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A bad omen for the GOP in November

The Republican Party has gotten a new

John FundOpinionJournal.com

The Republican Party has gotten a new “wake-up call,” said John Fund. Last week, Democrat Bill Foster won former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s old seat in a special congressional election in Illinois. Not only did Foster, a physicist and businessman, beat wealthy Republican Jim Oberweis, he did it in a Republican-leaning part of the state that elected Hastert in 10 straight elections. What’s particularly ominous for the GOP is that these kinds of special elections can have a big “psychological effect,” because they’re seen as harbingers of the general election to come. Indeed, voters appeared to choose Foster largely out of dissatisfaction with the slumping economy and the Bush presidency. Oberweis relied largely on a negative campaign, while Foster campaigned as a candidate of “change” and featured Barack Obama in his own ads. If this election is any indication of what November holds, Republicans “will have to step up their game, big-time,” or see the Democrats solidify their hold on Congress.  

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