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Democrat Wins La. Special Election

State Rep. Don Cazayoux won the special election in Louisiana's 6th district yesterday, a victory that marks the second time this year that Democrats have won a seat previously held by a Republican.

Cazayoux, a conservative Democrat, defeated former state Rep. Woody Jenkins, 49 percent to 46 percent for a seat held by Rep. Richard Baker (R) for the past two decades. (Baker resigned to take over as the head of the Managed Funds Association.) Cazayoux will serve out the remaining months of Baker's term before running for a full two-year stint in the fall.

The contest on Saturday, which came on the heels of Democrats' victory in an Illinois special election to replace former House Speaker Dennis Hastert earlier this year, is likely to be seen as further evidence of Republicans' problems at the ballot box.

Like Hastert's seat, the 6th district, which is centered in Baton Rouge, has favored Republicans at the federal level for years. President Bush won the seat with 59 percent in 2004 and 55 percent four years before that. Baker had held the seat since 1986 and had faced only one serious challenge in recent memory -- a 1998 race against then rising star Marjorie McKeithen, the daughter of the legendary Louisiana politician Fox McKeithen.

There were, without question, national overtones to the race. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dropped more than $1.1 million on behalf of Cazayoux while the National Republican Congressional spent just short of $500,000 on the race.

A variety of other conservative-aligned groups including Freedom's Watch and the Club For Growth ran ads attacking Cazayoux as liberal on taxes and seeking to link him to Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

At the same time, local factors heavily influenced the contest -- most notably the controversial Jenkins whose name identification carried him to a win in the primary despite the national party's lack of support.

Jenkins, as has been his trademark throughout the many, mostly unsuccessful, campaigns he has run in the state, eschewed advice from national party strategists -- seeming content to write, produce and finance his own low-quality ads.

Cazayoux, by contrast, ran a professional and well financed campaign and, as importantly, managed to avoid a particularly contested primary fight with black state legislator Michael Jackson. (Jackson did, however, run ads in the run up to today's vote making clear he would be running as an independent for the seat in the fall.)

Given the competing national and local factors, both parties have a credible argument to make about today's vote. Democrats will argue that Cazayoux's victory in a Republican-leaning seat is yet one more sign that the Republican party's brand is badly damaged and that independent voters are disenchanted with the GOP. Republicans will counter that both Jenkins and Jim Oberweis, the dairy magnate who carried their flag in the Illinois special election, were poor candidates whose losses should not be interpreted as a sign of anything other than that bad candidates often are defeated.

The tie breaker in this argument will come in ten days time when voters in Mississippi's 1st district head to the polls in another special election -- this one to fill the seat of appointed Sen. Roger Wicker (R). The northern Mississippi seat leans heavily to Republicans -- Bush won it with 62 percent in 2004 and 59 percent in 2000 -- and both parties have fielded credible candidates. Should Republicans lose in Mississippi, the panic button will officially be pushed among party strategists.

For tonight, the only clear winner is Cazayoux who comes to Congress and immediately becomes the favorite to win a full term in November. House Democrats also have to feel very good tonight, having grown their majority by two seats since re-taking control of the chamber in November 2006.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 4, 2008; 12:01 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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If Democrats keep picking candidates like this, they will wake up one day and all be republicans

Posted by: Anonymous | May 5, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse


I think the idea is that businesses could buy coverage through the Menu/Exchange for their employees as a perk.

HRC's tax credit would give the small businesses an incentive to subsidize health care for their employees, but uninsured employees could participate in the Menu plans. BHO would require employers to offer "meaningful" health care or contribute a percentage of their payroll to the public plan.

So, I guess that's another difference in their plans, beyond "individual mandates". BHO has an "employer mandate" while HRC mandates only for large employers.

Of course, I'm probably not doing justice to either of their plans. But they both are certainly different from McC's free market/tax credit proposal.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

mnteng writes
"For BHO, small businesses (or the self-employed) could access the Exchange. For HRC, small businesses would be "incentivized" by tax credit to provide health coverage, which could also go through the Menu. Thus, small businesses/self-employers would join the large national pool, reducing premiums for everyone."

Why have employers involved at all? If there's a large national pool, why not let individuals buy into the pool themselves?

Certainly, if particular employers find value in providing healthcare coverage for their employers, I don't want to discourage the practice. But I also don't think its particularly good policy to design a system around the assumption that most people will get coverage from employers.

To put it differently, if I'm a small business owner, do I want to spend time examining alternative health care plans for my employees, or do I want to spend time making my business run more efficiently?

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse

bsimon writes
"The premise behind my idea is that if individuals can buy into medicare as though it were a private health-insurance provider, a competitive environment is created where, if they want to stay in business or grab market share, private insurance providers will be forced to be competitive with medicare in terms of quality of care and/or price."

I think this is the idea behind HRC and BHO proposing the Health Choices Menu and National Health Insurance Exchange, respectively. They both seem to propose a "public" plan, ostensibly something like Medicare, which will be the baseline coverage that should be affordable. Then, there will be private choices for equivalent or better coverage within the Menu/Exchange. The idea for pooling would then be that everyone without employer-provided coverage would choose from the Menu/Exchange. For BHO, small businesses (or the self-employed) could access the Exchange. For HRC, small businesses would be "incentivized" by tax credit to provide health coverage, which could also go through the Menu. Thus, small businesses/self-employers would join the large national pool, reducing premiums for everyone.

Ugh. I just had a class discussion about this last week and already the details are getting fuzzy. But it seems to me that either D's health care plan would fit the bill for you. I admit to ignorance about plans like yours (high-deductible/HSA) as I've had the good fortune to work for large employers with excellent health benefits.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

One of my unstated goals is to replace one's employer as the de facto default supplier of health insurance. It adds inefficiencies to the system. For instance, I'm in a high-deductible plan, with an HSA. So, when I or a family member visits a doctor or buys a prescription, I have to submit a receipt to my employer to get payed back from my HSA. Its idiotic. My employer doesn't know anything about healthcare. Why force them to get into the healthcare administration business? Its a pretty silly system.

The way our system works right now, the largest pools tend to enjoy the lowest premiums - because costs are spread over more people. So the question is how to expand eligibility to enter those pools without requiring that people work for the country's largest employers.

