Niki v Ogo

Congratulations to Niki Tsongas, who ran a very effective, well-organized, mistake-free campaign -- and she worked hard for it; she didn't just sit back, attend some fundraisers, shoot some ads, and wait for the votes to come in. Kudos also to Eileen Donoghue, who gave it a darn good ride. Jamie Eldridge and Barry Finegold ran good races too, but they were up against it in this one from the beginning, in addition to the obstacle of expanding from a state rep district to a congressional one. (And again I ask: why did none of the state senators run?)

Tsongas now has to quickly turn around and wage a tough campaign. Jim Ogonowski is going to have plenty of money from the national GOP (as will Tsongas), and will come after Niki much harder than her Democratic opponents did.

Although I've seen a number of media outlets recently suggest off-handedly that the general election will be a gimme for the Democratic nominee, it ain't that simple. The district has gone pretty regularly for Republicans in gubernatorial elections, and Ogo is not going to be easily pinned to George W.'s mistakes.

On the plus side, I believe that Tsongas's popularity among Democrats in the district is far greater than her unimpressive 36% primary tally might suggest. My impression has been that even those eagerly supporting her opponents like her, and will support her enthusiastically in the general election.

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