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“[T]he much-talked about potential upset in the 50th District did not materialize.”

Wednesday, June 7, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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That’s from the Washington Post report on the 50th Congressional District in California, where GOP nominee Brian Bilbray beat Democrat Francis Busby yesterday. With 481 of 500 precincts counted (more than 96% of the vote):

BRIAN BILBRAY – REP
58566
49.48%

FRANCINE BUSBY – DEM
53598
45.28%

W. GRIFFITH – IND
4379
3.70%

PAUL KING – LIB
1822
1.54%

Border security trumped “culture of corruption,” and my guess is that Michael Barone will conclude, as he did after Ohio’s primary, that the GOP base may not be happy, but they are smart and know the effects of a Democratic majority on the war on terror and the economy, and thus keep turning up. The incredible levels of venom on the left are also very off-putting to average voters, and the inability of the Democratic leadership to separate itself from the virulent strain of netroots have become a real handicap.

Also in California, Arnold continues to get very lucky in his opponents. Phil Angelides is as way left a Democratic nominee as possible, and Angelides’ endorsement of driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal aliens, as well as his demand for higher taxes and his Mr. Peepers’ appearance will cripple him out of the gate. Arnold will coast.

Rob Reiner continued his amazing run of political luck which began on Howard Dean’s Iowa primary bus and yesterday brought an absolute pounding of the director’s pet project to hike taxes in order to bring European-style taxpayer funded preschool to California. Reiner’s Proposition 82 –backed by most Democrats and all of Hollywood– got buried by an almost unheard of 61% to 39% no-to-yes vote (with 94% of the returns in):

Proposition – 82 Universal Pre-school – Ballot Issue
82
California 21810 of 23124 Precincts Reporting – 94.32%
Name Votes Pct
No 2,370,647 61.05
Yes 1,512,599 38.95

So lessons from the “deep blue” west coast?

Border security matters. Tax hikes are killers. And the Democrats are wrong on both issues.

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