The premise behind my idea is that if individuals can buy into medicare as though it were a private health-insurance provider, a competitive environment is created where, if they want to stay in business or grab market share, private insurance providers will be forced to be competitive with medicare in terms of quality of care and/or price.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How can a Republican fault the Clintons for their anti-terror policy. The only thing Republicans did when they had the legislature was embark on non-stop, unfounded partisan attacks that were a permanent distraction to the White House. Even then, when Clinton left office, he handed the Bush Administration a warning, Bin Ladin will attack America. Due to blind ideology and Clinton hatred, it was ignored. And Bush has gone down hill from there.

The Republicans are heading to 40 years in the Wilderness for worshiping false idols.

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 5, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but your hybrid plan sounds similar to HRC's and BHO's health care plans.

From the Kaiser Family Foundation on Obama's plan (overall):
Require all children to have health
insurance, and employers to offer
employee health benefits or contribute to
the cost of the new public program.
Create a new public plan, and expand
Medicaid and SCHIP. Create the National
health Insurance Exchange through which
small businesses and individuals without
access to other public programs or
employer-based coverage could enroll in
the new public plan or in approved private

Clinton's plan (overall):
Every American required to have
coverage, with income-related tax
subsidies available to make coverage
affordable. Private and public plan options
would be available to individuals through
a new Health Choices Menu operated
through the Federal Employee Health
Benefits Program (FEHBP). Coverage
through employers and public programs
like Medicare continues.

There's obviously a lot more to the plans than that, but it sounds like the gist of them is similar to a hybrid of government and private health insurance to provide universal coverage.

Posted by: mnteng | May 5, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

As requested, the following is a repost of one potential approach to improving health care coverage through a hybrid system. It does not address cost-reduction, which should be considered a critical need in our existing system:

Part of me thinks that the gov't shouldn't regulate how & who insurance companies cover. However, that potentially leaves the poor or ill uncovered. Mark would point out that these folks end up being 'covered' by local property taxes through publicly funded emergency rooms. So, the other part of me thinks that, without gov't regulation, we won't achieve universal coverage. Clearly, under the existing system, we're far from achieving such - and move farther away as costs rise.

In the past I've written about opening up medicare to individuals who didn't get healthcare from their employers, but had too much income to otherwise qualify for medicare. The idea was to create a basic, inexpensive plan that would primarily act as a hedge against catastrophy; I would have bought this when I was in my mid to late 20s, self-employed & disinclined to pay $800/month for insurance - instead I went without.

Perhaps another alternative would be to only offer the tax subsidy if people buy insurance from a company that meets some pre-defined criteria that ensures coverage is extended to less desirable customers (i.e. poor and/or chronically ill).

But this brings me back to the point of the earlier question: to whom do you want to write a check? If we're talking about achieving universal coverage - no matter who's the 'payer', the well are paying premiums that cover the unwell. In a single-payer system, we all write a check to the gov't. In a private-care system, we write the check to an insurance company, but that doesn't change the fact that people who don't get sick end up covering costs racked up by the sick.

That leaves me wondering: why would a person want to send the check to a company that has higher overhead, like executive salaries, advertising budgets & the need to produce a profit for shareholders, instead of to an organization that doesn't have those costs (i.e. the gov't)? Jim would rebut asking why anyone would want to trust a gov't bureaucracy to deliver a quality product efficiently when the evidence implies they're inherently incapable of doing so. Both questions are reasonable, and underscore another need, or what we should consider to be a non-negotiable requirement: choice.

What kind of system would maximize consumers' choice, maximize coverage (across the population) while minimizing costs? I'm left with my prior inclination that a hybrid system that offers basic coverage to everyone is necessary. For those under a certain income threshold, coverage would be free - as it is now. Perhaps a sliding scale for low-middle income consumers would be fair. For people above the income threshold, they can either buy into the gov't run plan, or buy privately-offered insurance. In other words, if the consumer thinks they can find better value for their dollar in the private market, they are free to do so. If employers want to offer a healthcare benefit as an incentive to attract employees, they are free to do so, without gov't mandates.

That leaves the last challenge of paying for the universal plan. Options include, but are not limited to: pulling out of the general fund; dedicated payroll taxes (as now); dedicated tax on healthcare/pharmaceutical companies; any other ideas?

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, please repost your idea of how a multi-sourced mixed provider system might work. Most folks have not thought of that and novamatt might like it.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 5, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

novamatt writes
"single-payer doesn't necessarily have to be a federal program"

Ok. If not the gov't, whom? I know Buffet plans to give it all away, but that doesn't seem like a reliable source of funding for very long.

Posted by: bsimon | May 5, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

JP2, MarkinAustin, and Leichtman, thanks for the comments. I would have chipped in, but yesterday was the first barbecue of the season and then the first barbecue mishap of the season. Clean grills burn hotter. I always forget that.

Cost containment is everything when we talk about health care. Single-payer will help drive down the costs simply by virtue of a more efficient allocation of scarce technologies and providers, but it needs to be paired with a fundamental reorientation of health care toward wellness and prevention, rather than the current palliative care-driven model.

The MIT study is absolutely right on the money, Mark. And single-payer doesn't necessarily have to be a federal program. In terms of generating duplicable best practices and some healthy regional competition, it makes perfect sense to have the federal government set minimum standards and maybe gather and disperse dollars, but allow the most local competent jurisdiction to actually run the programs.

Posted by: novamatt | May 5, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

MarkInAustin, cost containment is a huge factor -- I don't disagree with this point.

With the current patchwork system there are cost connected to marketing, administration (multiple providers with a variety of different plans and their own sets of restrictions add a layer of inefficiency -- there are collection costs, etc), of course there are the profits too.

As far as medicare goes -- rather than just cost containment there is some indication that the private market is driving UP the cost of medicare (rather than the other way around).

The 2007 Long-Term Budget Outlook by the CBO is worth checking out as well.

Although the report doesn't come outright and say "we've got a major problem with our private insurance system" -- it talks about skyrocketing future costs with medicare connected not to increase in the number of beneficiaries, but rather due to the increasing per capita cost.

The questions then are: What are the factors driving up that per capita cost?

Posted by: JP2 | May 5, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people."

Just Words?

"God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people ... God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Just words?

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye."

Just words?

"We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost."

Just words?

"We started the AIDS virus ... as a means of genocide against people of color."

Just words?

