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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Wind At Their Backs

For all those Democrats worried to distraction about the tone and duration of the Clinton-Obama contest, there was a timely reminder in Illinois over the weekend of the fundamental advantage Democrats may enjoy in November. In a special election to replace former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Democrat Bill Foster won a solid victory over Republican Jim Oberweis, a self-funding candidate who also benefitted from a million dollars in RNC expenditures (roughly a third of the national committee’s cash-on-hand).
This is a strongly though not overwhelmingly Republican district won ten times by Hastert, and carried by Bush with 55% of the vote in 2004. Foster ran about ten percent ahead of John Kerry’s 2004 performance there.
You can read about the special election at just about every site in the progressive blogosphere. But you might also want to check out John Fund’s assessment in the Wall Street Journal today, which suggests the results might well be a November harbinger similar to those of special congressional elections prior to the “wave” elections of 1974 and 1994.

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