Outside money can't (always) buy electionsBy Breanna Edwards Jun 27 2012 10:46 a.m.
Outside money ain't got that swing. At least, not in Tuesday's state primaries.
Super PACs attempting to influence elections have been spending tens of thousands campaigning for and against politicians this cycle and often have had their way. But this week, they struck out.
Despite considerable spending on behalf of their opponents, two powerful incumbents, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah survived the primaries in their respective states, while another incumbent, Rep. John Sullivan, R-Okla, lost despite the big bucks spent to ensure his reelcction.
- In New York's 13th Congressional District, Rangel managed to pull victory away from his state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, in what some believe to be his most difficult election. Espaillat was the closest competitor in a four-way race that left the 82-year-old Rangel well positioned to win his 22nd term in Congress. Rangel had been expected to have some difficulty with the election due to a redrawn district, which made Hispanics the majority. The older member also faced opposition from two super PACs that collectively spent more than $72,000 in different forms of advertisement against his campaign.
- Meanwhile, Hatch had a resounding triumph for in Utah's Republican Senate primary, against former Utah state Sen. Dan Liljenquist. Hatch won despite more than $900,000 in opposition from Tea Party-linked groups.
- In Oklahoma, Sullivan became the eighth incumbent House member to lose a primary election. Despite two medical groups spending more than $83,000 on his behalf, the five-term incumbent Republican lost to tea party favorite Jim Bridenstine. Bridenstine argued that Sullivan, who had a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union in 2009 and 2010 and an 83 percent rating last year, isn't conservative enough.
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