Here's a story from the NYT's Carl Hulse on how losses by longtime incumbents might actually help their parties hold onto seats this year. He starts with looks at two races we've written about often:
Take the case of Representative Alan B. Mollohan, the veteran West Virginia Democrat and second-generation congressman who was convincingly defeated on May 11 by a state legislator, Mike Oliverio.
Strategists for both parties now say that Mr. Oliverio will be a stronger candidate than Mr. Mollohan, a 14-term incumbent who got caught up in some ethical issues and was going to have to defend a string of his own votes as well as the actions of the Democratic majority in the House. Mr. Oliverio, despite long service in the State Legislature, does not have those extended Capitol Hill ties and in fact can now run against Washington — an advantage Mr. Mollohan was never going to have.
Mr. Sestak is a quasi incumbent himself because of his two terms in the House. But Mr. Specter angered both parties when he switched from Republican to Democrat. Mr. Sestak gives the party something of a fresher start and has already been found to be leading his Republican opponent, Pat Toomey, in some early polls.
“With Specter having been a part of Washington for so long, I think if one of them had a better chance of surviving than the other, it was clearly Sestak,” said Charlie Cook, a veteran nonpartisan handicapper of Congressional races.
Photo: AP. Mike Oliverio, campaigning in April, defeated Representative Alan B. Mollohan in a primary.