One of Sarah Palin's targets in her Take Back the 20 effort has been acquired and splashed:
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.) lost his bid for a 15th term Tuesday in a primary defeat that further affirms the anti-incumbent sentiment coursing through the country.In West Virginia, Democrat primary rules allow unaffiliated voters and independents to participate.
He is the first House member to lose a reelection bid in the 2010 campaign, and his defeat comes days after Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) was knocked off the November ballot in that state's convention process.
Mollohan hadn't faced a serious primary fight in more than a decade and was seen in some circles as unbeatable, given that the state's 1st Congressional District seat had been in his family since 1968. (His father held it for seven terms before he won it.)
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that less than a third of voters said they plan to back their current member of Congress -- numbers that haven't been seen in Post-ABC data since the Republican-dominated election of 1994.
Just how bad the situation is for incumbents will be tested in a serious way next Tuesday, when Democratic Sens. Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) attempt to fend off primary challenges.