August 3, 2005

3,500 Votes, Paul Hackett & Democratic Party

3,500 Votes
CINCINNATI - A Republican former state lawmaker has claimed a seat in Congress by narrowly defeating an Iraq war veteran who drew national attention to the race with his military service and a series of harsh attacks on President Bush.

But Democrats said they, too, had reason to celebrate — pointing to the close race as a sign of promise heading into next year's midterm elections.

With all precincts reporting, Jean Schmidt had 52 percent, or 57,974 votes, compared with Democrat Paul Hackett's 48 percent, or 54,401 votes. Schmidt's margin of victory amounted to about 3,500 votes out of more than 112,000 cast.

Democrats had viewed the race as a bellwether for 2006, saying even a strong showing by Hackett in such a heavily GOP district would give them a lift. Hackett didn't rule out another run next year.

"There's no safe Republican district. You can run, but you cannot hide," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
In the reddest part of Ohio a Democrat with a clear message almost win a congressional seat. It is a lost, but I am not disappointed. In 2002 the Democratic candidate in Ohio second district lost by 44% of the vote, this time the Democratic candidate lost only by 4% of the vote.

So the state GOP avoids a "devastating blow", but only by the hair on their chinny chin chin. OH-02 saw the resurgance of the Democratic Party, the GOP had to spend $500K they hadn't otherwise planned on spending, and a Democratic star is born (next stop for Hackett -- statewide elected office). So much for "burying" Hackett...

The post-mortems will come in the coming days, but for now, I'm happy with what everyone accomplished in Ohio. It's a new day for the Democratic Party, one in which no Republican district is safe.
I agree, no Republican district is safe. A big tidal wave is coming in 2006, and it is going to sweep out the corrupt GOP majorities in Congress.


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