While the Busby-Bilbray race will be subject to a lot of on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand spin, it's going to be hard for anyone to equivocate on the second most closely watched race in Tuesday's voting: In a battle for the right to challenge Abramoffian Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, the favorite of the netroots obliterated a more centrist candidate favored by the Democratic Party establishment.
Although he was outspent by a margin of nearly 2-to-1, populist Jon Tester is beating Montana auditor John Morrison by a 24-point margin. Pre-primary polls showed that either Tester or Morrison could beat Burns, who won his Republican primary with approximately 72 percent of the vote.
In other election news of note:
California: The gubernatorial primary nobody cared about just became the gubernatorial race everyone will be watching. State Treasurer Phil Angelides beat State Controller Steve Westly in the Democratic primary, setting up a November run against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Down the ballot, former California Gov. and current Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown won the right to run as the Democrats' nominee for attorney general in November. In a Republican House primary, Rep. Richard Pombo cruised past a challenge by former Rep. Pete McCloskey. He'll face Jerry McNerney in the general election.
Alabama: The Ten Commandments don't say "Thou Shalt Not Vote for Judge Roy Moore," but they might as well have: He went down, 66-33, in his run for the Republican nomination for governor. Incumbent Republican Gov. Bob Riley will face Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley in November.
New York: They didn't vote in New York Tuesday, but there was election news there anyway. Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld said he's dropping out of the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.