What Does It Mean?: Miss. Special Election
This is the first installment of a new occasional, collaborative feature between Capitol Briefing and The Fix. When interesting political news happens, we'll exchange a series of e-mails offering (we hope) trenchant analysis of "what it means" along with some informed, witty banter. Please let us know, via the comments sections of both blogs, what you think of the new feature.
Good morning. Hope you are well. Now stop dreaming about West Virginia exit polls, get out of bed and start thinking about what last night's Mississippi special election results really mean.
House Democrats have now won three special elections in Republican-held seats, after Travis Childers (D) beat Greg Davis (R) yesterday in Mississippi's 1st district. The other two seats Democrats have taken this year, in Illinois and Louisiana, were both GOP-leaning, but this one was really, really red; President Bush won it by 25 points in 2004.
Obviously, Republicans are in serious trouble here, and it seems to Capitol Briefing that there are three particularly fruitful angles for us to discuss today:
1) The "Wave" Angle. Look out, because we're about to hit by, well, a wave of "wave" stories. We both know that reporters love groups of three, so three special election wins means the press will be writing today and tomorrow all about the possibility that Democrats are going to put dozens more seemingly safe Republican seats in play this fall and build up an old-school supermajority.
2) The Obama Angle. Republicans tried their best to tie Childers to Barack Obama. It didn't work. That's after they tried to tie Don Cazayoux to Obama in the Louisiana special election race. That didn't work either. Obama's campaign absolutely loves this.
3) The Tom Cole Angle. Tom Cole, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, has definitely had better months than May 2008. He's losing GOP seats, and spending a lot of his precious cash in the process. He's had his critics since he got this job last year, and now they'll be out for blood.
So, what say you, Fix? Will there really be a Democratic wave in November? Will tying Democratic candidates to Obama really not work for the GOP? And is Tom Cole going to keep his job? Capitol Briefing will be excitedly checking his inbox until you reply.
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