Following recent losses in previously impenetrable districts in Illinois and Louisiana, Republicans gave up another congressional seat last night, this time in Mississippi. Travis Childers won a runoff to serve out the term of Roger Wicker, who was appointed to the Senate when Trent Lott resigned. It’s a devastating loss for the Republicans—George Bush carried the district with 62% of the vote in 2004, and Childers’ opponent pretty much ran on the slogan “Travis Childers will bring Jeremiah Wright down here to say bad things about white people.” When you can’t win with a racially polarizing campaign in Mississippi, it’s a pretty good sign that your brand is damaged.
And don’t think the Republicans don’t know it. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole issued the following statement after the loss: