Bilbray wins

Republican Brian Bilbray won the race to succeed Duke Cunningham in California’s 50th Congressional District yesterday. The official results (not quite complete) show Bilbray edging Francine “you don’t need no stinkin’ papers” Busby by just over four percent, 49.5 percent to 45.25 percent. Congratulations to Dafydd ab Hugh, who stuck his neck out at Big Lizards and predicted that Bilbray would win this race by at least five points — he almost nailed it.

In the free articles that the Wall Street Journal sends out to bloggers each morning, I’ve noticed a steady stream of political coverage whose primary purpose seems to be demoralization of Republicans. Yesterday, for example, the Journal mailed out “Midterm tea leaves signal hot water for Republicans” by Jackie Calmes. Albert Hunt may be gone, but his spirit lives on in the Journal’s Washington bureau. Calmes wrote:

Two elections being held today are being closely watched as potential barometers for the fall: a special election in California to replace former Republican Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who has pleaded guilty to bribery charges; and a Senate primary in Montana, where scandal-touched Sen. Conrad Burns faces a Republican challenge.

Burns won his primary handily yesterday, and may or may not win reelection this coming November. I won’t predict. But I will predict that Calmes won’t be back using these two races as barometers for the results this fall.

JOHN adds: The Associated Press must be disappointed. Their article last night was titled “Dems look to win House seat in Calif.”; it includes a spirited defense of Francine Busby. It also, I think, misrepresents what the Spanish-speaking man at a Busby rally said to Busby, leading to her famous gaffe. The AP says that he told her he didn’t have “voting papers,” i.e., wasn’t a registered voter. Other translations I’ve seen indicate that he told her he was undocumented, i.e., an illegal alien. The distinction is material to the defense the AP tries to construct for Busby. Via The Shadow of the Olive Tree.


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