For most experienced political watchers, the whole Chris Lee blow-up might be interesting news fodder, but it ultimately doesn’t really change much. We’ll get a new Republican in the 26th District, but it will be a Republican almost certainly.
Consider the numbers: in 140 years of Dem/Repub rule of American politics, there have been exactly four Democrats that have represented the 29th. (source is ::gasp!:: WikiPedia.org) The district – even after we factor in the dissolution of the 29th – is tailor-made for Republicans, being a trifecta rural, white and relatively wealthy. The Census website illustrates these last points perfectly: The 26th district is 92% white with an average income of $55k, about four thousand dollars a year more than the national average.
A few years back, 13WHAM had a bunch of us bloggers on to discuss the primaries which included Chris Lee in his first run at Congress. While on the set, I actually looked up these very numbers. I would have looked pretty smart if I’d said them, too, which I didn’t.
Well, now I have. I still feel smart, damnit.