Mississippi turning

The most interesting election Tuesday night wasn't in West Virginia.

By Joan Walsh
May 14, 2008 11:59PM (UTC)
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Last night I said I'd write more once the election results were in, but there's not much more to say. Hillary Clinton's 41-point margin in West Virginia was impressive, but probably can't change the overall momentum of the campaign. By far the most interesting election result Tuesday night was in Mississippi, where Democrat Travis Childers beat Republican Greg Davis by 8 points in a district that President Bush carried by 25 points in 2004. Special-election wins in Illinois and Louisiana were good news for Democrats, but Childers' unlikely victory suggests Republicans are in for a historic thumping in November.

The Republican in charge of the party's congressional elections, Tom Cole, seemed to wave a white flag last night, warning his party: "I encourage all Republican candidates, whether incumbents or challengers, to take stock of their campaigns and position themselves for challenging campaigns this fall by building the financial resources and grassroots networks that offer them the opportunity and ability to communicate, energize and turn out voters this election." In other words, every man for himself.


Of special note, efforts to tie Childers to Obama seemed to backfire. If the Rev. Wright issue didn't work in a safe GOP district in Mississippi, I'm not sure where it will work. Another note to Republicans: Send Dick Cheney back to an undisclosed location through January 2009. His visit sure didn't help Davis.

I don't think Democrats can afford to take November for granted, as readers of this blog know well. But even I'm having an optimistic day. I'll be talking about all of this on MSNBC's "Hardball" tonight.

Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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2008 Elections