Since Hugh just mentioned Barone's take on CA-50, I thought I'd add what I heard him say on Fox, which was:
CA-50 isn't all good news for Republicans because the margin of victory for Bilbray was 6 percent lower than it was for Bush in the district in 2004.
Of course, he added, the hit taken by Democrats is much more serious.
I'm sure Barone will add more on his blog, later.
An e-mail from a friend of mine who was on the ground yesterday in CA-50:
I think Busby's "water cooler" comment made the difference...When we came out here, both sides were working it but there was no wind catching the sails. When Busby's comment was recorded (important that it was media that could be sent to blogs and talk radio and tv and played over and over again), the wind it created carried Bilbray's supporters to the polls. All the sudden, nothing else matters and all the immigration energy was focused on this race, e.g., Newt on Hannity last night and CNN's package on the race today and countless airings on popular blogs...
Regarding the Dem strategy to focus on ethics etc, I was NEVER once asked about ethics or Duke. True I'm only calling and knocking on Repub doors, but of all seats - it should have "stuck" in this district and there would have been more crossover.