Interestingly, Democrat turnout should have been boosted by a bitterly contested Democrat gubernatorial primary with no comparable Republican races. Busby also made the news for comments inviting illegal immigrants to volunteer on her campaign and trying to split the vote by producing ads for an "independent" candidate.
A special election for a House district in California left Republicans with control of the seat, while offering scant evidence of the highly energized Democratic electorate that analysts say would be needed to dislodge the GOP from power on Capitol Hill in November.
...former representative Brian Bilbray won with 49 percent of the vote in the traditionally Republican district. Democrat Francine Busby's 45 percent total barely improved on John F. Kerry's showing there in the 2004 presidential election.
Democrats and reporters hoped for anything they could spin into a pro-Democrat trend, but were stuck with yet another status quo election.
Update, June 9th: Rich Galen's "Mullings" reviews the election results.
"From the beginning, Democrats said this would be bellwether of what would happen in November," said RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman. "You see a lot of things that are bellwethers, and they indicate Republicans are in position to hold Congress."
More worrisome to Democrats was the fact that Busby's total hardly budged the 44 percent that Kerry won in the district in 2004. "If we can't improve upon Kerry's numbers in these congressional districts in this climate, we've got a big problem," said one strategist, who asked not to be identified in order to give a candid assessment of the results.
Amy Walter, who charts House races for the Cook Report, said that, at a minimum, Tuesday's outcome denied Democrats a major psychological boost. "This just took what would have been on the front page of every newspaper -- 'Democratic tsunami heading for Washington' -- off the front pages," she said. "You can't overstate how important that is."
Technorati Tags: 2006 Elections, California, Congress