In a campaign appearance earlier last month, Sen. Obama said, "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial."

Yes, just words.

What a fake.

Posted by: UM | May 5, 2008 12:17 AM | Report abuse

JP2, Novamatt, Leichtman Tel1- thanks for thoughtful postings.

JP2, the indigent who allow minor emergencies to fester until they can get clinic care at the hospital emergency room fit your paradigm. They will require the cheaper front end clinics like the CVS Walmart model and they will have to know about it. I have suggested here that they will need subsidies to get that cheaper front end care - but regardless of the pay system that will be cheaper by far than pushing everything to "fixes on the back end."

I have seen the numbers leichtman and novamatt posed but I hasten to add that the cost accounting is quite different for medicare. Trying to compare apples to oranges is difficult, although I believe the evidence is that medicare is very well run.

If medicare is pushing down prices at hospitals and with other providers we must
understand that pricing is forced upward for everyone else.

Tel1 makes a great point about proprietary and new vs. old and generic drugs.
Cost containment remains job one.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 4, 2008 10:33 PM | Report abuse

KY JurisDoctor

These elections mean little, the American people know what the Democrats are all about.

Posted by: HHmmm | May 4, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse


Maybe, this is a harbinger of things to come for the GOP?

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | May 4, 2008 9:59 PM | Report abuse

To: MarkinAustin | May 4, 2008 5:57 PM

I often read the fix, but rarely comment. Excellent points about health care. I wish someone was making this sort of case. I prefer single payer, but I agree that it would be a non-starter without cost containment, including putting some real controls on unnecessary prescriptions and procedures. For instance, some new expensive drug gets approved and people insist on getting it, even though the prescription they've been taking for years is working. Eventually another study is done which shows the new drug is no more effective or is less effective than the old drug. Most people (including doctors) are unaware that the relative efficacy of the new drug vs. old drug is often not a major part of the approval process and that newer doesn't always mean better.

Posted by: TEL1 | May 4, 2008 9:46 PM | Report abuse

actually mark you do understand that Medicare is the most efficiently run healthcare system we have. Something like 90% of Medicare funding actually goes to patient care and only 2 cents of every Medicare dollar go to administrative costs, and there are govt statistics that support that mark. Unfortunately we spend billions not only in wasted administrative costs but billions in marketing designer play drugs, not exactly where I want my health care dollars spent.

Posted by: Leichtman | May 4, 2008 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Your posting at 5:58 is a racist attack against whites.

How is your Mayor Detroit doing?

He really moves up the image of the Democratic Party huh??

Why cant you get him to resign.

Clinton should have resigned too when he was caught, Al Gore would have been the President.

Posted by: Translator Translator | May 4, 2008 8:19 PM | Report abuse

People like Charlie Donnelly fail to look at the entire picture - the Clintons had eight years to come up with a decent policy for Iraq, and all they did was bomb the place every once in a while

You forget that the Clintons and their no fly zone just bombed people every once in a while - killing who knows how many.

A pundit said it best - the country knows how bad the democrats govern - that one fact drives the nation to vote for a guy like Bush.

How is that Detroit Mayor doing for you?

Raising up the image of the party ????

Posted by: HHHMMMM | May 4, 2008 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Response to Charlie Donnelly

Well the Clintons made a HUGE mess of things -

The Clintons left our intelligence blind in the Middle East

The Clintons pushed all those free trade deals which has destroyed our small towns and sent millions of young people off to the big cities to look for jobs.

What are you talking about????

The democrats have done more to RUIN this country than anyone

Posted by: HHMmm | May 4, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Just as a recap - how many people got thrown under the bus last week ????

Posted by: Words of Wisdom | May 4, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Who can possibly still be a Republican now??? I mean look around you and see the still smoldering ruins of our Republic. If the last eight years have not convinced you that the GOP is both morally and intellectually bankrupt then you need a brain transplant. Are you people for real???

Posted by: Charlie Donnelly | May 4, 2008 8:08 PM | Report abuse

WHENEVER the Republicans lose a seat they thought was theirs, it is just a case of they had a poor candidate, or the candidate didn't hold his mouth the right way... Nobody, nohow, in the Republican Party seems to be willing to say that the Republicans might be doing something wrong.

If you aren't doing anything wrong, and thus you aren't about to change, then Obama is going to beat you like a drum, either as the Democratic candidate for President, or as Hillary's most effective campaigner. Right now Obama can't lose. He gets to be president next year, or he gets to be the other power in the party for the next four or eight years, and THEN he gets to be president. If his association with Rev Jeremiah Wright brings down his campaign this year, He just gets to solidify his base among the unrepresented who have been his strength all along, and with a little diligence, among the hard line party apparatchiks and party faithful.

Assuming that he doesn't get elected this year, that he is in fact as politically talented as he seems to be, and he does his part in the H Clinton years, in 2016 the Democratic primary trail ought to be the Triumphal March of BHA. this should be in smaller type.

Then again, the anointed Republican in 1948 sat home and waited upon his coronation. Did Dewey ever do anything again but wait?

Posted by: | May 4, 2008 7:48 PM | Report abuse

MarkinAustin -- in reference to #1 -- the reason for this is that emergency room expenses are dealing with problems on the back-end.

A few dollars dedicated to prevention on the front-end offset several thousand dollars worth of costs connected to fixes on the back-end.

In terms of administrative costs Medicare -- which is the closest thing that we have to a single-payer system -- is the most efficient health care delivery system in the country.

Administrative costs for the program are somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 percent compared with 20 to 30 percent of the costs connected to private/HMO insurance.

The private health insurance model is incredibly inefficient.

What you say about state programs probably isn't a bad idea for a state the size of Texas. For smaller states a regional model might be preferable to a national one as well.

The bottom line though is that the private insurance model in this country is extremely wasteful and ties up money in the economy that could be put to more productive uses. We can definitely do much better on this one.

Posted by: JP2 | May 4, 2008 7:41 PM | Report abuse

The IRC IMHO was an excellent product as conceived in 1939 and has benefited from compromise ever since.

It has also been the target of attack by every conceivable lobby and is now full of unreadable provisions, corporate giveaways,
and "special case" statutes. This was not the fault of liberals, conservatives, or moderates acting alone; there is enough blame to go around. What is good in the Code came because the center accepted it or mediated it. Example: The reforms of the late 70s were pushed by Bradley from the left and Kemp from the right. They were making the same general arguments but with different emphases.

