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Posted by on Jun 7, 2006 in At TMV | 19 comments

Republican Bilbray’s Win of Bellwether Seat Means “Caution” To Democrats (UPDATED)

Just a few weeks ago, many Democrats were cautiously optimistic that local school board member Francine Busby could win the House seat once held by disgraced and jailed Republican Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

Now, in the wake of the news that former Housemember and GOPer Brian Bilbray has won the seat by some 5,000 votes, Democrats should look at the results — and be cautious. Here’s what happened:

A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall’s vote.

Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious special election race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray had 56,130 votes, or 50 percent. Busby trailed with 51,292 votes, or 45 percent. “I think that we’re going back to Washington,” Bilbray told cheering supporters.

The race — one of dozens of contests Tuesday in eight states — was viewed by Democrats as an opportunity to capture a solidly Republican district and build momentum on their hopes to capture control of the House.

Those are the bare-bones facts. But the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that (a) Bilbray wasn’t a Republican beloved by all Republicans (too liberal) and (b) Busby made a political blunder that will go down in political history as one of biggest ever made in San Diego Count, timed at the very worst time:

Bilbray is a political veteran whose career was spent in the South Bay, as mayor of Imperial Beach, as a county supervisor and then as a member of Congress from 1995 to 2001.

PERSONAL NOTE: As a reporter on the San Diego Union I covered Brian Bilbray from time to time on some stories. He had been an up and coming political star in Imperial Beach, where he eventually became mayor, riding on the force of his personality, the fact a lot of people simply liked him — and his image as a surfer who got involved in politics.

So Bilbray was NOT just another politico from the Republican or Democratic party: even when he left Congress he had a reservoir of good will in San Diego County — where has had high name recognition for many years. MORE:

After losing his seat to Susan Davis, he became a lobbyist, spending some of his time working for FAIR, an anti-illegal-immigration group. Bilbray moved to his mother’s Carlsbad home last year, shortly after Cunningham’s troubles were revealed.

In San Diego there’s an Air America station and then some other stations that broadcast conservative radio talk shows. Immigration has been a huge, ongoing issue in San Diego where residents did not need Congress to turn it into a hot-button issue.

So given Cunningham’s district, Bilbray was on the “right” side of the immigration issue going into the election. But that might have not been enough to turn the tide for him, given the fact he wasn’t pure enough for some Republicans. MORE:

Busby is an 18-year Cardiff resident and has served on the Cardiff school board since 2000. She ran against Cunningham in 2004, and after losing by a wide margin, immediately started campaigning for 2006.

This year’s race pitted a Democrat against a Republican seen by many in his own party as too liberal on social issues, including abortion rights, which he supports. There were nasty TV attack ads financed by both Republican and Democratic national parties and visits by high-profile party leaders.

Despite a substantial Republican voter-registration advantage – 44 Republican, 30 percent Democrat and 22 percent independent – polls suggested a dead heat.

So Busby went into the race with voters who might normally tune her out in that district willing to give her a listen. And what happened next?

Busby focused her campaign on ethics and the “culture of corruption� in Washington – a popular theme among Democratic congressional candidates this year.

But immigration become the defining issue, reflecting its standing atop public opinion surveys in California.

Busby supports the U.S. Senate’s immigration bill, which calls for a comprehensive approach to immigration, including a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants along with enforcement measures.

That bill is pushed by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., which led to an awkward situation for Bilbray, who has said the bill would lead to “amnesty.� McCain and others dispute that characterization and McCain canceled a scheduled appearance at a Bilbray fundraiser last week, though he said he continued to support the Republican candidate.

Bilbray supports the harder-line House immigration bill, focused exclusively on enforcement, and has said he favors building a fence from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

That means on this issue Bilbray had many voters INCLINED to vote for him — but unsure if they would. MORE:

Late last week, Busby found herself doing damage control for a verbal blunder – telling a Spanish-speaker at a meeting of mostly Latinos that “You don’t need papers for voting.â€? Republicans seized on her comments, and she later said she flubbed her words and did not mean to advocate illegal immigrants voting, but that she wanted to say people not registered to vote could help her campaign.

