Via Brian Beutler at TPM:
The NY-23 seat abdicated by Republican John McHugh (who resigned to become Secretary of the Army) went to Democrat Bill Owens--the first Democrat to hold the seat in over a century. And the CA-10 seat abdicated by Democrat Ellen Tauscher (who resigned to become Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs) went to Democrat John Garamendi.I'll give up two governorships in return for getting health care reform passed.
That creates some simple arithmetic. Yesterday, Democrats had 256 voting members in the House. By week's end, they'll have 258. Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could afford to lose no more than 38 Democratic votes on a landmark health care reform bill. Next week, after Owens and Garamendi are sworn in, she can lose up to 40. For legislation this historic and far-reaching, she'll need every vote she can get--and both seem likely to support reform.
And this news will be music to the ears of gay rights activists: "As gay marriage was being voted down in Maine, several openly gay candidates in the South scored victories."
In the south!! So go ahead and gloat, Republicans. It doesn't matter, because mainstream America is not red. (Are you paying attention, Dems?)