With the results tallied Paul Hackett has lost by only 4% to Republican Jean Schmitt in Ohio's Second Congressional District which went to the Republican incumbant bye a 44% margin in 2004 and which gave Bush 70% of its vote. This is a major victory for Democrats and a great sign going into the 2006 midterms. Ahead of us now is looking at how Hackett came so close to winning in such a deep red district. The obvious point to note is the fundraising gap, something we cannot depend on at this rate in the future, since the NRCC did not get involved until late in the game when Schmitt appeared under threat, Hackett was able to outfundraise her by a wide margin via web contributions. The blogosphere clearly played a big role in this as liberal bloggers got behind Hackett while conservative ones ignored the race. Liberals were able to focus all their political attention on the OH-02, something that we will not be able to do in 2006 with divided attention between House races in every district and 1/3 of States having Senate races. Kos notes:
From the looks of it, the margin was under 4 percent, or per Cook's analysis, a "very serious warning sign" for the state GOP. Indeed, this is probably the only district in Ohio in which Paul would've lost.
The post-mortems will come in the coming days, but for now, I'm happy with what everyone accomplished in Ohio. It's a new day for the Democratic Party, one in which no Republican district is safe.