Democrats capture another House seat, Republicans worry
Yet another loss will likely strike fear in the hearts of many Republicans who are worried that it could have even bigger ramifications this November as they try to claw their way back to a majority.
In the race to represent northern Mississippi, Republican Greg Davis lost to Travis Childers despite a last-minute effort by Vice President Dick Cheney to woo voters at a campaign fundraiser for Davis on Monday. Childers will have to run again in November, this time for a full two-year term.
He will fill a seat vacated by Rep. Roger Wicker who was appointed to fill Sen. Trent Lott’s seat and expands the Democratic House majority to 236-199.
“His victory has sent a thunderbolt across America tonight,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Van Hollen also tried to broaden the meaning of the victory, arguing it was not only a setback for House Republicans but also “the Bush administration’s misguided policies and John McCain’s campaign for a third Bush term,” referring to the presumed Republican presidential nominee.
And a top House Republican appeared similarly grim in his assessment of the loss.
“The results … should serve as a wake-up call to Republican candidates nationwide,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. “As I’ve said before, this is a change election, and if we want Americans to vote for us we have to convince them that we can fix Washington.”
Earlier this year, Democrats won the Illinois seat held by the previous Republican House Speaker, Dennis Hastert, and captured the Louisiana seat held by departing Republican Richard Baker.
Are voters sending Republicans a message or are these isolated victories for Democrats?
– Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi takes the podium for the first time in January in her new position)