When you read this on Daily Kos, you should perhaps worry about the acumen of one of the left’s most widely-read figures.
Dems win special election. Votes are still being counted, but it’s been called by local media and the final tally is expected to be around 53-47 [the actual final was 51-45 -ed.].
Yeay [sic] us, except that this is a district that Kerry won 57-41 in 2004 meaning Tsongas underperformed her party (a 10-point swing toward the GOP).
Good grief. First, 2004 was a presidential election, whereas this was an off-year special; turnout was a tad higher in 04. Second, 2004 featured a local well-known figure (John Kerry) against an out-of-state well-known figure (George W. Bush). I’d think that the “local guy” vote is worth at least the swing that kos talks about.
Third, as democraticavenger has helpfully and painstakingly shown, Tsongas did as well or better than Deval Patrick in almost every city and town in the district — the major exception being Dracut, Ogo’s hometown. Deval won the district 51-40, with Mihos at 7% — give some of those Mihos voters to the Republican, and you get the spitting image of what happened last night. Yet most here would agree that Deval Patrick ran an outstanding, grassroots, “people-powered” campaign — exactly what kos & co. wishes every candidate would run.
None of which is to say that there aren’t important lessons to be learned from this election. Ryan’s posted some interesting thoughts; others no doubt will too over the next few days. But just looking at how Kerry did in 04 doesn’t tell us very much.