By Monday, the GOP had launched a radio ad that said, “That’s right. Francine Busby says you don’t need papers to vote.â€?

That was truly the ball game.

One local poll showed that, after her remark, undecided and independent voters started breaking in a big way — for Brian Bilbray.

Remember: Bilbray was NOT an unknown quantity. And while many Democratic partisans opposed and disliked him because he was a Republican, Bilbray’s career in fact was built on his getting the votes from some folks who were not Republicans. He was not a hated political figure in San Diego County.

When Busby made her poor choice of words what happened? She confirmed the latent fears many in that district had about her (they had voted against her before) but about Democrats in general (they were on a different wavelength if they were seemingly encouraging illegals to vote for them).

Today, Republicans and conservative talk show hosts will be touting Bilbray’s win as PROOF that the Democrats probably won’t win Congress.

And Democrats will be analyzing the race, probably pointing to the whopping advantage Republicans had in spending.

Both are fallacious, politically inspired, and CYA explanations for what this race means and its lessons. Here are a few:

FOR REPUBLICANS: Even in a district where you had a disgraced candidate who apparently could not LIVE without tons of money, freebies from defense contractors and an antique toilet on which to sit, you won with a candidate who was NOT a classic Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity Republican and had some proven appeal with non-Republican voters. Yes, your immigration ads and the focus on immigration helped your candidate — but that might not have been enough if the Democratic candidate had not helped your candidate.

FOR DEMOCRATS: You simply can’t assume that voters are shocked and repelled by the behavior of a Republican whose biggest worry these days will be dropping the soap. You have several BIG lessons from this race:

  • Democrats cannot simply assume that being the anti-GOP or anti-Bush is going to be enough. Unless you want to only get Democratic votes you have to think through what it’s going to take to win over (a) swing voters (who can make a difference; they’re not called “swing voters” because they listen to ancient Benny Goodman recordings) (b) wavering Republicans who MIGHT take a deep breath and vote for you if you do not give ammunition to Republicans who will use it to paint you as a stereotype of a Democratic liberal.
  • Watch what you say and make sure you ONLY say things you would be proud to shout from a rooftop or on national TV. In these days of camcorders, tape recorders and the Internet if you say something that can even be CONSTRUED as something offensive to a group whose votes you need that you would NOT say in the middle of a televised debate, you’re history.
  • Don’t get caught up in thinking weblog readers, weblog writers and Air America Radio are going to win the election for you. A LOT of voters don’t spend time huddled over their computers and don’t know Kos from CostCo or InstaPundit from Instant Rice (or TMV from TB, although some would say the two are similar). We are now seeing a pattern in some of these races that Democrats hoped to win: for all of its hype, the Internet is NOT winning elections. It is NOT going to be enough to have the choir pitch in and work for you. You need to convince some SKEPTICAL members of the audience who might not like the choir to JOIN the choir and pitch in.

Did Brian Bilbray win because he had the right issues and the right campaign? To a certain extent. But Francine Busby helped him win by making the worst possible comment at the worst possbile time in the worst possible district.

Did the GOP in the Bilbray/Busby race prove talk about the Democrats possibly taking the house is all hype?

If that’s the GOP view, then in November it may be the Republicans’ turn to wake up and see some election results and wish they had done things differently.

If the race comes down to the GOP versus the anti-GOP, the Democrats will be disappointed in November. If the races come down to the GOP versus a party offering a clear alternative and also seeking out and embracing independent and disgruntled GOP voters by running campaigns offering specific ideas — and reassurances that Democrats do not fit stereotypes created by conservatives and by themselves — then Democrats could have a happy election morning after.

