In the end, Democrats have learned a lesson the Republicans learned first- run candidates that fight the district, not candidates that fight some pie-in-the-sky ideal of what a candidate should look like. Republicans did it in 1994 and took back the House. Democrats did in 2006 and did the same thing.
The incumbent candidate in Mississippi's 1st district congressional race is a pro-gun, pro-life, fiscal conservative-and he's the Democrat.
Therein lies the challenge for Republican Greg Davis, who is running again this fall in a re-match of the most highly publicized special election that the GOP lost this spring. In May, Democrat Travis Childers beat Davis in a district where George Bush won 62 percent of the vote in 2004. That defeat, says Davis, provides a valuable strategic lesson.
"We're going to spend more time going out there and meeting with voters and letting them know who I am, and less on the contrast ads which just didn't work," Davis says, referring to ads that tried to link Childers to presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Both Davis and the Mississippi GOP say they realize the negative ads linking Childers to Obama and the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright didn't do the trick for conservative voters in northern Mississippi.[...]
The Mississippi race could be indicative of other congressional contests across the country in which GOP candidates will be facing off against conservative Democrats. And if Greg Davis is right, running against Obama may not work in those districts either.In Kansas' 2nd Congressional district, freshman incumbent Rep. Nancy Boyda is another Blue Dog Democrat likely to face a strong Republican challenger this fall. Boyda avoided an official endorsement of Sen. Obama until after he clinched the nomination, and, like Childers, Boyda has said she may not attend the convention in Denver.
Dems like Childers & Boyda, who fight their districts so well, are going to be awfully hard to knock out- and the GOP knows it.