Thursday, June 08, 2006


The Republicans narrowly won a special election (what we call in Canada a by-election) in California’s 50th Congressional District on Tuesday. The margin was 49-45 in a district that went 58-37 for the Republicans in 2004.

My forecast model suggests that the CA-50 special election result translates into a 56-40 Democratic advantage nationwide. This is larger than the average of recent generic Congressional ballot polls. While more than the usual caveats apply to this number crunching, it should also be noted that this would give the Democrats a 245 to 190 margin in the House of Representatives.

The blogosphere is offering differing interpretations of the result (update: some interesting comments here in Swing State Project), some critical of the Democratic candidate’s campaign. However, there is no good news in any of this for the Republicans. This wasn’t a hypothetical generic Congressional ballot (for the limitations of which, see here), these were real votes in a solid Republican southern California San Diego suburban/ex-urban district where the Democrats should not be expected to be competitive.

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