I am not sure how people say things like this with a straight face:
What does a special election in Massachusetts have to do with next year’s battle for Congress?
A lot, Republicans hope. The Democrat beat the Republican in Tuesday’s contest, but the GOP sees victory in defeat.
The widow of the late Sen. Paul Tsongas won the special election to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Marty Meehan. The Massachusetts Democrat resigned from Congress earlier this year to become the Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Niki Tsongas defeated Republican Jim Ogonowski, a former Air Force pilot whose brother was piloting one of the hijacked airliners that crashed into the World Trade Center on 9/11, in a hard fought battle for the state’s 5th Congressional District, which partially borders New Hampshire.
Tsongas, whose late husband once held the same congressional seat before being elected to the Senate, topped Ogonowski 51% to 46%.
And that’s what the Republicans are crowing about.
Massachusetts is a very blue state and this district is dominated by Democrats. It overwhelming went for Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election and John Kerry four years later. Meehan won 67 percent of the vote in his 2004 re-election bid, and was unopposed last year.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, says, “Democrats have a reason to worry. In a race that should have been won in a walk, Democrats were forced to funnel a massive amount of resources and dispatch an all-star cast of liberal icons at the 11th hour in order to ensure victory. As their approval ratings have shown, people have already grown angry with the Democrat-led Congress. In a little over nine months, they have gone from being perceived as agents of change and the answer to the problem in Washington to becoming the actual problem. Jim Ogonowski, while unsuccessful in his bid to change Washington, just opened the door for future Republican candidates seeking a path to victory in 2008.”
A special election with depressed voter turnout with a boring Democratic candidate who was, by all accounts, a horrible campaigner, against a charismatic 9/11 linked retail politician is really not the most accurate prediction of future elections.
I mean, get excited if you want, Republicans, but my bets are the Democrats will take Massachussetts in 2008.