Safe seats

Nancy Pelosi is calling for an investigation into Anthony Weiner’s sexting habits, making a pretty clear show of throwing him under the Democratic caucus bus after his press conference admissions. It presents an interesting wrinkle to the notion that Weiner should just try to ride this out, since he’s in a “safe” seat. This was the same logic that applied to Senator David Vitter, a conservative Republican in conservative Louisiana, who won re-election in 2010 despite being revealed as a prostitute-frequenter. But for Weiner, if Pelosi and the national party turn against him, suddenly his seat may go from safe — in that it’s a strongly Democratic district that is highly likely to elect whomever the Democratic nominee is in 2012 — to dangerous — in that its general election safety allows the party to feel free to support a primary challenge against Weiner, knowing the challenger would likely win the general election. It’s a good illustration that a “safe” seat is simply one in which party power players, rather than unaffiliated voters, have the most sway.

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