A BILBRAY VICTORY IN CALIFORNIA: “A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday for the right to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a race closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall’s vote. . . . The race – one of dozens of contests Tuesday in eight states – was viewed by Democrats as an opportunity to capture a solidly Republican district and build momentum on their hopes to capture control of the House.”

I tend to think that special elections are generally less important as barometers than punditry usually suggests. I suspect that will be the Democratic line today, too. . . .

UPDATE: A reader emails that this makes the Kos Krowd 0 for 20. I haven’t been counting — can this be right?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Mike Krempasky thinks that’s wrong, and it’s 0 for 19:

Well – here’s 0-16 in 2004, if you count John Kerry


Then you have Hackett, Ciro, and Busby.

I don’t guess it makes a big difference either way.

Meanwhile, Patrick Hynes comments on the result, and the media treatment. “It would have been quite a different story had liberal Democrat Francine Busby pulled it off, but she was probably never as close as the polls made her out to be. Please recall that it is a central thesis of this blog that the polls are not measuring public opinion appropriately and the resultant exaggerated level of expectation is causing disappointed liberals to go nuts.”

MORE: Dave Weigel emails:

In fairness, Kos won big in the Montana Democratic primary last night. Since the month after the presidential election he had been loudly supporting Jon Tester, a liberal state senator and organic rancher, to challenge Republican Sen. Conrad Burns. The Democratic establishment supported John Morrison, the more moderate state auditor. Morrison was backed by more DC Democratic consultants and led big in early polling. He started to lose ground after a sex scandal, but the last poll on May 28 showed him edging Tester by one point. Last night Tester beat him, and it wasn’t even close. It was a 25-point landslide.

So Kos picked and loudly supported a candidate who won last night. Of course, what does it say that Kos’ biggest success has come from beating a conservative Democrat with a liberal one in a primary?

It says he’s got some distance to go yet. Still, 1-19 is better than 0-20!