Portents: Democrats Pick Up Illinois 14

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U.S. House - District 14 - Special General
Illinois - 548 of 568 Precincts Reporting - 96%
Bill Foster (D) 49,488 52% (Winner)
Jim Oberweis (R) 44,888 48%

The DCCC is spinning this as the first evidence that 2008 will be a banner year for Democratic pick-ups in the House and further evidence that Republicans are losing their grips on exurban districts in the Midwest.

Democrat Bill Foster was by no means an ideal candidate, and Republican Jim Oberweis ran a dastardly campaign. But the dynamics of the district in the far western suburbs of Chicago should have favored even a poorly-campaigning Republican, and yet... Note that Barack Obama taped an ad for Foster and John McCain campaigned for Oberweis. Republicans spent millions to hold the seat.

A senior Republican official tonight called the loss a "disaster."

The National Republican Congressional Committee is looking to the Democratic presidential race for their salvation. Literally.

“The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend. In fact, there has been no national trend this entire election season. The presidential election is evidence of that. The Democratic candidates are trading election victories from week to week and the nomination could hinge on a few news cycles. The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellwether of what happens this fall.”

Huh?

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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