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Voter Frustration

Cruising the struggling rural communities of eastern Arkansas, Earnestine Weaver, the local justice of the peace and longtime Democratic committeewoman, senses a tide building in advance of Tuesday's primary.

"People are saying: 'Let's make a change. Let's get rid of all the people in office now,' " she says.
In state after state, as campaigns ramp up for this year's congressional elections, voter anger threatens to capsize the careers of lawmakers previously considered untouchable. Party affiliation is not the issue.

"It's a bad year to be an incumbent," says Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat.

Primary elections Tuesday in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky will provide the next test of the electorate's sour mood. In those states, veteran officeholders who have the backing of their party leaders are threatened by upstart candidates who barely registered in the polls a few months ago.

In Pennsylvania, Sen. Arlen Specter, embraced by President Obama after Specter switched parties in the face of a tough GOP primary, may not survive his first Democratic one.

In Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's choice to replace retiring Sen. Jim Bunning may not survive a Republican primary challenge from Rand Paul, the son of ex-presidential candidate Ron Paul.

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