Campaign 2010

May 13, 2008

MS-01, LA-06, IL-14: Democrats’ Mandate for Change

TO:                 Interested Parties

FROM:          Jennifer Crider, DCCC Communications Director

DATE:            May 13, 2008

RE:                 MS-01, LA-06, IL-14: Democrats’ Mandate for Change                 


Voters in “one of the safest Republican areas in the nation” delivered a mandate for change tonight and for the first time in more than 30 years, Democrats won three seats in special elections in one cycle– MS-01, LA-06, and IL-14.  The American people have clearly rejected the special interest driven agenda of the Republican party.


President Bush easily won IL-14, LA-06, and MS-01.  Republicans’ losses in these three solidly Republican districts is simply catastrophic.  The DCCC is targeting 50 districts this cycle with far better Democratic performances than IL-14, LA-06, and MS-01.


After losing IL-14 and LA-06, the Republicans pulled out all the stops to win MS-01:


  • Vice President Dick Cheney, Governor Haley Barbour, former Governor Mike Huckabee, Senator Thad Cochran, former Senator Trent Lott, and Senator Roger Wicker have all campaigned on Republican Greg Davis’ behalf. 


  • President Bush, Laura Bush, and Senator McCain recorded automated calls that were sent to voters throughout the district.


  • Republicans have had to spend nearly 20 percent of their cash on hand on a reliably Republican district.  The conservative group Freedom’s Watch spent at least $460,000.  In total, Republicans have spent more than $1.7 million on MS-01, a district President Bush twice won easily. 


 The fact that MS-01 was a competitive race reflects the strength of Democratic candidate Travis Childers, the damage to the Republican brand, and the depth of the NRCC’s problems this cycle. 


Republican Attacks


Travis Childers has had everything but the kitchen seat thrown at him by Greg Davis, the NRCC, and the shadowy outside group Freedom’s Watch. 


Republicans offer no solutions on the issues that Americans are most concerned about – good paying jobs, gas and grocery costs, and health care costs.  Republicans desperately tried to nationalize this election by focusing their extensive negative advertising on Senator Obama and Speaker Pelosi.  This tactic didn’t work in IL-14, it didn’t work in LA-06, and tonight we learned it doesn’t work in even higher Republican performing districts.  The Republican candidate even spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to tie Childers to Reverend Jeremiah Wright.


Even former Speaker Newt Gingrich says this tactic won’t work.  “The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama….campaign they are simply going to fail.” [Human Events, 05/06/08] As the Speaker tells every new Member, your title 'Representative' is your job description.

The Bottom Line


After three consecutive special election defeats in districts President Bush won twice easily, it is abundantly clear the American people shut the door on the special interest driven agenda of the Republican Party.