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House Democrats Extend '06 Gains to 30 Seats

House Democrats increased their 2006 election gains to 30 seats Tuesday, with former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez's (D) surprisingly convincing victory over Rep. Henry Bonilla (R) in a runoff election in Texas's massive 23rd District.

With 85 percent of the vote counted, Rodriguez had 54 percent to Bonilla's 46 percent, according to the Texas Secretary of State's office. As expected, Bexar County (San Antonio) cast by far the most votes in the runoff, and Rodriguez carried it by more than 5,000 votes.

"It is never easy to defeat a sitting Republican incumbent with a financial edge in a special election, but tonight, Ciro Rodriguez's victory proves that voters want more than Henry Bonilla's rubber stamp support for failed Republican policies," said Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie.

Rodriguez's win comes just five weeks after Bonilla received 49 percent of the vote in a special primary on Nov. 7. Rodriguez won just 20 percent that day, while a handful of other Democrats split up the remaining votes.

The apparent key to Rodriguez's come-from-behind victory was a heavy focus by national Democrats on identifying and turning out Latino voters -- especially in Bexar County. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $100,000 on ads on Hispanic radio in the district and paid for thousands of get-out-the-vote calls. All told, the DCCC spent more than $900,000 on this race -- more than two-thirds of which went into television advertising that sought to undermine Bonilla's seeming strengths on military issues. The DCCC also gained considerable traction with spots that attacked the incumbent for supporting multiple congressional pay raises.

"Voters sent a message in November and they sent another one tonight, that change is coming to Washington," said DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).

In contrast to the heavy spending by the DCCC, the National Republican Congressional Committee chose not to spend a dime on this race -- under the belief that Bonilla's massive financial edge (he outspent Rodriguez at a better than four-to-one clip) would be more than enough to hold the seat. It's hard not to wonder if the chaos caused within the Republican Party following its losses on Nov. 7 led to a lack of focus on the Texas runoff.

Rodriguez's victory is doubly sweet for national Democrats, since they not only pick up another seat but also scored another direct hit on the legacy of former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas). DeLay engineered the congressional re-redistricting in 2003 that led to a six-seat Republican gain in Texas in 2004. But those gains came at a price. Portions of the 2003 map, including the removal of 100,000 Hispanic voters from the 23rd District, were ruled in violation of the Voting Rights Act by the U.S. Supreme Court last June. The resulting changes in the district's boundaries reinstituted a strong Hispanic presence in the 23rd and led to Bonilla's loss.

Delay himself resigned amid allegations of ethical improprieties related to the 2003 remapping effort and watched from the sidelines as former Rep. Nick Lampson last month claimed the strongly Republican 22nd District that DeLay had held since 1984.

The conclusion of the 23rd District race leaves just one House contest in limbo: the one in Florida's 13th District. While auto dealer Vern Buchanan (R) has been certified as the winner, banker Christine Jennings (D) has sued the state to force an investigations into thousands of "undervotes" in the Nov. 7 election. Jennings has also asked the House Administration Committee to look into the matter when Congress reconvenes in January.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 12, 2006; 11:24 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Posted by: Arwin | December 30, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Oh and William, if you think that illegal immigrants won the election in Texas or anywhere you have made some pretty bad assumptions about who can vote. And even if illegals can vote (illegally) I think it might take a fairly dumb person to think they can swing an election. And even if they could that would be prevented by, well you know, registered voters actually voting, instead of a pathetic turnout rate.

Posted by: Moderates Unite | December 14, 2006 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Since when is Canada conservative, with you know their socialized healthcare and free prescription drugs. And just so you know, not that it makes it better, but "pinko" is usually used to describe Communists not Socialists, which if you think are the same thing you need to go back to school, preferably college.

Posted by: Moderates Unite | December 14, 2006 11:03 PM | Report abuse

With right wing conservatism on the ashheap of American history, I would not be surprised if Dems pick up more House seats in 2008.

Then states like Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan can redistrict and give the Dems several more seats.

Right wing conservatism is an evil philosophy. It needs to be vanquished. Rodriguez's win is just one more step in that direction.