Back when Warren Rudman and Sam Nunn were in the Senate, thee were more moderates in both parties. They ate lunch together. When there was an impasse between left and right, they talked about it, and worked it out if it could be worked out.

I blame the GWB Administration, and before it, Tom DeLay, for poisoning the well. But if it can be "unpoisoned" it will be because there are more non-ideologues in both parties next time around.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 4, 2008 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The GOP is running out of ideas. This latest dumb tactic backfired and will continue to backfire if they keep using it. Seems the The Republicans are intent on gettin thumped once again in Nov. God bless them!

Posted by: Bob, DC | May 4, 2008 6:00 PM | Report abuse

4:52 pm post

"Only white males are qualified to run the country. Look at the good job they've been doing lately."

Posted by: 37th&OStreet Translator | May 4, 2008 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Novamatt, thanks for your reply. I think you have a point on earmarks - but I would contest your remaining assertions.

I will just take one: the liberal assumption that Federal Single Payer is more cost effective than our non-system. The cost effectiveness of health care delivery is virtually unrelated to the method of payment. Cost effectiveness has been addressed by many [including the MIT study] and some of the major conclusions include:
1] delivery of health care to the poor through a mandate on hospital emergency rooms is the most costly method of delivery available;
2] communicable diseases spread through congregations of people some of whom are sick and should not be there, most notably in the public schools - the school nurse program should be reinstituted as should widespread childhood inoculations,
3] an aging population creates added costs, but not nearly as great as the added costs from overeating abusing alcohol and smoking. Perhaps it would make sense to earmark alcohol and tobacco tax to the health care market, and to tax/earmark, at some level, sugared beverages and candies.
4] A national service program that paid for/trained nurse practitioners who would work in public health/school care for three years as a return investment would make sense, surely.

Costs can also be managed better through the kind of front end minor care provide at CVS and Walmart Pharmacy clinics.

These measures and more would make cost containment a possibility. Federal single payer without these fundamental changes would divorce the raising of taxes from the joy of spending the money by the local hospital districts. That is an extreme disincentive to eliminate waste.

I would think state single payer or even the Swiss type private insurance plan would be more successful in the USA. For example, in Texas, I am told that half of all health dollars are raised and spent through hospital district property tax! If this is true or nearly true, the state has a more compelling interest than the fed in this matter.
But nothing works without cost containment.
Blindly pushing for fed sinngle payer without addressing these realities or McC's tax giveaway without integrating these cost realities and the entire Swiss system reflect the disadvantages of sound bite programs from left and right, IMO. We Very Serious Centrists want to be heard. :-)

Posted by: MarkinAustin | May 4, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

These seats shouldn't even be close based on past voting history -- even with 2nd and 3rd tier recruits.

It will be interesting to see how things play out -- but at least in terms of Congressional seats, the GOP appears to be heading into an even more nasty head-wind then the one that was in place in 2006.

Based on the national party's performance over the past 8 years, they've certainly earned it.

Posted by: JP2 | May 4, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

All I want to see in November is the total and complete rejection of every currently sitting member of Congress. Then round up all the lobbyists and ship them to Iraq as consultants for the State Department.

Posted by: Apostrophe | May 4, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Please check out www.vietnamveteransagainstjogn

Posted by: Denis777 | May 4, 2008 5:01 PM | Report abuse

A pundit made this comment, which has been changed a little - The Democratic party is so messed up that they drove the country to vote for Bush.

That statement is so true.

The Democratic Party has become the craziest mish-mash of interest groups mixed up with corruption in the history of the country.

No one is really in control. The Clintons came in, offering to run a center-right coalition - and didn't. The Clintons were one disaster after another.

The worst thing about the Clintons was their willingness to sacrifice people in their own party for some perceived important policy goal. They were betraying people left and right. First it was triangulation - then it was the free trade deals - then another - until Bill Clinton lost all influence at the end of his years.

The Clintons poisoned their relationships, and thereby the Democratic Party.

This poison has extended through the past eight years with Hillary setting herself up. These people who were supposed to be "leaders" of the party were much more interested in not helping the party. The Clintons have not exercised a leadership role since leaving the White House.

Which asks - who is in charge?

No one. There is a bunch of interest groups which have been happy to push out white males whereever they can - the white male Presidential candidates could not raise money from the Democratic party - what does that tell you?

In one sense, the Democratic party is confused because they are not sure who is in charge given that the white males have been pushed out. The Democrats have become blinded by gender and race and policy issues have become secondary.

Sure they claim policy issues ar there, but they are not.

Plus the Dems are lucky the war has been sending support their way. One has to wonder where they will be without that support.

When it comes down to it, the democrats have not shown an ability to govern. Certain the Clintons have not. Take a look at Congress, they can't figure out a war resolution and move onto policy issues without code pink.

Once a person sees what the democrats are like, they do not want the democrats running anything.

Posted by: 37th&OStreet | May 4, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

All I want, at minimum, is that the NEOCONS are out in November. I worry more about the race factor than the gender factor come November and I can't see why all these Republicans and "newly" registered Democrats in Red states are casting their lot almost exclusively with Barak.
The November election will be on a state by state basis, and about 35% of Barak's pledged delegates are from states that are very "RED"!
Previous to the 2004 election Karl Rove put forth a plan to game the Democrat's nomination process. It featured Red state Democratic primaries/caucuses giving delegates to the nominee who would be most vulnerable in November.
The plan had two problems at the time.
1----It was too late to implement for 2004
2----The Southern Red states with primaries that only allowed registered Democrats ( more than half black ) to vote.

By 2007 problem 1 had been solved in places like Wyoming, Idaho, etc, by getting White Republicans to cast votes for Barak.
Problem 2 was solved by getting a "COLORED" man, Barak, to run! BTW, his ascendency to the Senate was realized only because of scandal investigations, first of his democratic primary opponent, then of his opponent for the Senate. Karl Rove is a master at having his opponents "investigated"!

I don't see these "RED" states going for Barak come November. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: harried | May 4, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Cazayoux ran on an anti-obama platform.

that's how he won.

Posted by: trettin | May 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Cazayoux ran on an anti-obama platform.

that's how he won.

