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Washington Watch
‘Passion Gap’ Caused Cannon Collapse

Philadelphia Inquirer: Columnist Dick Polman says of Jason Chaffetz’s 3rd District Primary victory in Utah:

“This is just a wild guess, but I’m betting that you haven’t been paying much attention to what happened the other night in Utah. Probably because you rarely spend time thinking about Utah. But there was a noteworthy Republican primary on Tuesday in Utah, an ostensibly local affair that provides us with yet more evidence that the GOP establishment is in serious trouble this year …. Call it the passion gap. …

The collapse of [Rep. Chris] Cannon’s grassroots support, the dearth of enthusiasm for the GOP establishment incumbent, can best be measured this way: Two years ago this week, when Cannon was challenged from the right in a GOP primary, by a different candidate, he survived by drawing 33,000 votes out of 60,000 cast.

This time, however, he drew only 16,000 votes out of 40,000 cast. This time, in other words, the most ticked-off grassroots conservatives dominated the turnout. The ’08 candidate who most needs to heed these results is the GOP establishment’s titular leader, John McCain.”

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