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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.

Dear Fix:

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.

Capitol Briefing

By Ben Pershing  |  May 13, 2008; 11:32 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Campaign , What Does It Mean?  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Democrats Complete Special Election Trifecta
Next: Tom Cole Watch, Day 1


"Clinton Extends Her Lead Among Congressional Districts"

Read the full article, and what the Obama campaign doesn't want to talk about at:

Support The Obama Truth Week

Posted by: JB | May 14, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Yes, let's just trot out another meaningless metric to show that somehow, someway, in some parallel campaign, that Senator Clinton is actually the winner.

I compliment the good Senator of New York; she ran a strong campaign, and has plenty of committed followers.

However, the Democrats ran two strong candidates for the first time in a long time. Some people voted for one, some for the other. The candidate with the best long range plan appears poised to win.

Hopefully, those voters that are truly Democratic will vote for the winning candidate of their party and be proud that we have such a strong party that we can run such great candidates.

Posted by: John D in Houston | May 14, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Two More Supers Obama
142 to 2025 Obama
308 to 2025 Clinton

429 total 238 Super 191 Elected Remain

Posted by: Delegate Math | May 14, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

WV at 95% White and OLD
looks like the GOP

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Change You Deserve
the GOP anti-depressant call your doctor for free samples

it makes liberals look nice

Posted by: Anonymous | May 14, 2008 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Tom Cole will keep his job because nobody else in their right mind would take it.

Posted by: ed | May 14, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

As far as this feature goes, the writing style strikes me as smarmy, obnoxious, and elite. The idea itself is antiquated and pointless. Do a group blog if you want interaction between yourselves. Otherwise, you just look ancient and out of touch.

Posted by: Shaz | May 14, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse



Posted by: lynn parker. | May 14, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The GOP can't even win in heavily red districts? Wow, the boy king (Bush) has wrecked this country and has even wrecked his party. The GOP will take a whipping in November. You know the party is in trouble when all they can offer for a presidential candidate is old Grandpa McSame, a man who is hated by the arch-conservatives IN HIS OWN PARTY. What a breath of fresh air "geritol man" offers the country. sheesh

Posted by: Joe | May 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Childers is a good man.
Davis is a Republican.
Enough said.

Posted by: thependulumswings | May 14, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I disagree on one point. The GOP was successful at tying Childers to Obama - the effect was that is helped increase turnout for Childers.

Posted by: Colin | May 14, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton Extends Her Lead Among Congressional Districts"

"Clinton Extends Her Lead Among Planets. Claims Supermajorities on Mars, Venus, Jupiter."

Posted by: Peter Principle | May 14, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

This election means that Move on .org has bought the democrat party, and they will stop at nothing to win every seat they can possibly win, in order to make a socialist country out of the USA. George Soros and the DNC has it all planned out, and it will be very hard for good people to keep their seats in congress.What they are replaced with means nothing to Soros, because the sheep will follow the leader.It is really sad to see the country fall apart, but that is the way the democrat party, Mr Dean and the chicago hoodlum in the house, that are running things in Washington.I watched the hearing on the rules violation yesterday, and I have seen liars before, but Mr McNulty looked like he was going to jump out of his skin, when he saw the films, and Mr. Hoyer lied through his teeth, when you could see him cussing out the parliamentarian, and the other henchmen of Botox Pelosi who were on the floor twisting arms.It was a sad day for the House of Representatives, because it is not the house or Reps.anymore. It is the house of the majority party now.All other members have no say as t what passes or is brought up for a vote.They don't have committee markups any more, and most all rules are closed, so no one but the majority has a say on anything anymore.

Posted by: elmerck | May 14, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

quoting elmerck at 1:50,

"It was a sad day for the House of Representatives, because it is not the house or Reps.anymore. It is the house of the majority party now.All other members have no say as t what passes or is brought up for a vote.They don't have committee markups any more, and most all rules are closed, so no one but the majority has a say on anything anymore."

I, too, would prefer a more open discourse and debate in the House -- and less resort to the threat of filibusters in the Senate. Unfortunately, both approaches to non-legislating were engineered in the 1990s to block the efforts of a Democratic president.

Elmerck, you can thank Newt Gingrich and the Contract ON America for the decline of Congress ...

Posted by: ecopundit | May 14, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I think the Katrina and Rita disasters and the Republican led government's lackluster reaction to help the people in need was at the heart of these losses. People down there are still hurting and it's been almost 3 years. So campaigners can try to associate one candidate with Obama, but the bottom line is the Rebuplican party can be associated with a mess in Mississippi and Louisanna which is why they lost seats in those states. The people felt that the Republican party would not serve the people's needs, therefore lets select the alternative, the Democrats. I'm amazed that the press is not pointing out that there is probably a Rita/Katrina connection with these changes in the guard, especially in these two states.

Another thing, the Republicans have really lost their way over the last 7-8 years. they used to be strong to their principles of small government, fiscial responsibility, keeping the government out of citizens' lives as much as possible, and a strong military. WRT small government, we've increased government spending and in addition created more government organizations instead of re-wickering the current ones. the department of homeland security and all of its burocracies (sorry i can't spell), didn't have to be created. It probably would have been just as well to create and empower lines of communications between organizations. another Big government initiative was to create a mega-intel organization that contained the FBI and CIA. Fiscal responsibility, i really don't need to say too much about that, but I'll say "no-bit contract excess." Supporting no-warrant wire tapping, i understand Republicans are about national security, but i thought they were against the government intruding in people's lives in anyway (i.e. taxation, and civil liberties). And as to the strong military, with the exception of 2001-2006, the US has never shrunk our military manpower during a major conflict. Yes, we've been shrinking our military manpower until about late 2006, and folks wonder why the military is stretched thin. Republicans seem to be more about "team ball" and supporting team members even though they are pushing policy or acting against the traditions and values of the party. Case, Senator Vetter and his DC Madam ties. I guess adultry is only bad when Democrats do it. The Republican Party used to be strong and about principals, but now they are reduced to voting against the recognition of mothers (after they just voted for the legislation) just to impeed the progress of congress. That's why Ron Paul and that other Libertarian guy from GA are running for President, on the Libertarian ticket. And that why Rush Limbaugh blasted Republicans about a year ago. Ironically John McCain is a fine Senator and would make a great President, however he is flip-flopping on issues like John Kerry. I thought he was passionately against how the US is dismissing "American due process" and the Geneva Convention, but in the process of running for President a second time, he is flip-flopping to support it. and that is one of many examples. Hopefully, the old and real John McCain will come back.

Posted by: GC4Life | May 14, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I hope every Republican candidate for either Representative or Senator requests Dick Cheney or George W. Bush to present themselves in person as campaign support.
Possibly the two could supply the new 42 cent stamp for the candidate.... he/she could then just "mail it in."

Posted by: motiv8ed | May 14, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

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