Posted by: trettin | May 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I should have said that blue dogs can be occasionally exasperating. Each legislator is there to represent his district, and needs to vote the interests of his constituents, but I'd still like to see more discipline on the D side on at least a few more votes.

And I disagree that the middle is where the good ideas are. Take two issues: earmark reform and health care reform. A "moderate" position on earmark reform means maybe slightly fewer earmarks, maybe a little more transparency. What we clearly need, on the other hand, is an end to the earmark process and a more straightforward and a much more transparent way of funding government. Which is what some courageous conservative Republicans are talking about, and almost no one else. Moderates start crying if you talk about taking away their earmarks.

On health care, thanks to all the insufficient and overlapping deals struck by moderates over the years, we have a monstrously complicated and expensive and inefficient health care system that absolutely no one cherishes. The simplest, most efficient and cost-effective method of delivering health care would be a single payer system a la Canada or France. But the only people talking about that are left Democrats. Moderates tremble in fear when you talk about single-payer.

I could go on and on. The tax code, the regulatory regime, election reform, education reform, an endless line of thorny issues are made worse by the Very Serious Centrists who style themselves pragmatists. Almost always, the good ideas are coming from the margins. The ideas coming out of the mushy middle almost always suck.

Posted by: novamatt | May 4, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"The tie breaker in this argument will come in ten days time when voters in Mississippi's 1st district head to the polls in another special election -- this one to fill the seat of appointed Sen. Roger Wicker (R)."

Moving the goal posts, huh Chris? I thought Louisiana was the big test of whether or not Obama was going to hurt Democrats down-ticket? I guess since Cazayoux won, the media have to move the goal posts and paint a picture of other states being more important for some reason?

Sounds just like Hillary...nothing means anything unless it fits her spin.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations on getting through a column without mentioning Revered Wright, Mr. Cilizza.

The price of gas in my town went up to $4 a gallon for regular -- and I don't give damn about preachers.

Posted by: Brenda | May 4, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans are running a flawed campaign this year in any election regardless of local state elections or a presidential general election if the main point is to link Obama and other Democratic politicians to Rev. Wright.

Ordinary Americans are hurting economically and morally between the economy under Bush (and fellow Republicans) and the Iraq War under Bush (and fellow Republicans). The only main Americans concerned about Rev. Wright is the Republican Party and political pundits/anchors/reporters.

Sorry to break it down to many millions of Americans, but people like Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Tim Russert, George Stephanopolous, Charlie Gibson, Wolf Blitzer, and others, don't really care about gasoline prices or national health care. All of these type of folks are multi-millionaires who could care less that the price of gasoline goes from $3.50 per gallon to $4.00 per gallon.

The truly sad and ironic thing about this "Out-of-touch" brand that has been place on Obama is that Obama is the only candidate left in the race whose economic picture resembles many Americans over the past 5 years. The Obamas earned $4 million last year only because of his two books whereas between 2000 to 2006, the Obamas (with 4-Ivy League degrees between the both of them) earned between $200,000 to $280,000 per year.

Whereas the Clintons have earned over $15 million per year from 2000 and 2007 and the McCains have probably earned over $20 million per year from 2000 to 2007.

Posted by: AJ | May 4, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Republicans all want more 'blue dogs' who will bend to their will in the Democratic Party. Why wouldn't they?

And with more Republicans every day campaigning for Obama--and his fundraising reaching record proportions [especially among the young], it ain't the Democrat party that's dying.

The Democrats are the party of the future, the only ones looking forward and ready and able to solve the country's probl3ms.

Posted by: Helena | May 4, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Novamatt, why would you find "blue dogs" exasperating?

If the Truman-Henry Jackson-Sam Nunn Ds are not considered part of the mainstream of the D Party it becomes a small tent "liberal" party. Schumer was wise to reinvite the blue dogs in. If that was just window dressing to gain a parliamentary edge rather than an attempt to span across the middle of the spectrum the Ds will eventually wane and perhaps die.

When the parties, which have no reason to exist except to gain political power, play only to their left and right bases they leave more of us out then either of them include.

I would be pleased with more blue dogs in the D Party and more Lugar - Grassley - Voinovich - Specter - Snowe - Collins - McC - Warner - Palin - Crist in the R Party.

We might get more pragmatic solutions, fewer staged votes, and a bipartisan foreign policy out of that.

I think about how Pelosi cut off a blue dog, Harmann, at the knees, because she was willing to work across the aisle, and I say that is what is wrong, not what is right, about American parliamentary politics.

Posted by: MarkInAustin | May 4, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Within about a minute after that, the whole chapel erupted in pandemonium. About half the men and three-fourths of the women were writhing around and either play-puking or screaming. Not wanting to be a bad sport, I raised my hand for one of the life coaches to see.

"Need . . . a . . . bag," I said as he came over.

He handed me a bag.

"In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of handwriting analysis!" shouted Fortenberry.

Handwriting analysis? I jammed the bag over my mouth and started coughing, then went into a very real convulsion of disbelief as I listened to this astounding list, half-laughing and half-retching.

"In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, I cast out the demon of the intellect!" Fortenberry continued. "In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of anal fissures!"

Cough, cough!

The minutes raced by. Wayne Williams was now fully prostrate, held up only by a trio of coaches, each of whom took part of his writhing body and propped it up. Another bald man in the front of the chapel was now freaking out in Linda Blair fashion, roaring and making horrific demon noises.

"Rum-balakasha-oom!" shouted Fortenberry in tongues, waving a hand in front of Linda Blair Man. "Cooom-balakasha-froom! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast out the demon of philosophy!"


By the end of the weekend I realized how quaint was the mere suggestion that Christians of this type should learn to "be rational" or "set aside your religion" about such things as the Iraq War or other policy matters. Once you've made a journey like this -- once you've gone this far -- you are beyond suggestible. It's not merely the informational indoctrination, the constant belittling of homosexuals and atheists and Muslims and pacifists, etc., that's the issue. It's that once you've gotten to this place, you've left behind the mental process that a person would need to form an independent opinion about such things. You make this journey precisely to experience the ecstasy of beating to the same big gristly heart with a roomful of like-minded folks. Once you reach that place with them, you're thinking with muscles, not neurons.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

At first, the whole scene was pure comedy. Fortenberry was standing up at the front of the chapel, reading off a list, and the room was loudly chirping crickets back at him.

