The Note: Results Matter

WASHINGTON, Sep. 13

With a hot-off-the presses ABC News poll showing that terrorism has inched up in importance in the 2006 midterm elections (raise your hand if you are surprised), here's what you need to know about Tuesday's primary results:

Rhode Island GOP Senate primary - 99% reporting

Lincoln Chafee 54%

Stephen Laffey 46%

New York DEM Senate primary - 99% reporting

Hillary Clinton 83%

Jonathan Tasini 17%

Maryland DEM Senate primary - 93% reporting

Ben Cardin 46%

Kweisi Mfume 38%

AZ-08 GOP primary - 99% reporting

Randy Graf 43%

Steve Huffman 37%

AZ-08 DEM primary - 99% reporting

Gabrielle Giffords 54%

Patty Weiss 31%

Rhode Island:
Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R-RI) win over Cranston Mayor Steve Laffey dealt the Democrats a setback in their uphill climb to take back control of the Senate. Whereas the NRSC was prepared to concede Rhode Island to the Democrats if Laffey had prevailed, polls show Sen. Chafee running about even with Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse. If nothing else, Tuesday's results showed that the RNC's 72-hour program is alive and well. It also showed that Dan Ronayne can sell anything -- even an anti-Bush, anti-tax cut, anti-Iraq war, anti-Alito, anti-putting-Osama-Bin-Laden-to-death Senator. Rhode Island voters: get ready for a steady diet of 41, FFLOTUS, Sen. McCain, and FLOTUS.

New York:
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) nearly cleared the 85.3% anti-anti-war bar set by The Note yesterday. Having vanquished Jonathan Tasini, she now faces the equally daunting task of defeating former Yonkers Mayor John Spencer in November. The question that answers itself: how much will the New York and national media give a megaphone to any outrageous charge Spencer makes, by web video, press release, or carrier pigeon?

Maryland:
Rep. Ben Cardin's (D-MD) win over former NAACP head Kweisi Mfume should strengthen the Democrats hand in November against the GOP's candidate, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (R-MD).

AZ-08:
NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has identified Arizona's eighth congressional district as one of the three toughest seats for Republicans to hold onto in 2006--and that was before immigration hard-liner Randy Graf beat Steve Huffman, the NRCC's preferred candidate.

Minnesota:
By winning the Democratic nomination for an open House seat in a reliably Democratic Minnesota district, state Rep. Keith Ellison is expected to become the first Muslim in Congress.

Big picture:
Democrats need to worry that low-turnout in a lot of places suggests that there may not be a tsunami building for November. And in New York, can a likely top of the ticket sweep help Democrats put more U.S. House races in play?

President Bush attends an RNC fundraiser at the Evermay mansion in Georgetown which is expected to raise $850,000. The President will be introduced by RNC Chair Ken Mehlman.

According to one House Democratic official, Rep. Murtha today plans "to speak on the war's negative impact on military readiness and will announce plans to introduce a no confidence resolution on Rumsfeld."

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