That makes three very significant elections where Democrats have won in districts that went heavily in favor of Bush in 2004.
Democrat Wins House Seat in Mississippi
By ADAM NOSSITER
Published: May 14, 2008
COFFEEVILLE, Miss. — Democrats scored a remarkable upset victory on Tuesday in a special Congressional election in this conservative Southern district, sending a clear signal of national problems ahead for Republicans in the fall.
The Democrat, Travis Childers, a local courthouse official, pulled together a coalition of blacks, who turned out heavily, and old-line “yellow dog” Democrats, to beat his Republican opponent, Greg Davis, the mayor of Southaven, a Memphis suburb. With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 54 percent for Mr. Childers to 46 percent for Mr. Davis.
The seat had been in Republican hands since 1995, and the district, largely rural and stretching across the northern top of Mississippi, had been considered one of the safest in the country for President Bush’s party, as he won here with 62 percent of the vote in 2004.
A fairly remarkable statement from the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Tom Cole, about tonight's special election in Mississippi. He's warning his incumbents and challengers: change or die.
“We are disappointed in tonight’s election results. Though the NRCC, RNC
and Mississippi Republicans made a major effort to retain this seat, we came up
“Tonight’s election highlights two significant challenges Republicans must
overcome this November. First, Republicans must be prepared to campaign against
Democrat challengers who are running as conservatives, even as they try to join
a liberal Democrat majority. Though the Democrats’ task will be more difficult
in a November election, the fact is they have pulled off two special election
victories with this strategy, and it should be a concern to all
“Second, the political environment is such that voters remain
pessimistic about the direction of the country and the Republican Party in
general. Therefore, Republicans must undertake bold efforts to define a forward
looking agenda that offers the kind of positive change voters are looking for.
This is something we can do in cooperation with our Presidential nominee, but
time is short.
“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.”