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“Difficult District”? No, Difficult Country

Rep. Debby Wasserman-Schultz, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has to get the prize for the dumbest spin of the week. She tried to explain the party’s loss in NY-9 by saying, it’s a very difficult district for Democrats.

Obama carried the district by 11 points in 2008, and it hasn’t been represented by a Republican in Congress since 1920 (although as Michael Barone points out, its shape has changed so much during the last 90 years as a result of redistricting and gerrymandering that that doesn’t really mean much).

So if NY-9 is a “very difficult district for Democrats,” that can only mean the other 434 congressional districts are also very difficult districts for Democrats, at least as long as Barack Obama is in the White House.

Nate Silver of the New York Times political blog pointed out this morning that, all other things being equal, Weprin should have won by ten points, according to the “Partisan Voting Index.” He lost by eight. The Republican victor in Nevada’s 2nd district special election yesterday, according to Silver, would have been expected to win by 10. He won by 22.

Give her credit for trying, I suppose, but it’s really difficult to spin this as anything but a disaster for Democrats and for Obama’s hopes of getting his new stimulus (oops, jobs) bill through Congress.


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