"In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of incest! In the name of Jesus, I cast out the demon of sexual abuse! In the name of Jesus. . . ."

After a few minutes, there was a little twittering here and there. Nothing serious. I was beginning to think the Deliverance was going to be a bust.

But then it started. Wails and cries from the audience. To my left, a young black man started writhing around in his seat. In front of me and to my right, another young black man with Coke-bottle glasses and a shock of nerdly jheri curl -- a dead ringer for a young Wayne Williams -- started wailing and clutching his head.

"In the name of Jesus," continued Fortenberry, "I cast out the demon of astrology!"

Coughing and spitting noises. Behind me, a bald white man started to wheeze and gurgle, like he was about to puke. Fortenberry, still reading from his list, pointed at the man. On cue, a pair of life coaches raced over to him and began to minister. One dabbed his forehead with oil and fiercely clutched his cranium; the other held a paper bag in front of his mouth.

"In the name of Jesus Christ," said Fortenberry, more loudly now, "I cast out the demon of lust!"

And the man began power-puking into his paper baggie. I couldn't see if any actual vomitus came out, but he made real hurling and retching noises.

Posted by: Digby | May 4, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Behold the double standard: John McCain sought out the endorsement of John Hagee, the warmongering, Catholic-bashing Texas preacher, who said the people of New Orleans got what they deserved for their sins.

But no one suggests McCain shares Hagee's delusions or thinks AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Pat Robertson called for the assassination of a foreign head of state and asked God to remove Supreme Court justices, yet he remains a force in the Republican religious right.

After 9/11, Jerry Falwell said the attack was God's judgment on America for having been driven out of our schools and the public square, but when McCain goes after the endorsement of the preacher he once condemned as an agent of intolerance, the press gives him a pass.

This is crazy and wrong -- white preachers are given leeway in politics that others aren't.

Which means it is all about race, isn't it?

In case you think Hagee and Wright are not comparable in their nuttiness, Matt Taibbi provides this description of the climax of a retreat run by Hagee's church:

Fortenberry began to issue instructions. He told us that under no circumstances should we pray during the Deliverance.

"When the word of God is in your mouth," he said, "the demons can't come out of your body. You have to keep a path clear for the demon to come up through your throat. So under no circumstances pray to God. You can't have God in your mouth. You can cough, you might even want to vomit, but don't pray."

The crowd nodded along solemnly. Fortenberry then explained that he was going to read from an extremely long list of demons and cast them out individually. As he did so, we were supposed to breathe out, keep our mouths open and let the demons out.

Posted by: Digby | May 4, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"The economic slowdown is taking its toll even on people with health insurance, reports the NYT: doctors, employers and union officials say that rising premiums, reduced coverage, and bigger deductibles are making it harder and harder for people to meet the costs of their medical treatment. In many cases, people are reportedly skipping routine medical checkups to save on co-payments; at worst, people are finding that their health insurance is adequate only as long as they don't actually require medical attention. "There's a real shift in the burden of health care to people who happen to be sick," says one analyst."

And McCain wants to make it worse, by removing all regulation from the industry, so you'll have no way to fight back against the corrupt insurance industry.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

"Shocks from poorly installed electrical wiring have killed at least a dozen American soldiers at military bases across Iraq in recent years; many more troops have been injured. The NYT reports that the incidents, which continued even after electricians and military officials raised safety concerns, have led to renewed questions about the oversight of contractors in the war zone."

And guess who did the work? Why, none other than KBR, where Dick Cheney holds 400,000 shares of stock. KBR through their shoddy work and this adminstration's insistence on no oversight, have managed to kill several dozen of our troops in various ways. This is the Republican party at work.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Get your finger on that panic button, Republicans -- it's over for you. You can pull out all the racist stops -- you can throw all the mud you want at Obama and your pals in the media are trying their best to help you too -- but it's over for you. This country is going down the drain because of your blighted politics, and we the voters know it and have had enough.

Posted by: American patriot | May 4, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

The problem with running Obama attacks adds against Dems is this. In swing districts in the South, they are swing only because the Black vote is over +35%. In most years the Black vote doesn't turn out in number equal to Whites. Now attacking Obama energizes Black votes. Many of the people who hate Obama also hate all Deomcrats so there is very little crossover in this group. Most of the working class whites who disliked the social changes from the civil rights era have laready left the party. There are very few hates-the-civil-rights-movement-but-still-a-democrat working clas whites left in the south. What I'm saying in not so smany words is attacking Obama is a net loser for the GOP in southern swing districts.

Second Obama doesn't have as much of a white working class problem as many people think. He is loosing working class whites in Appalachia and the South. But outside of those areas in the rest of the country he isn't hurt as much. I point to the survey USA data on this. The media once again ignores hard number sover opinions. But unless someone wants to argue these polls are wrong or flawed, the media spin is just that spin. They refuse to point out that Appalachai and the South are more racial polarized then the rest of the nation. They are afraid to offend "middle america" and seem elitist.

Posted by: dopper0189 | May 4, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I've been searching for the post-Katrina voter registration data in LA too. Please post the info if you find it.

LA-1 was Jindal's seat, probably the most conservative in the state. I'm surprised the R got only 75% of the vote.

Bill G:
Oberweis is a nasty piece of work. How many races has he run and lost now in IL? Is he 0 for 4, 0 for 5? Some R's aren't even willing to hold their noses and vote for him. And he lost to a neophyte politician.

Posted by: mnteng | May 4, 2008 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans can't label of Jim Oberweis as a "weak candidate." He spent a fortune trying to gain the Republican mantle for Governor, and nearly pulling it off. He's worked hard at keeping his name in the public arena since the governorship loss with commercials for his dairy stands, even here in southwest Illinois, where I've never seen one of his stores. He's spending company money to keep his name familiar with the public. Its a shrewd move, something a weak candidate wouldn't do. He lost a run at Hastert's seat because of a weakened party. The Republican brand has been taken through the shredder with W at the switch.

Posted by: Bill G | May 4, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Only a Repub would dress a fatal flaw as "positive" spin! If the Republican argument for why they didn't win these last two elections (IND and LA) because they ran weak candidates is true then they are in for a tough time this November. I remember reading numerous times in "The Fix" that the GOP is having a hard time convincing top candidates to run in the 08 election. Plus what does it say about the party when only the weak candidates are running for office?

