Don’t worry, be happy? Or is this a sign of things to come? You tell me:
A longtime Republican district fell to the Democrats Saturday when a scientist snatched former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s congressional seat in a closely watched special election.
Democrat Bill Foster won 52 percent of the vote compared to 48 percent for Republican Jim Oberweis. With 564 of 568 precincts reporting, Foster had 50,947 votes to Oberweis’ 46,125.
Foster’s special election win means he will fill the remainder of Hastert’s term, which ends in January. The two will square off again in November, for a new, full term.
The 66-year-old Hastert, who lost his powerful post as speaker when Democrats took control of Congress, resigned late last year.
The race between Foster and Oberweis spawned a contentious campaign that saw both men turn to high-profile supporters to help sway voters in the longtime GOP district.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama made a TV ad praising Foster; Oberweis had fundraising help from the apparent Republican nominee, John McCain, and Hastert’s backing.
“It is a stunning rejection of the Bush Administration, its Republican allies, and presidential nominee John McCain,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen in a statement.
Just fyi, I got an e-mail tonight from the NRCC responding to the loss. Is this wishful thinking or hopeless spin? You tell me:
Today, NRCC Communications Director Karen Hanretty made the following statement on the results of Illinois’ special election:
“The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend. In fact, there has been no national trend this entire election season. The presidential election is evidence of that. The Democratic candidates are trading election victories from week to week and the nomination could hinge on a few news cycles. The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellwether of what happens this fall.”