Come on, Tom Latham, you know you want to retire. It’s not fun being in the minority party, is it? And from the looks of things, Republicans will be in the minority for a long, long time.
Yesterday Don Cazayoux narrowly won a special election in Louisiana’s sixth Congressional district. That district has a partisan index of R+7, meaning that it votes about 7 percent more Republican than the national average. The GOP should have no trouble holding a seat in that kind of district.
Jonathan Singer put up a good post on what this means at MyDD. I liked this part:
The attacks linking Cazayoux to Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama didn’t work. They simply didn’t. Yes, the Republicans pulled in more votes and a greater share of the vote than they did last month in the first round of balloting. So what. This is a very Republican district and yet despite of this lean and the fact that the GOP tried to make this election about Jeremiah Wright, they still lost.
This race was very much put forward by the chattering class as a referendum on Obama’s coattails (which proved to be strong in the very Republican-leaning Illinois 14th congressional district earlier this year), and Obama’s coattails passed the challenge. Simply put, the Republicans may have thought they had found a silver bullet in Obama and Wright (and Pelosi, too, for that matter), but they didn’t.
Tonight’s results will get picked apart for analysis by lots of people in the coming days. But in short, it will become obvious that Cazayoux’s margin of victory came from black votes — you disrespect that community at your own peril. And second of all, Republicans once again failed, in a blood red district, to scare voters into submission by running scary ads against scaaaary national Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.
Voters, even in solidly conservative districts, are simply not that scared of Democrats anymore. It’s Bush they’re terrified of.
One last thought — Democrats now have a 235-199 advantage in the U.S. House. They started the cycle 233-202.
While I remain concerned about the possibility that John McCain could be the next president, it looks like this will be a banner year for the Democrats in the Congressional races.
By the way, if the Republicans can’t hold a seat with a partisan index of R+7, I don’t think we need to worry about Iowa’s third Congressional district, which is D+1.
UPDATE: Comedy gold, as Republicans try to spin this outcome as “a warning shot to Democrats”:Continue Reading...