I took my bachelor's degree in political science and still have, deep down, the heart and mind of a wonk; so I loved this analysis by Jay Cost of the results in the special election in California's 50th Congressional district-- formerly held by Randall Cunningham, who now resides in a federal prison. An interesting excerpt:
"Since WWII, it has increasingly been the case that the 'action' in partisan seat swings is confined to the open seats. Incumbents have become safer and safer. Thus, beating 12 Republican incumbents in 2006 is difficult to imagine. It becomes even more difficult to imagine when we put together a list of the twelve. Inevitably - we will find on that list about a half dozen incumbents who are (a) in districts at least as conservative as CA 50, (b) not on a ballot that offers structural advantages to the Democrats, (c) not tarnished by scandal.Well, I hope he's right.
"How do the Democrats beat so many Republican incumbents in conservative districts when they could not win in CA 50? I have yet to read a convincing answer to my question."