"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

Bonamici (D) in the OR 1st

Suzanne Bonamici

Annals of a congressional district that knows what it is and what it wants:

Winding up a special congressional campaign that started last summer – last spring, really, when the first challenger got in – Democrat Suzanne Bonamici was elected Tuesday, over Republican Rob Cornilles, to the U.S. House from the Oregon 1st district.

It was not close, and reasonably mirrored the results from most of the public polls in recent weeks. (As often recently in federal races, the pollsters have gotten it more or less right.) It was not a surprise.

Here’s something of note, though. In this special election, where the vote was substantially smaller than in a typical general (somewhat more than half as many voters, less than two-thirds as many), Bonamici’s percentage Tuesday was close to exactly that of Democratic predecessor David Wu‘s in November 2010, a little over a year ago: 54.36% for Bonamici, 54.82% back then for Wu. (It should be noted that Bonamici’s campaign this year was a lot stronger than Wu’s in 2010.) Cornilles ran in both races, and (notwithstanding running a second well-organized and energetic campaign) got 39.14% Tuesday compared with 42% in 2010.

This is a Democratic district. Since 1974 it has been consistently in Democratic hands, and Bonamici becomes the fourth consecutive Democrat to hold it. She will not likely face much difficulty for re-election in November; this is probably a seat national Republicans will write off then.

If they do, their logic would be understandable.

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