Alarm bells are going off tonight at the RNC. There have been three special elections in the House in which Republicans have left office, and all three have been won by Democrats. This warning came last week when the GOP had lost two of two but still looked to the first Mississippi district, which Bush carried by 25 points in 2004, as a win. They lost that one too tonight. When Travis Childers is sworn in, Demos will control the House by a whopping 37 Reps: 236-199.
The GOP blogosphere is peddling to the increasingly disgruntled base the fact that Childers isn't exactly as liberal as Barack Obama. That may be true, but the GOP smear machine in this formerly-GOP-safe district threw unadulterated Jeremiah Wright at Travis Childers---and Childers won anyway.
This is what's really causing the GOP to wet their britches tonight: in a district that's easily among the 25% most conservative in the country, the Wright stuff was the wrong stuff. Combine that with the fact that McCain is pulling 77% in states in which he's purportedly unopposed, and there is enormous danger ahead for the GOP.