The most watched race yesterday was Duke Cunningham’s old seat in San Diego's very Republican 50th. The bad news: Republican Brian Bilbray beat Dem Francine Busby 49-45%. The good news:
National Republicans poured in nearly $5 million and nearly 200 campaign workers to help hold the seat for their party....I hesitate to make this the text case everyone wanted it to be: in none (or possibly few, if we get lucky on pending indictments) of the other close congressional races do Dems have the advantage of the incumbent sitting in the pokey. While this probably suppressed some of the vote, it may well have had a rally-around-the-Republican effect. It's an outlier. (Kos has more analysis.)
In a normal election year, this district would not even be near the playing field: Mr. Bush defeated John Kerry by 10 points here in 2004, and Republicans have a 44 percent to 29 percent edge over Democrats in voter registration.
Montana's Senate Primary
This race featured an interesting pair of candidates: Jon Tester, a farmboy who looks more like a red-state trueblooded American than George Bush ever did stacked up against DLC-annointed John Morrison (one of the DLC's top ten "stars to watch"). They were vying to take on Conrad Burns, the most closely connected of any Senator to Jack Abramoff. Morrison outspent Tester 2-1, had the backing of national Democrats and national Democratic interest groups, while Tester listed only Montanans among his supporters. Both stole liberally from the playbook of Governor Brian Schweitzer and ran as populist Westerners.
But in the end, the folks went with Tester. I don't have a solid take on this, but you can find analysis at Kos and Western Democrat--both of whom favored Tester.
In Alabama, (in)famous Judge Roy Moore (of the Ten Commandments debacle) got crushed in his gubernatorial bid. And Jerry Brown--yes, that Jerry Brown--won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General in California.
All in all, a pretty good day for the forces of good. We'll see what happens in November.