Posted by: big dave from queens | December 14, 2006 8:27 PM | Report abuse

No wonder Democrats love illegal Mexicans so much...they all vote Democratic.

Maybe ICE should deport the Democrats along with the illegal Mexicans.

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The suggestion that someone made (trade Vermont for some Canadian provinces) is uniquely idiotic. Vermont has been at the forefront of our fight for freedom. The Green Mountain Boys were heroes of the American Revolution. Vermonters have always stood up for freedom and democracy, even when it was unpopular to do so. As America continues to drift away from democracy, the New England states have refused to follow. That is to their credit.

Posted by: Watchdogg | December 13, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Surprised. Bonilla only had to hold on to his Nov. 7th count and pick-up a little more.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 13, 2006 2:39 PM | Report abuse

As an American living in Canada I can assure you Canada has NO desire to be any part of U.S. Who in their right mind would give up government sponsored health care, real marginalization of religious crackpots and a social concience where taxes actually go to help people rather than a militarist government

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Why make Canada a state? Arent they already a US colony? lol

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Wasnt Bonilla a Democrat ocne and didn't he change parties after being elected some time ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Just a quick clarification from a proud native Texan: The United States didn't get Texas from Mexico. Texas defeated Mexican General Santa Anna in a brief but bloody war essentially over immigration and land-ownership rights to gain its independence from Mexico. Texas then operated as an independent nation for about 10 years before joining the United States in 1845.

Posted by: JH in Four Points | December 13, 2006 12:55 PM | Report abuse


I think Canadians would scream bloody murder if we offered to make them a part of the United States.

Posted by: J. Crozier | December 13, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

In response to EdA - If the majority of the Muslim world is Sunni, then I guess we could argue that the Iraqi Shiites are desperate to create a place that is exclusively their own, and especially a place with oil wealth. And I continue to say to this day that the alliance between Moqtada Al-Sadr and Iran is a marriage of convenience - Iranians are Persians, and the fight between Persians and Arabs is only superseded by the fight between Sunnis and Shiites. This is why I support a withdrawal of American troops in Iraq - because our presence is focusing their hatred on us, and it is distracting them from their already deep divisions which kept them apart long before our involvement in their country.

Posted by: JK | December 13, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure I understand why this result is "surprising". The district has a large poor population (Democrat), a large Hispanic population (60%+ Democrat), the district was expanded to include a Democratic stronghold, the country's mood clearly changed, and the Democratic GOTV effort was very strong. The "Catholic" issue is/was virtually inconsequential. The immigration issue was enormous. Someone please explain why a Democratic win here would be unusual. And please don't talk about the GOP incumbancy, that didn't work around the country.

Posted by: BlueDog | December 13, 2006 11:59 AM | Report abuse

This outcome was a *little* surprising, but hardly to the degree that one should suspect its integrity. Polls had been favoring Bonilla but had been tightening rapidly in the days leading up to the vote.

By the way: the U.S. didn't get Texas from Mexico. The U.S. got Texas from Texas; we fought for and won our own independence. We probably wouldn't mind having it back, either. Texas would be pretty hot stuff as an independent nation, and the U.S. would suffer mightily from the loss.

Seriousness aside, I remember several years ago during one of Quebec's periodic tantrums when it looked as though Canada might actually split over it, people were speculating that Rump Canada might fall apart and some or all of it might just join the U.S. I can't really see it anytime soon, though--they think we're coarse and loud. They'd always be sulking in the other room rather than participating in public life.

Posted by: Staley | December 13, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Texas is indeed turning more purple. Even with the redrawn district it was assumed to be safely Republican. Also, Democrats made some inroads elsewhere, especially in Dallas County, where over 50 incumbent Republicans lost to the Democratic wave. What happened in Dallas this year scared many Texas Republicans more than anything that happened on the national stage. Bonilla's loss will only make these fears increase.

Posted by: Zathras | December 13, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Many posts for this blog deviate from the Dem's unexpected win in Texas, so why should mine be different.