Posted by: dre7861 | May 4, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"Warning shot?" The RNC PR staff's ludicrous effort to spin its loss made me laugh out loud.

Then again, truth has never been their strong point.

Posted by: Mike234 | May 4, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

This is a nice get. We've talked before here about how the post-Katrina exodus of New Orleanians to Baton Rouge might have tilted LA-6 to the blue (even if the diaspora to other states has left LA as a whole to the red), and the returns seem to be confirmation of that. I'd like to see some reporting somewhere though about how many ex-NO'ians have registered in their new districts and then voted. I wouldn't be surprised at all if both registration and turnout were/are low relative to both their old and new neighbors.

Helena Montana, I'd agree that Blue Dogs are an exasperating bunch, but the most important vote a Congressman makes is that first one in a session. And the more D's, the less firmly the D's in charge need to whip the blue dogs.

NMAIF, a 3D/4R split in LA is still pretty significant. I'd happily settle for 40% of the seats in the deep south, given our total dominance of the northeast and the metropolitan midwest and west. I haven't seen anyone remark on this anywhere, but iirc, this pushes the Republican caucus in the House down to 199 members, the first time a party has been under 200 since the R's in the 103rd. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the R's lose another 20-30 House seats this fall. Just looks like a really bleak November for the R's.

Posted by: novamatt | May 4, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The RNC released a statement basically saying that because he only won by 3% it should be a "warning shot" to Dems about the toxicity of Obama ( Wow, that smells like fear... Since when do the Republicans care about the best interests of the Democratic Party? The fact that Hillary has been given a free pass since she lost Iowa should speak volumes about the Republican's fear to run against Obama in November. The RNC endorsed Hillary in that "warning shot" statement for crying out load!

Posted by: Tom B | May 4, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

The truth is voters are angry over Bush - especially the women - they want to give it to him as he leaves. The fall election will be different - fresh and new.

Posted by: AAhhhh | May 4, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Hillary can't gain the lead in delegates and the way she's acting is driving up her negatives even faster than Obama's, and hers were horrifyingly high to begin with. So if Hillary's kamikaze campaign succeeds in crippling Obama enough that he can't win in November, will the Dems will go with Edwards or Gore?

Posted by: aleks | May 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Hey Karl Rove - what happened to your "permanent Republican majority?"

Posted by: Mike234 | May 4, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

HC to GS: We both agreed on NAFTA and other issues in our previous white house life remember? Then she goes on reminding us how that he is an objective journalist

Posted by: Goggat | May 4, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Hi, HC has fundamental problems with economic principles! Another Bush alike!!

Posted by: Goggat | May 4, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

LOL HC doesn't need economists. Dodging economic principles? WOW

Posted by: goggat | May 4, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

If these results are any indication of the November elections, those "W" stickers will be ripping off those SUV's fast. Most republicans are becoming closest supporters and a lot are changing party affiliation. This is all because reality has set in. There are certain moral and factual values that have come to light over the last 8 years, and that is the Republican Party followed greed, corruption and alienated this country and it laws. Most Americans no matter what there party now see the real party behind the curtain. The Republican mantra was fiscal conservatism, morals, and restoring White House ethics? The entire Republican platform has been reduced to one word, "Liars." I see those "W" bumper sticker flying off the backs of your SUV, you know, the one's you can no longer

Posted by: RB | May 4, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Obama needs to tell us more about his relationship with Ayers. It's important because voters might well wonder whether that relationship, coupled with Obama's longtime relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is just the beginning of a pattern, a pattern in which Obama seems quite comfortable with people who really, really, really don't like the United States of America. Change. If you question him or his values or policies, you're part of the "divisive, distracting" practices voters associate with Washington. If you become an unquestioning, adoring political groupie, you're not. Them's the Obama Rules.
One day after being drubbed by Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania to the tune of 200,000+ votes, Obama's chief political adviser David Alexrod was on National Public Radio claiming that white working class Democrats barely exist and hardly matter.
Axelrod said, "The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new that Democratic candidates don't rely solely on those votes."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

GUAM 50/50 split!
Senator Hillary Clinton ties Obama in Guam! Pundits like CNN & MSNBC got it wrong again predicting Obama would win by double digits. Each candidate got 50% of the votes! More than half the voters will not vote for obama! 56% who heard speech less likely to vote for Obama, his unfavorable rating among registered voters up 37 percent!! Clinton leads McCain 48 to 41 percent among all registered voters, while Obama and McCain are tied. National lead dropped 10pts now tied with Senator Clinton and he is now losing in IN too. Once 25 pts ahead in NC now just 5pts- They are not going to give this Presidency to Obama because hes black and if we don't blacks will stay home, so what? American is ready to elect a black man not this black man who recently revealed a major character flaw and again calls into question his judgment and truthfulness of the candidate whose entire appeal has been based on character or his lack there of and not solutions. If Clinton is not on the ballot Working White Middle class will stay home and Obama cannot win on just black votes. David Axelrod said Obama doesn't need white middle class voters. Axelrod said, "The white working class has gone to the Republican nominee for many elections, going back even to the Clinton years. This is not new Democratic candidates don't need to rely solely on those votes."

Obama's Chickens Come Home to Roost too little, too late. The Wright controversy had revealed a major character flaw and calls into question his judgment once again and truthfulness of the candidate whose entire appeal has been based on character. Wright is like an uncle you love and respect As imperfect as he may be, he has been family to me for so many years, I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community" "I can no more disown him [Jeremiah Wright] than I can disown my white grandmother." a woman who once confessed her fear of black men after a black man had tried to shake her down for money. She gave him some, but he kept demanding more. "If the bus hadn't come, I think he might have hit me over the head," Obama says she told him. Rev Wright was right! Obama speech is ONLY for political purposes after the severe drop in polls!

