Just ask pro-life, pro-gun clinging, anti-Obamacare, anti-cap-and-tax Mark Critz, who pulled out a victory in PA-12 last night in a district in which Obama is unpopular:

The district itself couldn’t have been more primed for a Republican victory. According to one recent poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating in the 12th was a dismal 35 percent, compared to 55 percent who disapproved. His health care plan was equally unpopular—just 30 percent of those polled supported it, while 58 percent were in opposition.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was even more disliked in the blue-collar, western Pennsylvania-based seat: Just 23 percent viewed her favorably, compared to 63 percent who viewed her unfavorably.

Still, Democrat Mark Critz managed to pull off an eight-point victory, 53 percent to 45 percent, over Republican Tim Burns in a district that John McCain narrowly won in 2008—the only one in the nation that voted for John Kerry in 2004 and McCain four years later.

It is the same strategy Rahm Emanuel used so effectively in 2006 and 2008 to get so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats elected. It is the “all politics is local” theory; ignore the fact that electing a Democrat will keep the hated Nancy Pelosi in her Speakership, bash the Democratic national policies, and use local issues and issues that cut across party lines to win.

The job for Republicans is to make sure people understand that a vote for any Democrat is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

It’s the “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” answer to Blue Dogs.


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