A fact that I have not heard anyone note is the Sunni world population outnumbers Shiites by 85% to 15%. Iran is a notable exception, which is only 9% Sunni. Most neighbors of Iraq, Saudi Arabia - Syria - Jordon, etc., fall in the 85% or above Sunni. Does anyone agree this may be one of the strongest reasons they support the Sunni's and make the US support of a Shiite backed government near impossible.

Religion is the greatest motivator in that part of the world. How do you defeat that kind of thinking.

Posted by: EdA | December 13, 2006 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Here are some of Frist's proudest moments:

"We passed legislation securing the right to prayer in U.S. military academies.

"We passed legislation protecting the Mount Soledad Memorial Cross.

"We passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, which allows for the 10- fold increase of FCC fines for indecency violations.

"We passed Cord blood legislation that harnesses the power of stem cells in cord blood to develop new cures for life-threatening diseases.

"We passed the Fetus Farming Prohibition Act, which prohibits the gestation of fetal tissue in order to use it for research.

"We passed the Stem Cell Research Alternatives bill, which provides federal funding for a variety of stem cell research that do not involve destroying human embryos."

They didn't do squat about little things like jobs, health care, the environment or performing even a shred of oversight on the executive branch of government -- but, by God, they saved a cross, cracked down on those ten-thousand-acre fetus farms springing up all over Kansas and made sure TV stations will pay through the nose if we ever see Janet Jackson's nipple again.

Posted by: repugh 'achievements' | December 13, 2006 10:51 AM | Report abuse

'McCain made a tactical error when he asked for a specific number recently. If they give him what he wants and it fails, which it will, his rabid support for the war becomes a huge liability:

Mr. McCain contends that the war in Iraq is worth fighting and is worth winning. He has said consistently from the start of the conflict that the only way to prevail is to send enough soldiers to do the job. His current proposal is to send 20,000 additional troops in hopes of bringing Baghdad and the restive western provinces under control.

The alternative, he said, is humiliation for the United States and disaster for Iraq.

He's going to be left with no option but to call for even more escalation going into '08 if they do this. I can't help but wonder about the political implications. Perhaps it's just a coincidence that the number is the same and that Abizaid famously said recently that the extra 20,000 weren't necessary. If the Bush administration now "gives" McCain exactly what he's asked for they are effectively passing off the war to him. McCain is positioning himself to be Lyndon Johnson in this thing without even becoming president.'

Posted by: drindl | December 13, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"surprisingly convincing victory"

Only a surprise to someone who expected otherwise. From Mexicali's to TexMex to surnor, no matter how you label it, there's been a mixed and multilingual culture thriving in this very Congressional district for a couple centuries. It is a real study in our successful and generally peaceful multi-cultural American identity.

Hard to focus on one part of such a big story today, but my take is that the old and abiding ethnic tilt and balance of this district makes all our racial and national posturing seem a bit naive.

Here's a provocative thought: maybe you are all wrong, instead of giving Texas to Mexico, or Iowa to Canada, we should offer some sort of "associate statehood" status like Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands enjoy, to other nations and neighbors.

I suggest a post-Castro Cuba would be #51, Mexico #52, Costa-rica #53, Guatemala #54, British Columbia #55, Quebec #56, and then load up the rest of Canada, and from there just keep growing south.

Anyone else vote for Columbia as the 59th State?

One common dollar, and a trade system that promotes actual fair-trade in the true sense of the word, capitolism as it was imagined to be, not this thinly veiled monopolism we now suffer...

And don't stop until we have 100 or more states, instead of 50.

Then we would truly be "The United States of America" then the entire western hemisphere would be one big free-trade zone with a 6-lane highway running from the southern tip of South America to the coldest point due north in Canada. (From Salina, Kansas, just draw a line due south and due north, the road is already there) Then we can line that highway with very well-controlled trade zones, and make sure there's a flat tax, that EVERYONE pays for all trade transaction in those zones.., without loophooles for special interests.

The earth we walk on could be our only "border," in the truth of the matter, all our local, state, national and international boundaries are lines on paper, not on the planet, they just define our fear and our greed and our need to find identity that actually dwells in our hearts and souls, and not in some geographic location.

Now what do y'all think about that idea?

