And if it wasn’t already over, I think it is now.
Posted by WLS:
There is no question but that the GOP loss of Miss Dist. 1 in a Special Election was a huge embarrassment to the party. The fact that it was the third such loss in a row makes it even more so.
But, Special Elections such as this are strange creatures, mostly because they have low vote totals and are driven by the most partisan voters in each party.
Yesterday the Dems won the special election in Miss. Dist. 1:
(D) Childers 57,800
(R) Davis 49,439
In 2004 when Bush carried this district by a margin of 62-40 over Kerry, the 6 term incumbent GOP Congressmen Roger Wicker ran unopposed. He received 219,328 votes — which was 32,000 more votes than Bush received. At the same time, with no Dem. opponent, “Other” still received 58,256 votes against the incumbent Wicker.
So, you had 106,000 votes cast yesterday in a special election, whereas in 2004 you had 277,500 votes cast.
There is no question that there is an enthusiasm gap between the parties AT THIS TIME.
There is also no question that Obama was not on the ticket yesterday with Childers — who happens to be pro-gun and pro-life, 180 degrees from Obama on both issues.
But now Childers is going to have to go to Washington and vote with Nancy Pelosi and liberal dems — and then answer for those votes back in Mississippi in Nov.
He’ll need at least 140,000 votes to hold this seat in November. That means he’ll have to outperform John Kerry by about 30,000 votes, with Barack Obama at the top of the ticket this time.
There were 20 House districts won by Bush in 2004 that flipped to Dems in 2006 and now have freshman Dem representatives.
Hillary Clinton won all 20 of those seats in the primaries against Obama. 16 of the 20 freshman have now jointly written an open letter to uncommitted superdelegates asking them to not pledge their support to Obama until the election season is concluded.
Last week the Clinton campaign released a PowerPoint showing that Clinton has won over Obama in 16 of the 20 districts that switched from Rep. to Dem in 2006 and were carried by Bush in 2004, with the other 4 going to Obama.
Childers can now be added to that list. A freshman democrat from a swing district
that knows his whose chances of re-election may be are greatly diminished by having Obama at the top of the ticket in November.
Updated 5/15: Stuart Rotherburg has a story today in the National Journal that echos parts of my comment here. The outcome was not a referenda on Bush or the GOP, and it really portends nothing for November. The Dims ran the right candidate in the right race, in a district that has a large conservative Dem. population, especially in the eastern half of the district. Bush’s approval rating in this district is well over 50%, and 30% of registered dems have voted for Republican candidates in federal races over several election cycles, while voting for conservative democrats in state elections at the same time.
Childers won because he’s a conservative democrat — pro-gun and pro-life — and he kept the “Bubba” vote from going to the yuppie mayor from a Memphis suburb on the Tenn. border.
But those conservative Dems are going to vote for McCain, not Obama come November.