FOOTNOTE: Bilbray will have to start campaigning almost immediately for his November re-election. That allows Busby a rematch. Will Democrats give it to her?

CORRECTION: Captain Ed Morrissey emailed us to note that the above “Footnote” is actually wrong (we REGRET THE ERROR and we thank him for it):

The Democrats have *already* given Busby the rematch. She and Bilbray ran for the nomination in the separate primary race for this seat, in a separate ballot choice.

That gives her time to try to undo the last-minute damage her comments made to her campaign. But she will still have to look at the issue of getting cross-over votes. Democrats in this district (and throughout the country) will not win elections if they only get Democratic voters. Bilbray has a good chance of keeping his seat because he has an ability to get more than hardcore Republican voters.

Some Other Reaction:

Matt Stoller:

Brian Bilbray ran to the left of Francine Busby. I know it sounds weird, but he did. That he won on a progressive platform is biggest story of the night. Busby’s loss was a loss no matter how it’s spun, but it’s also a clear sign that the Democrats must become a progressive party. Busby ran the ultimate DC campaign, downplaying ideology and party, and making the campaign about competence, corruption, and issues. I don’t expect this to wake up DC insiders, but you never know….

…..The lesson from last night should be clear. Hiding from progressives and the left will lead to Democratic losses in 2006. Running as a progressive will lead to victory. Running on ‘issues’ and ‘competence’ instead of character will lead to Democratic losses. Talking about how the ‘American people’ care about gas prices and not gay marriage is insulting and loser politics. Running on bullet points is wrong. Running on character is right. Busby was no progressive, so she lost. She got the indy votes, but couldn’t turn out progressive voters and couldn’t keep in conservative voters.

Hugh Hewett:

Border security trumped “culture of corruption,” and my guess is that Michael Barone will conclude, as he did after Ohio’s primary, that the GOP base may not be happy, but they are smart and know the effects of a Democratic majority on the war on terror and the economy, and thus keep turning up. The incredible levels of venom on the left are also very off-putting to average voters, and the inability of the Democratic leadership to separate itself from the virulent strain of netroots have become a real handicap.

The Busby-Bilbray race was the one Washington insiders were watching most closely, looking for early signs of a Democratic tsunami in November in the wake of the Duke Cunningham scandal. Republicans spent a whopping $4.5 million to turn out 60,000 votes in a district that cast 170,000 votes for George Bush in 2004. Busby gained 18 points from her 22-point defeat in 2004. Still, Busby might have scored a huge upset if she had not carelessly accepted the help of undocumented volunteers at the very end of the campaign – an issue that was caught on tape and used by rightwing talk show hosts in the final days of the campaign to mobilize the rightwing base.

Ed Morrissey:

Even with Cunningham’s conviction of the worst kind of corruption, the Democrats could not poll more than 46% of the vote in this district with all of their national effort. Thanks to California gerrymandering, CA-50 appears shaken but not stirred.

However, it does show that in terms of ready popularity, Bilbray has no secure lock on this district. He has to run again in the November midterms to win a second term after this brief initial term as Representative. His opponent? Francine Busby, who sailed to her primary win against the Democrats in this unusual election. He has five months to improve his standing and make this a secure seat for the GOP again.

Firedog Lake: “I’m no expert in election strategy, believe me, but it seems to me Democrats need to walk away from the assumption that voter disgust with Republican incompetence and corruption is going to carry them to Congress.”

Political Scientist Steven Taylor: “Heck, it is a Republican district, surely this is the expected result. Everyone in the press, repeat after me: one event does not a trend make. If anything, can we stop calling these things “bellwethersâ€?? Please?”