Posted by: JEP | December 13, 2006 10:42 AM | Report abuse

i can assure you if there was a voting machine problem, repugs would be screeching their lungs out..

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

So an election goes exactly opposite of all the polls leading up to election day. Is there some kind of voting irregularity here? Or is that just when Republicans win in a surprise result?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

That sure does sound like a big surprise in San Antonio's district runoff. Another front on which DeLay fought and had it backfire. I've always felt that once you resort to namecalling, like - pinko - you've already lost your argument. If the facts and your opinions cannot be stated without using namecalling, you identify yourself right away as someone without an opinion that can be discussed using reason.

Posted by: Craig | December 13, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Looking at some of the articles lately appears that the media has finally got some "backbone" and are actually reporting what is going on and are no longer scared to death of GW and his crowd. Just wondering if the election a short time ago had anything to do with it?.

Posted by: lylepink | December 13, 2006 9:41 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON -- The nation's public health system -- the first line of defense against pandemic flu, a bioterror attack or other widespread health emergency -- remains woefully unprepared to protect the American public, according to a report out Tuesday.
The annual study by Trust for America's Health found that emergency health preparedness remains inadequate five years after the 9/11 and anthrax attacks of 2001 raised fears of bioterrorism. The study also comes one year after Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need for the government to provide health care quickly when thousands of people are in need.

"The nation is nowhere near as prepared as we should be for bioterrorism, bird flu and other health disasters," said Jeff Levi, director of the trust. As a whole, Americans face unnecessary and unacceptable levels of risk."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:24 AM | Report abuse

TUESDAY, Dec. 12 (HealthDay) -- More Americans are forced to spend more of their family income on health care, and more middle-class Americans are joining the ranks of those spending a disproportionate share of their budget on such expenses, a new study finds.
An estimated 50 million Americans under the age of 65 live in families that spend more than 10 percent of their family income on health care, an increase of more than 10 million people over the past decade.

"We know health-care costs are rising, we know premiums are rising to reflect greater health-care costs, but we didn't know how they're actually affecting family's budgets," said study co-author Jessica Banthin.

"There's been a large increase in the number of people living with these kinds of financial burdens," added Banthin, director of the division of modeling and simulation at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Carol Pryor, a senior policy analyst at The Access Project in Boston, which works with local communities to improve health and health-care access, said, "This reinforces findings that have been accumulating about the increasing amount of medical debt and the financial burden that goes along with it. We can be sure some expenses are turning into debt. This has access consequences as well as serious financial consequences, such as using up savings or not being able to pay for food or utilities."

Health-care costs have been outpacing the rest of the U.S. economy for years.

Posted by: The result of republican policies | December 13, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

'The administration is also debating whether to back a Shiite government in the conflict with the Sunnis, or to seek a new strategy for national reconciliation between Sunni and Shiite factions that would be intended to expand the political base of Mr. Maliki, at Mr. Sadr's expense.

Some members of the administration, including some in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, have argued that the administration needs to provide clear support to a strong Shiite majority government, but the State Department, led by Condoleezza Rice, views that as a recipe for perpetual civil war. Ms. Rice has instead advocated a proposal intended to woo centrist Sunni leaders to Mr. Maliki's side, including provincial leaders. '

Total fubar. keystone kops. This is what happens when you put morons in charge.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:20 AM | Report abuse

25,000 US Troops Dead Or Injured In Iraq...

Posted by: New Benchmark | December 13, 2006 9:17 AM | Report abuse

'In its version, White House to Delay Iraq Shift Until 2007, the New York Times reports that the WH decided not to have The Decider decide any new decisions about Iraq next week, as the WH indicated previously. CNNs Cafferty explains it all here, thanks to Crooks and Liars. Apparently, The Decider-in-Chief thinks this decision is too complicated, what with all the factors to be considered. Alas, had he only decided that before we got in. But I suppose this new thinking part, if that's what they're doing, is progress compared to the lack of thinking through the consequences, and simplistic, misleading slogans they've been trotting out as "policy" for three years. But when these guys "think," it just makes everyone nervous:

The absence of an immediate new American plan for Iraq is adding to anxiety among Iraq's moderate neighbors, who identify with the country's minority Sunni Arab population, and has opened the way for new proposals from many quarters, in Iraq as well as in Washington, about the next steps. But several administration officials said Mr. Bush had concluded that the decisions about troops, political pressure and diplomacy were too complicated to rush in order to lay out a plan to the nation before Christmas.

