Debbie Halvorson's loss tonight to Republican challenger Adam Kinzinger in Illinois's 11th Congressional District is a perfect microcosm of the Democrats' wider fate in this midterm election.
With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Kinzinger had about 58 percent votes and Halvorson had about 42 percent of the vote.
Halvorson was a freshman congresswoman, elected in a moderate district by the wave of Democratic voters that swept President Obama into office in 2008. But then, she became a member of that miserably unpopular institution known as Congress. She voted with her party on the bailout, the healthcare reform bill, and cap-and-trade. And she's been seen in the vicinity of the infamous Nancy Pelosi.
This, it seems, was enough to cost Halvorson her job. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican and a member of the Air National Guard, has launched a relentless bombing campaign on Halvorson's record, with the help of the National Republican Congressional Committee. He opposes healthcare and derides cap-and-trade as "job-killing."
Kinzinger's win will put him right where Halvorson was two years ago: a first-term Congressman riding his party's big gains into Washington. Whether he can hang on to his job for longer than she did remains to be seen - for now, Adam's just got to be happy to have it.