Childers, meanwhile, navigated a cautious course in Congress, voting against the bipartisan bailout of financial institutions in late 2008 and most of the major initiatives of the Obama administration and the Democratic congressional leadership such as health care reform and cap and trade legislation.
But he voted for the $800 billion stimulus bill in 2009, which although it included a large tax cut came to be seen primarily as a symbol of the excessive spending of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress.
Childers defended this vote and his subsequent support for the 2010 congressional assistance to state governments – which included significant funds for local school districts – as best for his constituents.
Nunnelee, meanwhile, zeroed in on those votes as a key difference between himself and Childers, casting them as burdening future generations by increasing the national debt.
The narrative of the campaign was clear from the start, and after Nunnelee disposed of two Republican primary opponents who campaigned against him from the right, the GOP closed ranks and never wavered in its determination to retake the seat.
This time, there was no geographic divide, either, with Nunnelee locking down the Tupelo-Lee County Republican constituency and surrounding rural counties that had bolted Childers in 2008. And the voters, including the Tea Party movement which Childers ignored, were unmoved by the incumbent’s emphasis on working across party lines.
Read more: NEMS360.com – Childers swept away with tide