When Republicans get smug about how disgusted Americans are with Democrats and predict big victory this fall, it’s instructive to look at the special election to replace the late Congressman Jack Murtha in Pennsylvania’s 12th district. In an area where President Obama’s approval rating is 35%, where 58% opposed health care reform, Nancy Pelosi has a 63% unfavorable rating, and John McCain won in 2008, Democrat Mark Critz won by eight points over Republican Tim Burns. Critz ran a campaign disassociated from the national party and from its better-known leaders, while Burns tried to tie him to Obama and Pelosi.
However they’re doing it, though, it’s worked when it mattered. Even as Obama’s fortunes have declined, House Democrats have managed to win a string of nationally-watched special elections.
Last March they narrowly won in a competitive, upstate New York district that had elected both Democrats and Republicans in recent years. Then, in November, Democrats capitalized on a Republican feud and won another upstate New York district—one that had previously been in GOP hands since before the Civil War.Click here for reuse options!
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