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Has Arlen Specter Lost It?

And everything else you need to know about 2010's biggest primary day yet.

| Mon May 17, 2010 6:43 PM EDT

The House Primaries

Tuesday also features primaries for 34 House seats (including PA-12, mentioned above). Here are the top 14 to keep an eye out for:

Former US Attorney Tim Griffin is running for Congress in Arkansas. | Tim Griffin for Congress.Former US Attorney Tim Griffin is running for Congress in Arkansas. | Tim Griffin for Congress.AR-01: Rick Crawford will probably win the GOP primary for the race to replace retiring Rep. Marion Berry. On the Dem side, Chad Causey, Berry's chief of staff, is locked in a tight race with prosecutor Tim Woolridge. Several state legislators are also running in the primary, so a June 8 runoff seems likely—but if any candidate can avoid one, that could bode well for the Dem's chances of holding this seat.

AR-02: Tim Griffin, a Karl Rove protege who is connected to the US Attorneys scandal, is fighting a two-way primary against restauranteur Scott Wallace. On the Dem side, retiring Rep. Vic Snyder's chief of staff, David Boling, is running against a gaggle of state legislators. One poll has Joyce Elliott, a state senator, leading, but a runoff is likely here, too.

PA-03 (GOP): Car dealer Mike Kelly and businessman Paul Huber are the front-runners to take on Dem Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, who could be vulnerable in the fall.

PA-04 (GOP): Former US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, unlike her counterpart Tim Griffin in Arkansas, has been badly damaged by her association with Bush-era controversies. Attorney Keith Rothfus could easily win this primary and face sophomore Dem Rep. Jason Altmire in November. Altmire would probably prefer to face Buchanan, but his vote against health care reform could also have strengthened his position in this tough district.

PA-06 (DEM): Physician Manan Trivedi, a netroots favorite, is battling Doug Pike for the Democratic nomination. This district generally goes blue in presidential years, but GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach has fended off a number of tough challenges over the past few cycles. Both Trivedi and Pike have raised huge amounts of money—Pike has $1.2 million in the bank. If Trevidi won the nomination and the general, he'd be the only Indian-American in Congress.

PA-07: State Rep. Bryan Lentz (D), an Iraq war vet, and Pat Meehan (R), another former US Attorney, are the leading candidates to duke it out for the suburban Philadelphia seat being vacated by Rep. Joe Sestak, who's running against Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary.

PA-08 (GOP): Former GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick wants a rematch with current Rep. Patrick Murphy, and he seems likely to get it.

Manan Trivedi, a physician, is running for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania's sixth congressional district. | Trivedi for Congress.Manan Trivedi, a physician, is running for the Democratic nomination in Pennsylvania's sixth congressional district. | Trivedi for Congress.PA-10 (GOP): Incumbent Dem Chris Carney has got to be loving this expensive Republican primary. Tom Marino, yet another ex-US Attorney-turned-Republican recruit, is having trouble putting away two opponents. National Journal says that whoever wins "will be nearly broke for the general, while Carney is sitting on $700K in the bank."

PA-11 (DEM): Incumbent Rep. Paul Kanjorski faces a primary challenge from self-funder (and county commissioner) Corey O'Brien. Will Kanjorski be another Alan Mollohan?

PA-17 (GOP): Rep. Tim Holden could be vulnerable, but State Sen. Dave Argall, the GOP frontrunner, hasn't been able to shut the door on his primary challengers. Meanwhile, Holden, always a great fundraiser, has nearly a million dollars to fend off a challenge.

KY-04 (GOP): Four Republicans are vying for the chance to run against sophomore Dem Rep. John Yarmuth.

KY-06 (GOP): Six Republicans want a shot at taking out three-term Blue Dog Dem Ben Chandler.

OR-01 (GOP): Republicans are optimistic about their chances of taking out Rep. David Wu, who's been in Congress since 1998. There are four GOPers in the primary. Consultant Rob Cornilles has raised a boatload of money, but could still lose to either of two Tea Party-associated candidates, John Kuzmanich or Doug Keller.

OR-05 (GOP): Dem Rep. Kurt Schrader is a target of national Republicans, but the party's preferred candidate, state Rep. Scott Bruun, is having trouble dispatching the Tea Party-backed Fred Thompson. Watch this race and OR-01 carefully if you want to gauge the impact Tea Partiers might have in November.

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