Of course, the press is asking whether this all means the President doesn't know what he's doing, but Tony Snow assured them the delay only means they've got some complicated things to think about before they launch their new strategy, "Shock and Awe," . . .er, "End of Hostilities; Mission Accomplished," . . . er, "Strategy for Victory" . . . er, "Stay the Course, . . . NOT" . . . "Adjust Our Tactics" . . ."Benchmarks But Not Timetables," . . . "A New Way Forward." Yeah, that's it.

--Yes, the war is going badly--time for a new slogan! 'a new way forward' doesn't cut it... sounds too mao. hope about a New Five Year Plan -- oops, no i guess not. Anybody got any ideas for the Decider? Cause, clearly, he ain't got any of his own.

Posted by: drindl | December 13, 2006 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I must say I am a little surprised but good news for Dems.

Posted by: RMill | December 13, 2006 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes on texas back to mexico! And send william too! You'll like it there, kid -- it's deregulated like crazy, the air and water in most cities is poisoned by industrial waste, their's even more fraud and corruption in government than we have here, the poor are really really poor and a handful of bureaucrats are filthy rich. A republican paradise!

Posted by: drindl | December 13, 2006 9:11 AM | Report abuse

McCain's position, at least, is sincerely held, as befits a candidate whose calling card is his integrity. Still, integrity in the pursuit of fantasy is no virtue. Lee Hamilton's estimate that we'd need to deploy an additional 50,000 to 100,000 troops "on a sustained basis" to reestablish order in Iraq sounds about right -- putting aside the question of what the Sunnis and Shiites would do when the troops finally left. But we don't have the troops. Some Army and Marine units in Iraq are on their third deployment. Who else, exactly, would McCain deploy? Customs agents? The Woodcraft Rangers? The editors of the Weekly Standard?

There's also the little matter of waning public support for the war.

In the new Newsweek poll, 48 percent of Americans say they want U.S. forces home within a year; 67 percent want them back within two years. A scant 23 percent believe they should stay "as long as it takes to achieve U.S. goals."

The political problem for GOP aspirants is that the overwhelming majority of that 23 percent is Republican. In the same Newsweek poll, just 39 percent said that invading Iraq had been the right course of action, but fully 67 percent of Republicans still endorsed the invasion. And life being unfair, they're likely to be the ones who will vote in the '08 presidential primaries.

So what's a Republican presidential hopeful to do? Concede the votes of those Republicans who have given up on the war to Chuck Hagel, the Nebraska maverick who cannot possibly win the nomination but whose realism on the war could make him the only electable Republican if we're still in Iraq in late '08? Or will Mitt Romney (who was in China last week, far from the Baker-Hamilton debates) or some other GOP aspirant place a long-shot bet on the revival of Republican realism (hoping the party will recognize both the futility of the war and the frustration of the American public) and call for the return of our troops?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Where do the Republicans' likely 2008 presidential candidates come down on Iraq?

You might think that a decent regard for the opinions of their fellow citizens, as registered in last month's elections, would rouse them from their Bushian dreams of victory in what has become a savage intra-Islamic war where the very notion of an American triumph makes no sense whatever.

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You might think that, with the president's approval rating now sunk to near-Nixonian depths, Republican leaders, for their own good as well as their country's, might want to withdraw our men and women from Iraq before the next election.

But that would require the Republicans -- leaders and rank-and-file both -- to become a reality-based party. If their leading candidates are any indication, however, they're not yet willing to make that leap

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

To William, Instead of selling Vermont to Canada, I suggest that we cede Texas back to Mexico! Would solve all the illegal immigration problems and get rid of the idiot Texans who are messing up our country.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

'Does anybody have a good explanation for why the Saudi ambassador to the United States just resigned his post and left the country on a day's notice? Officials are giving various unconvincing explanations, the best of which is that, in the words of an unnamed embassy official, "He wants to spend more time with his family."

