Democratic Congressman Dan Maffei has conceded to Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, a former assistant attorney general, nurse, and professional pro-life activist, in New York's Syracuse-based 25th District. This victory puts the GOP at a net gain of 63 seats since November 2. Steven Moore writes on just how surprising Buerkle's victory is:
In one of the biggest election surprises of the year, Ann Marie Buerkle is officially the winner in New York's 25th congressional district. Ms. Buerkle was ahead by some 800 votes on Election Day, and after several thousand absentee ballots were finally counted her lead held up. Ms. Buerkle is a nurse and mother of six who had never sought political office. She knocked off Dan Maffei, a life long politician and a protégé of scandal-plagued Charlie Rangel.
"Almost no one saw this one coming," said GOP pollster John McLaughlin. "Ann Marie was definitely below the radar screen of most political experts."
One person who never saw it coming was Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, who had championed Mr. Maffei as the kind of new liberal Democrat America needs and the Northeast wants. "Absent a Republican wave of historic proportions, his seat now seems out of the GOP's reach," wrote Mr. Dionne back in September.
It was quite the historic wave.