GOP Loses Last Stronghold in New England

Himes' victory over Shays in Conn. completes Republican rout
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2008 2:35 PM CST
US Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., makes his concession speech last night after being defeated by Jim Himes.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – With the defeat of Rep. Christopher Shays in Connecticut, the GOP has been completely routed from New England. The Republicans’ expulsion from the Northeast derives from losses in centrist districts, those where moderate Republicans like Shays could be expected to win, Fred Barnes writes in the Weekly Standard.

Jim Himes gained support from an Obama “coattail effect,” but Shays was the last in a succession of moderate Republicans who held the 4th Congressional district for 40 years. The state of the country, writes Barnes, has soured marginally conservative districts on any type of Republican. Going forward, the GOP will likely try to woo those centrists by promoting moderates to prominent positions within the party.