–Kos has a detailed analysis. One of his points is that this election proves Democrats are not motivated to go out and vote. Kos’ conclusion is that more than ever 2006 will be a “base” election and that the danger is posed by Democrats who don’t focus on the base:

2006 will be a base election — the party that wins is the party that gets more pf its partisans to the polls. Busby worked hard to win the independent vote. And like Kerry in 2004, she probably won it. But it does no good when the other side gets more of its voters out to the polls. And a milquetoast campaign that hides partisan divisions and stresses “competence” will not inspire our partisans to come out and vote. The Republicans, on the other hand, made sure to rile up their base. Busby helped with her unfortunate comments that were so easily twisted out of context by the right wing noise machine, but they’ll do that to every single one of our candidates. And if a Democrat doesn’t provide the easy ammo, it doesn’t matter. They’ll simply make it up.

James Joyner:

Given the money spent, having the Republican barely hold a once-solid seat is an indication at the depths to which the Cunningham and Abramoff scandals have rocked the party. And this is after Busby shot herself in the foot with some ill-advised statements about immigration last week. Of course, nominating a congressman-turned-lobbyist to take the seat of a congressman forced from office after taking lobbyist bribes might not have been the ideal strategy from a GOP standpoint, either.

Glenn Reynolds (his updates included):

I tend to think that special elections are generally less important as barometers than punditry usually suggests. I suspect that will be the Democratic line today, too. . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails that this makes the Kos Krowd 0 for 20. I haven’t been counting — can this be right?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mike Krempasky thinks that’s wrong, and it’s 0 for 19.

Hotline On Call: “While Busby’s “papers” comment will get a lot of blame, was there ever a chance she could top 45 percent? The trick the Dems needed was to make 45 a winning number. It’s possible the “papers” comment helped Bilbray rally conservatives.”

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  • Pyst

    Looks like to me SD voted for a liberal republican, that narrowly won even after a massive gaffe by the even more liberal democrat. Now how does this warrant a caution for democrats? Ok caution, don’t say anything massively stupid a day before the polls open? This “see don’t get uppity” or “gotcha haha” I get from this post isn’t justified considering this is a very heavily republican conservative area that went centerist, and almost liberal barring a bad mistake, so I don’t see this cautionary message to be bourne out in this particular race at all.

  • Joe

    The big change in the polls didn’t really happen until she made her remark about not needing papers to vote. That’s when you saw the independents break. To win she needed to get the independent voters and peel off voters who had voted for Cunningham. No one has ever called Randy Cunningham, who was re-elected in that district many tines, a liberal Republican. So the district in which Francine ran was a conservative Republican one but it was clear they were willing to look at other options. Once she made that comment, it’s clear, she confirmed the stereotypes built up after many years about Democrats. She lost those GOPers plus some independent voters. I have to stress again the fact that Bilbray is a known quantity in San Diego County. I’ve watched him since I came to San Diego in 1982 and he is frequently quoted in the papers, is often on newscasts when they ened a quote and this has been the case in his many political incarnations. He wasn’t just a Republican plucked out of a law firm to run in that district.

  • Elrod

    Busby simply had no margin for error. That’s why her statement hurt her so bad. But this is a district with a 44-30-26 (R-D-I) party ratio and Bilbray only won by 5 points. That means that if both parties turned out in equal force, and Dems and Republicans didn’t cross party lines, then Busby won over 70% of Independents. If that trend continues elsewhere, the Democrats will win in a landslide. Few districts have a higher Republican party registration edge than CA-50. I still think she would have lost even without the papers gaffe. This had the makings of Mean Jean Schmidt v. Paul Hackett all over again.

  • Elrod

    Hotline Blog makes a great point that we are all missing. Busby was unlikely to ever top 45 percent. Hotline

    The way for her to win was to get right wingers to vote for the independent candidate. It turns out the independent far right candidate got 5 percent, which wasn’t enough from Bilbray to make a difference. Her papers comment may have rallied conservatives to vote for Bilbray instead of the Independent wingnut. That probably accounts for the difference, not moderate Independents jumping to Bilbray. CA-50 is a very conservative district. Nearly all non-conservatives voted for Busby. Her papers comment didn’t change that. But it did help consolidate the opposition behind Bilbray. Joe, do you agree with this, being a San Diego native?