--It appears that even after the Saudi king summoned cheney to kneel before him, the kinng was still not happy with the situation in iraq and sent its ambassador home in a snit. Not that I care much for the saudis [and i do get sick of the way bush and cheney hold their hands and kiss and cuddle them]] if we lose all of our allies in the middle east we're going to have a heck of a time finding enough oil.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 9:03 AM | Report abuse

'Yes, the evidence is very straightforward. Today is the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a huge Mexican Catholic holiday, and this is a border district.'

If I'm not mistaken, Rodriguez is a catholic and Ciro a baptist. So it would certainly look as if the election was scheduled for a catholic holiday in order to depress their vote. Looks like a repug dirty trick that backfired....


Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

30 seats? I thought I had already counted a 30 seat pick-up for the Democrats. Did one of those narrow Democratic victories in Pennsylvania or Connecticut flip back to the Republicans after a recount? Maybe I made a counting mistake.

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 13, 2006 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Another unintended effect of Delay's redistricting is the weakness of the Texas delegation. They are 2nd term Republican congressmen, which means they have no seniority and are in the minoriy party.

Posted by: Joey | December 13, 2006 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Well, Delay left a legacy that the rest of the country will now have to experience. Since the Court basically said to Delay, go ahead buddy, redistrict at will except in violation of specific law, we will see more redistricting. Wait and watch, the Congressional races will be mostly decided in the State Houses. This was just the first example.

Posted by: Kamdog | December 13, 2006 8:21 AM | Report abuse

For Texas Dems this was a sweet, unexpected win, since polls last week had Bonilla up by ten points. The Repubs brought in Geo. P. Bush and the Dems Bill Clinton. Tom Delay continues to reap what he sowed, or to mix the metaphor, the Exterminator and his followers stepped in their own poison.

Posted by: buzz | December 13, 2006 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Texas is not turning purple, but this election shows that Texas could turn purple in 8 years, if the Latino population continues to grow and the post-Bush GOP continues to demonize immigrants. Latinos and blacks will comprise a near majority in Texas in about 20 years. This is why Bush and Rove spend so much time and effort courting Latinos while Bush was Governor (and as President). But Tancredo and the "no amnesty" crowd threaten to undo those gains. If so, and Latinos in Texas vote Democratic at the margin they do in California (80%), then the GOP is in trouble in Texas.

Posted by: Elrod | December 13, 2006 8:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the background info. As you might guess, I know squat about Hispanic culture.

Posted by: Nat | December 13, 2006 8:04 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Willy,
The Pinko stuff is pretty lame.
Rule 1: The first person in an argument who raises the term Nazi loses the argument
Rule 2: Someone uses the term Pinko.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure Sanders caucused with House Democrats, so while I guess it's technically a pick-up, it doesn't effect the number of votes Pelosi would get for Speaker, and leadership posts are the most significant part of picking up any individual seats.

Posted by: Lucas | December 13, 2006 5:29 AM | Report abuse


Bernie Sanders AIN'T a "pinko." He's really not that much more liberal than the typical northeastern Democrat. (More's the pity, as the old saying says.)

Posted by: SocraticGadfly | December 13, 2006 4:25 AM | Report abuse

Just tuned in to see and there it was. This is a great pickup for the dems and as stated earlier this is in effect due to the GW Administration and how little faith the home folks have in it.

Posted by: lylepink | December 13, 2006 3:41 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the evidence is very straightforward. Today is the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a huge Mexican Catholic holiday, and this is a border district. If you know anything at all about Democratic voters, you would know that they typically vote later in the day--after work--and holding this election on the Feast of Guadalupe forces the Mexican American worker to make a choice between going to church or voting.

Posted by: DaveCA | December 13, 2006 2:52 AM | Report abuse

I am particularly intrigued by the claim that the Texas Legislature was trying to supress Hispanic turnout by having the primary on a major religious holiday. Does anybody know if there is any evidence to back up this claim?

