are being held today in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Georgia, Virginia, New Jersey and Maine.

– Paul Gullixson