A Close Race in a Republican Stronghold

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006 - 6:45pm EST

A Close Race in a Republican Stronghold

A special election is taking place today to replace the seat vacated by Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R), who is currently serving a long jail sentence.  This is an important race for the nation, as it will give an indication of how much trouble the Republicans are really in come November.  This particular seat is in a district just north of San Diego that is very Republican. 

   George Bush took 55% of the vote in this district in his last run for President in 2004.  He also did not spend very much money in California, so that percentage could've been even higher.  In terms of registered voters, the breakdown is 44% Republicans and 29% Democrats.  So this is a seat that should go easily in the GOP's column.  The issue is that the race is in a virtual dead-heat.  The Democratic candidate, Francine Busby, is polling almost even with the Republican candidate, Brian Bilbray.

Both parties have spent a lot of money in the race in order to get a sense of how the November elections will play out.  The Republican should still be able to win this seat tonight, but the fact that it is even close should make Republicans fearful of losing both the House and Senate.  If the race is anywhere within 5%, it will be a moral victory for the Democrats. 

It will be a victory because it will put a lot more seats in play that were not previously thought to be competitive.  In the House, there are now about 50 races that are close.  The Democrats need only 15 of those seats and many of those districts are more heavily Democratic than the election taking place today.

I will be updating the site with election results as they are known from California.  On the off chance that Busby actually wins, the perception is that it will significantly change the landscape for the mid-term elections.

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