Congress: 1-for-3 for The G.O.P.

1-for-3 for The G.O.P.

Republican strategists were breathing a little easier last week after state legislator Craig Thomas won a special election in Wyoming, called to fill the congressional seat vacated by Dick Cheney when he became Secretary of Defense. In two prior contests to fill House vacancies that had cropped up since George Bush won the White House, the G.O.P. had come up embarrassingly empty-handed.

Since Wyoming had not elected a Democrat to Congress since 1976, a Thomas defeat would have been especially painful for the G.O.P. The high symbolic stakes made for a vituperative campaign. Thomas' supporters spread a false rumor that his...

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