The narrative the media is feeding the country this election season is that voters are enraged, and an anti-incumbent wave is sweeping across the country, striking terror in incumbents' hearts. But if that's really the case, then why were so many incumbents voted back into office in last Tuesday's election? A New York Times headline reported, "Anti-Incumbent Rage Bypasses Arkansas." A Reuters headline screamed "Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln survives anti-incumbent wave." But maybe there really isn't any anti-incumbent rage. After all, New Jersey had thirteen incumbents on the ballot, and all of them won. California had a whopping 52 incumbents up for re-election, and all of them were voted back into office. Virginia had 11 incumbents on the ballot, and all 11 won. Iowa's seven incumbents all won, too. In Arkansas, three incumbents were on the ballot, and all three were voted back in. Two incumbents, Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia and Governor Jim Gibbons of Nevada both lost, but they were embroiled in corruption scandals, so that's not so weird. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Parker Griffith of Alabama both switched parties and lost, and that's not so weird, either. Bob Bennett , an incumbent senator from Utah, got voted out, but that was done by a small number of party activists at a convention, not by a state-wide vote. Again, not that much of a stretch. The only incumbent who was legitimately voted down in a primary, without a corruption scandal, a party switch, or a strange, activists-only vote, was South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis. He's the only one. And he didn't even lose. He's in a runoff.
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