(POLITICO) Two conservative Democrats who voted against the president’s health care plan went down in defeat Tuesday, falling victim to primary opponents who cast them as far out of step with their party.
Redistricting played a role in both defeats. Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire lost to Rep. Mark Critz, a fellow Democrat who was drawn into the same southwestern Pennsylvania district. Across the state, veteran Democratic Rep. Tim Holden lost renomination in a seat that had been dramatically redrawn.
But both defeated incumbents fell to opponents who attacked them from the left. Altmire’s defeat was the biggest surprise of the night since the three-term congressman had been regarded as the favorite to win the newly drawn 12th District seat since he had represented more of its turf in the past. Final returns showed Critz, who was elected in a May 2010 special election, racking up big majorities in his Johnstown-area base on his way to a 51-49 percent victory.
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