  • Joe

    It is a very conservative district. If you read the newspaper reports after the Cunningham scandal broke a lot of his longtime supporters were disgusted. She could have gotten votes from some Cunningham supporters; I dont’ agree that not any of them would have voted for her. I’m sure she got almost all of the nonconservatives who voted. But that is NOT going to be how the Democrats win a house of Congress or the White House. If Democrats think only getting all Democrats to vote for them is going to be a formual for getting back power then they will be wandering in the political desert for many years. You can do that without selling your political soul — or putting your foot firmly in your mouth.

  • AustinRoth

    Ok, to summarize:

    If Busby won, it would have been a signal of the coming end of the GOP and Bush; a complete, clear and total refutation of Bush and their politics.

    However, as Bilbray won, all it showed was because he wasn’t a ‘classic’ Republican, it either means nothing, or it is a signal of the coming end of the GOP and Bush; a complete, clear and total refutation of Bush and their politics.

    Heads I win, tails you lose.

  • K. Gregory

    Joe makes it clear that she was running against someone who had high name recognition and in a conservative district but if she had run differently voters were open to a change. Instead she made a comment that confirmed what some people who normally vote Republicans fear about Democrats and perhaps put too much faith in assuming voters would want to vote against the Republicans, as opposed to giving voters a reason to vote for her and her party. That’s the big danger for the Democrats. Just not being Republicans isn’t going to help them rewin one or more houses of Congress. Also, their presidential candidates aren’t going to coast into the White House by just running as not being like George Bush. You have to look at this campaign as a bungled chance. It’s hard to believe the Democrats will let her run against Bilbray in November because she now carries some baggage. Bilbray will probably be in that seat for a very long time because he does have that cross over appeal. He is the one who got Republican votes but also harvested votes from some voters who are not registered Republicans. That’s what Democrats have to do if they want to win elections. All of the huffing and puffing about the “netwroots” and how the Internet is going to transform politics may be just that if counting the votes that are cast matters. Bull Moose has warned about the Democrats letting their party’s course be determined by bloggers. As Joe notes there is little evidence that the blogs are winning elections. Busby was a big issue on many of them. Democrats need to get their own voters and also other voters. Just getting Democrats to vote for Democratic candidates will not win elections. Her comment was truly unfortunate and she probably did not mean how it sounded. But in a campaign you have to be careful not to give your opponent not just ammunition but a gun and pull the trigger for him. She did just that.

  • Joe, you’re opening to this post is somewhat confusing. Bilbray did not win “by” 51,000 votes; he could be said to have won by receiving around 51,000 votes.

    This was a close race.

    True, the quotes you provide make the facts clear, still, Bilbray’s win was not the rout which your opening implies.

    I appreciate much of the rest of what you point out, including facts like Bilray’s name recognition, and others which undermine the easy not exactly “moderate” message that Republican triumphalists have been spreading in other comment threads I’ve visited – that Bilbray’s win is a harbinger of the inability of Americans deeply dissatisfied with the direction this congress and this administration have and are taking this country to effect change through the ballot box.

    If that proves to be true in November, it will be a sad and a dangerous day for this country.

    It’s true that Busby’s statement was a gift to her opposition, although, as Californians ought to know, she couldn’t have been talking about illegal immigrants being able to vote “without citzenship papers,” because unless you are registered, which was closed by yesterday, no one can vote; what she meant was that you didn’t have to have any particularly kind of photo I.D. to vote, which is true, the identifiation process takes place at the time of registering to vote, and that legal immigrants, even though not yet citizens, can work in a political campaign – and what better preparation for citizenship. Still, it was a statement that lent itself to misrepresentation, and it probably either lost her the election, or made it less close than it was.

