Nation: Primaries: Leaning Toward the Right

READING primary elections as a flow chart of political and ideological trends is risky. The primaries are scattered in geography and time, often poorly patronized by voters and more vulnerable to local loves and hates than are general elections. In last week's round, nonetheless, a few clear lines were discernible among the conflicting results. On balance, the week was better for the right than the left, kinder to incumbents than challengers. Where the outs prevailed, as in Alabama and New Mexico, they represented a kind of local orthodoxy. Where the relatively progressive candidates won, as in the New Jersey Senate primaries,...

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