Obama is now declaring himself shocked and disappointed at Wright's unrepentantly racist and anti-American views? Obamas obviously support his feelings of anti-America and white hatred that the church endorses to stay for 20 years and raise young daughters in that atmosphere Obama can no longer plausibly claim innocence in this matter, because he is the one who has encouraged Wright by trying to excuse and explain his views. All of this is why it is no use for Obama to backpedal from his association with Reverend Wright, or to denounce him now, six weeks too late. It was Obama who sought to provide the Reverend Wright with immunity from criticism--and he can't complain when the reverend tries to take full advantage of that immunity. This is the final collapse of the noble promise of the Obama campaign. The man who had once put himself forward as the candidate who would transcend racial politics once and for all has ended up legitimizing a Christian equivalent of Louis Farrakhan--and injecting him into the American political debate.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

No more in fighting is needed in the Decratic party at this time. I sense voters are really looking at what is best for the country and it is not another Republic. Jackson should just be still and let Cazayoux carry the Democratic banner. He's showing strength among the voters that the issues matter, our country matters and for them not to be distracted from those issues by political fear attacks.

Posted by: Precious | May 4, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

If Don Cazayoux ends up being just another blue dog Democrat, his advantage to the party will be purely cosmetic.

Posted by: Helena Montana | May 4, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Poor mojoe. He can't scratch the W sticker off his car as his neighbors laugh at the man who still loves Mr. 20%.

Oh, and Barack Obama clearly hates his white mother and his country. Right. And you're a fine patriotic gentleman.

Posted by: Elrod | May 4, 2008 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Actually Louisiana was forced to change it's open primary rules for federal elections. According to the US Constitution senators and reps. have to be elected on a certain day (can't remember which). So when a runoff was required and the congressman was elected later we Louisianians were violating the constitution. I guess somebody finally noticed.

Posted by: Luke | May 4, 2008 1:40 AM | Report abuse

With Hillary running (who half the country hates), and a racist white and America--hating Barack Obama, I suspect that John McCain will wipe the floor with both come November. Remember the old saying 'he who laughs last laughs loudest'?

Posted by: mojoe | May 4, 2008 1:17 AM | Report abuse

For those who say that the third-party candidate will be a spoiler, I think that you are forgetting Louisiana's "open primary" system, where all the candidates are on the same ballot, and if no one receives 50% of the vote, there is a runoff. If Jackson runs as an independent, all it will mean is a runoff, not a spoiler.

Posted by: Steve | May 4, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Another qualifier for this victory: In Louisiana's 1st CD (suburban New Orleans), Republicans retained a seat as expected. State Sen. Steve Scalise easily beat Democrat Gilda Reed, taking 75 percent of the vote to 22 percent with all precincts reporting.

So LA now has 3D/4R in their congressional delegation. It was 2D/5R. Not so wonderful overall.

Posted by: NMAIF | May 4, 2008 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps my math is suspect, but doesn't the scoreboard read: Democrats 2, Republicans 0?

Yes, this win has to be bad news for Democrats.

The only question is, is it still good for Rudy 9u11iani?

Posted by: Harry R. Sohl | May 4, 2008 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza wrote:

"The tie breaker in this argument will come in ten days time when voters in Mississippi's 1st district head to the polls in another special election..."

Perhaps my math is suspect, but doesn't the scoreboard read: Democrats 2, Republicans 0?
It seems to me that the Democrats, who have taken two elections in heavily Republican districts (weak candidates or not), have the distinct advantage.
Posted by: skf | May 4, 2008 12:54 AM

For the media, the next goal to be scored will always be the decisive one so the game is always tied. Hence Hillary's lingering candidacy.

Posted by: aleks | May 4, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

A republican who ran as an independent garnered 4% of the vote. Had she not run, Jenkins might have won. Michael Jackson, an African American Democratic State Representative, is furious over the DNCC lack of support for his primary run and has vowed to run as an independent in November. If he does, he may be Cazayoux's Ralph Nader and hand the seat back to the Republicans. The RNCC played the Pelosi and Obama card in its attack ads. Tying Cazayoux, a Blue Dog conservative Democrat to liberal Pelosi was extremely effective in a conservative district that really was, at best lukewarm to Jenkins. Many of Jenkins votes were votes against Pelosi who is extremely unpopular among both Republicans and Democrats. In November I expect the Pelosi card to be a material influence on voter choices in close elections. Nobody really cared about the Obama tie in. I voted for Don. He is a good man and his own man but in this day of attack ads by both sides, who knows what that counts for.

Posted by: goodwir | May 4, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

A republican who ran as an independent garnered 4% of the vote. Had she not run, Jenkins might have won. Michael Jackson, an African American Democratic State Representative, is furious over the DNCC lack of support for his primary run and has vowed to run as an independent in November. If he does, he may be Cazayoux's Ralph Nader and hand the seat back to the Republicans. The RNCC played the Pelosi and Obama card in its attack ads. Tying Cazayoux, a Blue Dog conservative Democrat to liberal Pelosi was extremely effective in a conservative district that really was, at best lukewarm to Jenkins. Many of Jenkins votes were votes against Pelosi who is extremely unpopular among both Republicans and Democrats. In November I expect the Pelosi card to be a material influence on voter choices in close elections. Nobody really cared about the Obama tie in. I voted for Don. He is a good man and his own man but in this day of attack ads by both sides, who knows what that counts for.

Posted by: Robert Goodwin | May 4, 2008 12:55 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza wrote:

"The tie breaker in this argument will come in ten days time when voters in Mississippi's 1st district head to the polls in another special election..."

Perhaps my math is suspect, but doesn't the scoreboard read: Democrats 2, Republicans 0?

It seems to me that the Democrats, who have taken two elections in heavily Republican districts (weak candidates or not), have the distinct advantage.

Posted by: skf | May 4, 2008 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Republicans can only find weak candidates because no savvy politician wants to waste his/her time. However, in this seat the fall may be a different matter. If black state legislator Michael Jackson does run as an independent, he could spoil the race for Cazayoux.

Posted by: NMAIF | May 4, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I guess Obama's got coatails after all. All the linkage of Wright and Obama failed miserably in this district. And the black vote was crucial to Don's win, I hope the super delegates are paying attention.

Posted by: Danzig | May 4, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

Bad parties are why bad candidates run.

Posted by: Fish | May 4, 2008 12:47 AM | Report abuse

bad candidates are why people lose

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

"Republicans will counter that both Jenkins and Jim Oberweis, the dairy magnate who carried their flag in the Illinois special election, were poor candidates whose losses should not be interpreted as a sign of anything other than that bad candidates often are defeated."

They're bragging about only being able to find weak candidates to run in their own strongholds?

Posted by: aleks | May 4, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Just what we need, another superdelegate.

Posted by: aleks | May 4, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

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