  • Kim Ritter

    Busby blew it spectacularly with her “vote with no papers” comment. I literally cringed when I heard it, and her lame attempt to explain it away. SD is almost on the border with Mexico, and illegal immigration is a huge concern. Her ill-advised comment galvanized conservative voters, who might have stayed home, and probably turned off independents.
    Democrats can’t just run on the “culture of corruption” and expect to win. Still unindicted Karl Rove is going to be out decimating individual Democratic candidates, and Bush/Cheney have helped Republicans raise massive amounts of money, a huge advantage for Republicans. Democrats have to run smart races, like Tim Kaine’s gubernatorial race in Virginia. Very frustrating for those who are tired of one-party government.

  • kreiz

    So much for the theory that the tag culture of corruption is a sure winner. One would’ve expected more play on it in Cunningham’s district.

  • K. Gregory

    Voters care about corruption but they also care about OTHER ISSUES too. Assuming that corruption is going to motivate the way someone votes is a dangerous assumption. It can help sway a vote if the other parts that are appealing to a candidate are there. She truly blew this election. Go back and google the stories and see the one that noted that the independents started breaking in a big way for Bilbray after her comment. As Joe notes, now what will she do to offset that damage so she can run stronger in November? She can’t run accusing Bilbray of too much of a loyal Bush supporter and Republican since it is a Republican district. She has to figure out ways to win the support and reassure voters who are not Democrats. Being on Air America shows is not what’s going to hel her win, nor will columns praising her and blasting Bilbray on Daily Kos.

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    Thanks Leah! I have checked the original article and corrected Joe’s typo concerning Bibray’s margin.

  • bacci40

    Bilbray ran against Bush policies regarding immigration….he ran against washington

    he ran as a populist

    this election means little to nothing for had core conservatives

  • JP

    I heard the woman’s words in context. She was clearly speaking about people helping her campaign, NOT suggesting these people could vote without papers.

    The right wing wankers who twisted this into the smear of suggesting she advocated immigrants voting are scum. Her words would have been indisputable had she said “You don’t need voting papers, …” instead of “You don’t need papers for voting.” But she didn’t.

    The smear was totally uncalled-for, even in today’s polarized environment. Particularly considering how often our idiot-in-chief flubs his words.

  • SactoBull

    JP, you need to concentrate on the “now” – Bush wasn’t running, and Busby was. First rule of politics: It is incredibly difficult to explain your position when your foot is shoved into your mouth. The very image of Undocs assisting in the Busby campaign less than 50 miles north of the border was going to blow up in her face if it got out. And unfortunately for Busby, it got out.

    Busby’s gaffe was astonishing. She probably would have lost the SpecElec anyway, if only by a narrow margin, but that quote is going to haunt her all the way to the general election in November. And no, Joe, this is not a bell that can be unrung. Bilbray will have the opportunity to bash her over the head with it repeatedly as long as Roger Hedgecock is on the air in SD (KOGO-AM, IIRC), and Busby will not be able to make the voters of CA-50 forget what she said, context or not.

    Next question: Who the hell decided Kos knows anything about electoral politics? You would think that after 19 straight losses, he would have picked a thing or two up…

  • Pyst

    I clearly understood her mistake Joe, and infact would have probably voted for Bilbray, eventho I usually vote democrat. But I see this as a bad sign for republicans still even after Busby’s massive gaffe. She made the biggest mistake I’ve seen in ages, and only lost by 5% in super red, illegal alien concerned SD. That shows me something is still in the wind about moderates reshuffling congress this year, with at the least new faces of either party. Maybe it won’t change the team in power too much, but it will send career politicians home (crosses fingers), and make congress oppose Bush ALOT more often.

