Democrat Bill Foster defeated Republican Jim Oberweis in the race to succeed Dennis Hastert in Illinois’s 14th congressional district yesterday. The Democrats have accordingly padded their majority courtesy of the result in Hastert’s Republican-leaning district. Michelle Malkin quotes the NRCC statement on the result; the NRCC doesn’t have much to say. Chris Cillizza cites anonymous Republican strategists essentially characterizing Oberweis as damaged goods.
Approximately 100,000 voters turned out for the special election. Foster won with 52.5 percent of the vote. He prevailed even in Hastert’s home base of Kendall County. Did low turnout play a role in the reult? It is at least worth noting that in the off-year 2006 election for the seat, more than 190,000 votes votes were cast, of which Hastert won 60 percent. By any account the scheduled November rematch between Foster and Oberweis nevertheless has to favor Foster.
The Politico adds that the NRCC spent $1.2 million on the race — nearly one-fifth of its entire cash on hand — seeking to hold the seat. Barack Obama recorded a television ad for Foster; John McCain endorsed Oberweis. It is reasonable to construe the result as a bad omen for the GOP, if not necessarily a “stunning upset.” The result is consistent with the observation made by many that the 2008 electoral playing field tilts Democratic.
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