Lost in all the discussion over the Illinois primaries was the fact that Florida had a special primary for its 19th Congressional District yesterday. That cleared the way to elect a replacement for Rep. Wexler, who ostensibly retired to head up a think tank (the fact that he serially cheated on his wife, a la Edwards, and had no hope of re-election, of course had nothing to do with it). Despite the claims in this NPR story, the three GOP candidates have recently begun to rise in the polls against the potential Democratic challengers. Edward Lynch, who is well known among local GOP voters, won the Republican primary (Florida holds closed primaries), while Ted Deutch (a State Senator who also has high name recognition) won the Democratic primary. Florida's primary primary (it begged to be said) is August 24. At this point, Gov. Charlie Crist looks likely to lose the primary (to replace former Sen. Mel Martinez, who abruptly resigned last year) to State Representative Marco Rubio. Both men are polling well ahead of the main Democratic challenger, Kendrick Meek.
In Illinois, the most closely watched race was probably the primary for US Senate. Kirk won the Republican primary while Giannoulias won the Democratic primary. Kirk has an excellent reputation among state GOP voters, and in a state where just about every level of government is dominated by the Democratic party that has presided over multiple corruption scandals and failures, more conservative candidates have an excellent chance of picking off some key positions in November. The primary race to replace Blogo has yet to be called for either party.
The most recent RCP averages show polling trends generally swinging against the Democratic party, and in specific races, against the party establishment on both sides of the fence. I can't help but think this is healthy, both for the parties (which have become far too complacent and moribund) and for the country as a whole. It's going to be a fascinating election cycle to watch.