Chafee, kept

If you read my treatment of the Chafee-Laffey battle in this week's Phoenix, you probably guessed that I thought Laffey would win. He struck me as a sort of inexorable political force who would simply will his way to victory.

I was wrong, obviously: yesterday, America's most moderate Republican beat his conservative challenger by a surprisingly wide 8-percent margin in Rhode Island's GOP US Senate primary.

Since polls suggest Chafee has a much better chance against Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse in this fall's general than Laffey would have, Democrats will probably be disappointed by the outcome. But I bet Laffey would have given Whitehouse a much tougher fight than most people anticipated. And on a macro level, there's something to be said for keeping a semblance of moderation alive in Washington. Anyway, congrats to Linc.

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