Current Events and the Psychology of Politics

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May 9th, 2010

Summary: There are mothers who will spend Mother’s Day missing sons and daughters fighting overseas. There are women who have lost children in those wars, for whom Mother’s Day will never be the same. And then there is Eva Briseno, mother of wounded warrior Joseph “Jay” Briseno Jr. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 9, 2009, Aubrey Immelman examined the likelihood of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) being defeated in the 2010 U.S. House of Representatives election in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. He concluded that Bachmann was vulnerable to defeat, but not by a Democrat in the general election. Instead, Bachmann was found to be most vulnerable in the primary election against a Republican challenger — the reason being Minnesota’s open primary system. Specifically, with no party registration in Minnesota, self-identified Democrats and Independents are able to vote in the Republican primary against Bachmann, joining forces with disaffected Republican voters. The fact that Bachmann did not receive a majority of the votes in either the primary (47.2%) or the general election (46.4%) in 2008 underscores her vulnerability to a primary challenger with cross-partisan support.