Everyone is talking about Specter, but this is the more important story:
All the evidence pointing to monster Republican House gains this fall—the Scott Brown upset win in Massachusetts, the scary polling numbers in once-safely Democratic districts, the ever-rising number of Democratic seats thought to be in jeopardy—was contradicted Tuesday. In the only House race that really mattered to both parties—the special election to replace the late Democratic Rep. John Murtha in Pennsylvania’s 12th District—Republicans failed spectacularly, losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.... The district itself couldn’t have been more primed for a Republican victory. According to one recent poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the 12th was a dismal 35 percent, compared to 55 percent who disapproved. His health care plan was equally unpopular—just 30 percent of those polled supported it, while 58 percent were in opposition. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was even more disliked in the blue-collar, western Pennsylvania-based seat: Just 23 percent viewed her favorably, compared to 63 percent who viewed her unfavorably.
Still, Democrat Mark Critz managed to pull off an eight-point victory, 53 percent to 45 percent, over Republican Tim Burns in a district that John McCain narrowly won in 2008—the only one in the nation that voted for John Kerry in 2004 and McCain four years later. The race marked the third highly-contested, fair-fight special House election that the GOP has dropped in the last year.
The GOP is in trouble—they're still—and they're bluffing about November. Dems shouldn't fall for their self-serving hype.
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