Posted by: Nat | December 13, 2006 2:30 AM | Report abuse

"Dare I say it, Is Texas actually starting to turn purple?" In case you didn't know, the district was recently redrawn in a way that put the Democrats at a far greater advantage than they were before the redrawing.

The DISTRICT may be purple, but it already was before the election.

Bonilla never won by Rangel-esque margins.

After the re-drawing the district became even more purple, perhaps even blue.

Also, I think a lot of Hispanics who would ordinarily vote for Bonilla were angry about the date of the runoff since they thought it was meant to suppress their votes. So a lot of GOP-leaning Hispanics and moderate Hispanics voted for the Dems out of anger over the date.

Of course, Iraq, corruption, etc were huge too.

But to suggest that Texas is purple is absolutely ludicrous.

With regard to Sanders, what has this country come to when a proud Pinko can be elected to the Senate?

Is there any way we can sell Vermont to Canada in exchange for the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, and Manitoba?

Lots of conservatives, coal, and oil, and minerals in Canada.

Only pinkos and Pat Leahy in VT.

Canada, would you like to trade?

Posted by: William | December 13, 2006 1:05 AM | Report abuse

"Dare I say it, Is Texas actually starting to turn purple?" In case you didn't know, the district was recently redrawn in a way that put the Democrats at a far greater advantage than they were before the redrawing.

The DISTRICT may be purple, but it already was before the election.

Bonilla never won by Rangel-esque margins.

After the re-drawing the district became even more purple, perhaps even blue.

Also, I think a lot of Hispanics who would ordinarily vote for Bonilla were angry about the date of the runoff since they thought it was meant to suppress their votes. So a lot of GOP-leaning Hispanics and moderate Hispanics voted for the Dems out of anger over the date.

Of course, Iraq, corruption, etc were huge too.

But to suggest that Texas is purple is absolutely ludicrous.

With regard to Sanders, what has this country come to when a proud Pinko can be elected to the Senate?

Is there any way we can sell Vermont to Canada in exchange for the Yukon Territory, Northwest Territory, and Manitoba?

Lots of conservatives, coal, and oil, and minerals in Canada.

Only pinkos and Pat Leahy in VT.

Canada, would you like to trade?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 13, 2006 1:05 AM | Report abuse

I am so happy Ciro is back. He was a great congressman for Texas when he was there earlier and he deserves this seat. A hearty congratulations to him!

Posted by: Jason P | December 13, 2006 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I am pleasantly surprised. Bush Burn has officially invaded Texas.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | December 13, 2006 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Schweet, Schweet, Schweet. Bonilla was a sitting duck ripe for a Dick Cheney hunting trip. Looks like he bagged one.
IF anyone doubts that Bonilla went down because the GOP message is dead in the water has not been awake since Nov. 7th. Until Iraq is settled, Bush and GOP will remain in trouble.

Posted by: Libetarian Dem | December 13, 2006 12:26 AM | Report abuse

Yes, the above poster is correct. That makes 31 seats picked up by the Democrats, Chris, not 30. I think maybe you are not including Bernie Sanders' seat as a pickup, which it is.

Posted by: Ohio guy | December 13, 2006 12:24 AM | Report abuse

that'd be 31 because bernie sanders was replaced by a democrat.

Posted by: 31 | December 13, 2006 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Wow, surprising result. Only goes to show what money and negative ads can do, which doesn't bode well for 2008...

Dare I say it, Is Texas actually starting to turn purple?

Posted by: JayPe | December 13, 2006 12:02 AM | Report abuse

What fun to watch the Republicans continue to implode. The fact that Bonilla lost in one of Delay's "safe" Republican districts is especially delicious. The Hammer turns out to be a feather.

Posted by: Mike 234 | December 12, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

What fun to watch the Republicans continue to implode. The fact that Bonilla lost in one of Delay's "safe" Republican districts is especially delicious. The Hammer turns out to be a feather.

Posted by: Mike 234 | December 12, 2006 11:58 PM | Report abuse

What fun to watch the Republicans continue to implode. The fact that Bonilla lost in one of Delay's "safe" Republican districts is especially delicious. The Hammer turns out to be a feather.

Posted by: Mike 234 | December 12, 2006 11:57 PM | Report abuse

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