Why We Won Those Three Seats

Illinois 2/5

Obama 1,301,954 65%   
Clinton 662,845 33%

McCain 424,071 47%
Romney  256,805 29%
Huckabee  147,626 17%
Paul 45,166  5%

2,038,614  (D)
899,422 (R)
2,672 (G)
 2,938,036 (Total)     

Louisiana 2/9

Obama 220,588 57%   
Clinton 136,959 36%

Huckabee 69,665 43%
McCain 67,609 42%
Paul 8,595  5%

384,243  (D)
161,151 (R)
545,394 (Total)

SOS website

Mississippi 3/11

Obama 255,809 61%   
Clinton 155,686 37%

McCain 113,074 79%   
Huckabee 17,943 13%   
Paul  5,510 4%

411,495 (D)
136,527 (R)
548,022 (Total)    

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The Fruits of Our Labors

Why IL-14 mattered:

It didn't take long for Bill Foster to make an impact in Congress.

Foster, a Democratic scientist/businessman, won a special election Saturday to replace retired former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) in the House. He was sworn into his seat representing the exurban 14th Congressional District on Tuesday afternoon. By evening, he was casting what was arguably the deciding vote on a white-hot ethics bill.

The bill, pushed aggressively by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), creates an independent, outside panel to investigate ethics complaints against House members. The House approved it last night, 229-182, with most Democrats in favor and most Republicans opposed. That margin is deceptive: Before final passage, the bill first had to clear a much closer procedural vote, which gave House members a chance to kill the idea without, technically, voting against it.

The bill survived that test by a single vote, with Foster voting in favor.

And we all know what Hastert's or Oberweis's vote would have been; only 4 Republicans crossed party lines to join the Democrats on this one. This is why we do what we do and this is a perfect example of how every congressional election impacts us all, not just those in district.

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Foster's win (IL 14)- Just like the toppling of the Saddam statue

Folks,

I like this bit from the Politico http://www.politico.com/news/stories/030 8/8920.html

It points out that there are now D's in both Delay's and Hastert's seats. It points out the current cash advantage ($30m) of the DCCC over the NRCC.

To me, this is the money quote:

"By itself, this would not be that big of a deal, but coupled with everything else it will just deflate the [House Republican] Conference," said an aide to one top GOP lawmaker. "And symbolically, losing Hastert's seat is like the toppling of the Saddam statue in Baghdad for Republicans."

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IL-14: Obama Wins First Big Surrogate Fight Against McCain

Yesterday's special election in Illinois' 14th congressional district suggested a number of things about this cycle, one of which is what a presidential matchup between Barack Obama and John McCain might look like.

Foster ran a very aggressive and focused general election campaign. He came out swinging just days after his primary victory, hitting Oberweis on Iraq in TV ads, and kept Oberweis off balance throughout the rest of the one-month campaign. In the final week, Foster ran an ad featuring an endorsement by homestater Barack Obama.

But as well as Foster ran his campaign, this race was mostly about Oberweis. Polling in the final weeks of the race showed Oberweis' past had caught up with him, and his favorable ratings continued to sink. He did have John McCain in for a fundraiser and a press conference, but none of McCain's popularity among indies appeared to have rubbed off.

Because of both of their involvements in the race, many described this contest as a proxy war between Obama and McCain. And if it was, Obama came out the big winner.

This is a district that tends to lean about 5 points more Republican than the nation as a whole in presidential elections. Though there has been a trend in the region towards the Democrats and though this is home country for Obama, the fact that Bill Foster, with Obama's support out front, was able to so convincingly defeat Jim Oberweis, with McCain's support front and center, says a lot about what the race between the two Senators might look like.

The section above from The Hotline suggests that "none of McCain's popularity among indies appeared to have rubbed off" on Oberweis. Perhaps that's the case. But perhaps, too, in a matchup against Obama, McCain doesn't have any coattails among independents, or at least nearly as much as the establishment media give him credit for. In that case, without independent voters at his side and without an energized GOP base, how is it, exactly, that John McCain would be able to win a head-to-head campaign against a Democratic ticket headed by Barack Obama?

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Congratulations, Bill Foster

Congratulations to our newest member of congress, IL-14's Bill Foster who had a huge victory last night, taking the seat previously held by the former Republican Speaker of the House by 7 points.

Chris Von Hollen's statement on the win:

"Congratulations to Bill Foster on his victory tonight. Bill Foster's victory in the seat that was held by Speaker Hastert sends a political shock wave across America this election year. It is a stunning rejection of the Bush Administration, its Republican allies, and presidential nominee John McCain. Republican candidates learned tonight that Senator McCain, who campaigned with the Republican nominee, cannot save them from defeat this November against strong Democratic challengers, even in districts that voted overwhelmingly for President Bush.

"Despite spending 20 percent of the their cash on hand, the NRCC was unable to hold a seat easily won by President Bush and held by Speaker Hastert for 20 years.  Americans of all political stripes are rejecting Republicans' divisive, status quo politics and turning to Democratic candidates for change.  I am   grateful to Senator Dick Durbin, Senator Barack Obama, and the Illinois Democratic delegation and candidates for encouraging the people of this district to vote for change by supporting Bill Foster.

"Voters of all political stripes responded to Bill Foster's commitment to change. With his unique background as a respected scientist and a successful businessman, Bill Foster will be a tremendous asset to our Democratic Caucus, as we continue fighting to strengthen our economy and ease the squeeze on America's struggling middle class families."

Now, this was a special election against a flawed Republican candidate held on a Saturday in a blue-trending district district that is represented by Barack Obama in the senate. In other words, at this moment in time, it may have been as close to a perfect storm as we could have hoped for. But even with that, to win by 7% in a district that went for Bush in 2004 by 5% more than the nation as a whole did (PVI R+5) is remarkable. If this is at all indicative of what's to come in November, and I think it is, it's going to be a rough fall for the GOP. Just a cursory glance at the Cook Political Report's Competitive House Races Chart lists 33 seats currently held by Republicans in R+5 districts or better. And that doesn't even count seats that are technically even redder but where we have real shots (i.e. NM-02, AK-AL, WY-AL.)

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