  • Joe

    YES. Holly fixed the typo. All my posts were done yesterday with virtual no time and I had to finish and rush out the door. I JUST got back after being away from my home, driivng 240 miles and appearing in two variety shows. I usually catch most of them and almost always have my laptop with me and stop at Starbucks. There was no time for that today and I didn’t even bring the laptop. It was strictly an oversight since I originaly had the margin plus total votes cast and made a quick cut but didn’t notice I cut the wrong one…Normally I’m here and can catch it but yesterday I was 100 percent ouf of pocket. Usually I post new stuff on this site before I get to bed but tonight I couldn’t (too exhausted) and will hit the hay as soon as I send this.
    Thank you Holly!

  • K. Gregory


  • Joe

    FYI, my post was NOT about it being a route. My post is about the fact that the actual situation in the district is not as simple as many would have you believe. As in most things, you see both sides on the right and left talk shows putting their own interpretation on it. But you can’t obscure some of the factors outlined above, such as Bilbray’s high profile in San Diego County for more than 20 years, the LONG simmering issue of immigration here, and the nature of the district. Other issues (the Democrats in retrospect mistake not to put more financial and people power resources into the race etc). are separate ones. There is clearly a split now: you have some folks saying the Democrats lots because Busby wasn’t “pure” Democrat enough; then there is the argument (which yours truly believes) that Democrats will keep losing elections unless they peel off some independent and Republican voters in larger numbers. Just playing to the base will not be enough. The bottom line is that weeks ago the race seemed Busby’s to lose OR a dead heat; when the votes were counted she had lost ground. One newspaper report said independents started breaking for Bilbray right after her comment about no need for “papers” to vote. Also note my comment that Bilbray may not be your typical Republican running for office…so the Republicans can’t assume this portends a clear path for them to keep both houses of congress.

    TITLE: Unrung Bellwether?
    BLOG NAME: Bogus Gold
    Many people were looking toward the special election to replace disgraced (and convicted, and jailed) Republican Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham as a bellwether for assessing the prospect of Democrats gaining control of the House in the upcoming el…

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    LAST NIGHT, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican Congressman, defeated Democrat Francine Busby in a special election to fill the seat vacated by (the disgraced and imprisoned) Randall “Duke” Cunningham in California’s 50th Congressional District. Both sides are examining this election…

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    LAST NIGHT, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican Congressman, defeated Democrat Francine Busby in a special election to fill the seat vacated by (the disgraced and imprisoned) Randall “Duke” Cunningham in California’s 50th Congressional District. Both sides are examining this election…

    TITLE: Links and Minifeatures 06 07 Wednesday
    BLOG NAME: Searchlight Crusade
    Carnival of The Vanities Recommended:

    TITLE: A Republican’t Maginot Line
    CA-50 is a district with a 14 point GOP advantage. Democratic presidential candidates have historically taken low to mid forties here, so Busby’s numbers aren’t that spectacular. This leads us to…

    TITLE: Some Ramdom Thoughts About the Special Election in the 50th District
    BLOG NAME: Roscoe’s Blog
    Republican Brian Bilbray’s win over Democrat Francine Busby to fill the seat of disgraced Republican congressman Randy Cunningham reminds one of the blind men and the elephant. Everyone takes something different away, depending on their perspective. For example, the Democrats see this as a big win (in spite of the fact that they . . . well . . . lost) because their candidate got 45% of the vote this time out when she only got 36 % two years ago. As the folks at My DD put it, this is a huge, seismic shift in our favor that bodes

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    LAST NIGHT, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican Congressman, defeated Democrat Francine Busby in a special election to fill the seat vacated by (the disgraced and imprisoned) Randall “Duke” Cunningham in California’s 50th Congressional District. Both sides are examining this election…

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    LAST NIGHT, Brian Bilbray, a former Republican Congressman, defeated Democrat Francine Busby in a special election to fill the seat vacated by (the disgraced and imprisoned) Randall “Duke” Cunningham in California’s 50th Congressional District. Both sides are examining this election…

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    (updated) UP

    TITLE: Bilbray vs. Busby: By the Numbers
    BLOG NAME: The Indepundit
    (updated) UP

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