Perhaps the most astonishing result in this year's many elections was the victory in Saturday's Louisiana runoff of Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao in the Second Congressional District of Louisiana. Results here; background on Cao here; more analysis here. Obviously, there were special circumstances operating here that enabled a Republican to win in a 64 percent black congressional district: Incumbent William Jefferson is under indictment; the election was postponed, because of Hurricane Gustav, to December 7 when Barack Obama was not on the ballot, so turnout was very low; Cao, a Vietnamese immigrant, had an interesting story to tell. Nevertheless, it underlines for me a lesson for Republicans for the 2010 elections: The way to make major gains is to run out-of-the-box candidates in districts where by standard metrics your party has little or no chance to win. It may not work, but nothing else will.
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