Foster Beats Oberweis in IL-14
The Democrats have just increased their majority in the House by one:
In a stunning upset Saturday that could be a sign of trouble for Republicans this fall, a little-known Democratic physicist won the special election for a far west suburban congressional seat long held by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Rookie candidate Bill Foster scored a comfortable victory over Republican dairyman Jim Oberweis, who lost his fourth high-profile contest in six years, after an expensive and highly negative contest.
Foster had 53 percent to Oberweis’ 47 percent with all of the unofficial vote counted.
I’ve put a few additional observations on the outcome of this election over at The Glittering Eye.
Gregory Tejada of Chicago Argus has what I think is pretty sound commentary:
Some Democrats are inclined to think some high-minded goal was achieved with Bill Foster’s victory. “This says there is no district that is going to be safe for Republicans,” Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., told WGN-TV.
I’m not swayed.
FOSTER HAD BETTER be careful, or else he could be the one whose political career lasts little more than filling out the leftover crumbs of retiring Rep. J. Dennis Hastert’s term — which runs through early January 2009. After all, Oberweis has the funding to run a top-notch aggressive campaign, and he has shown a willingness to play political hardball.
That hardball style of campaigning will forevermore be Oberweis’ political legacy — particularly The Commercial.
It was the ad from a past U.S. Senate campaign where he flies over Chicago’s Soldier Field and tries to create the image of capacity crowds of illegal immigrants packing their way into the United States week after week after week.
Chris Cilllizza of The Washington Post’s The Fix quotes a recently released statement from the NRCC:
“The one thing 2008 has shown is that one election in one state does not prove a trend,” said newly installed National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Karen Hanretty. “In fact, there has been no national trend this entire election season….The one message coming out of 2008 so far is that what happens today is not a bellwether of what happens this fall.”
which David Kurtz of TPM characterizes as “spin”.
Spin or not Democrats are reasonably considering this as a victory.