In low-turnout elections where the outcome is a foregone conclusion, it's not uncommon for a non-trivial share of voters to cast some kind of protest vote. Some of them will vote for Mickey Mouse. California Democrats got the next best thing -- a chance to vote for Mickey Kaus. Kaus, a former TNR senior editor turned gadfly, has garnered a great deal of media coverage, and yesterday sent out an excited message to supporters claiming "We are peaking at the right time." After hauling in 5% of the vote, Kaus is claiming victory:

I congratulate Senator Boxer on her primary victory. But the results send more than one message.
I'm a blogger. I spent about $40,000. I had one part-time aide, a recent college grad who was prepping for his LSATs. We had no headquarters, no pollsters, no highly paid strategists and consultants. We had a couple of laptops and an old Volvo. And we still ripped off more than 100,000 votes from a three term incumbent because there is  a large group of voters who are dissatisfied with the prevailing dogma of the Democratic party.

Hmm. Is there some unusual level of dissatisfaction? Here are the last three contested Democratic Senate primaries:

2006 (%)
Dianne Feinstein 87.0
Colleen Fernald 8.0
Martin Luther Church 5.0

2000
Dianne Feinstein 95.5
Michael Schmier 4.5

1998
Barbara Boxer 92.15
James Pinkerton 7.85

I think Kaus peaked too soon.