Dennis Hastert, the former Republican Speaker of the House, who helped turn the House into a lap-dog for George W. Bush, resigned and left the House late in 2007. His resignation meant that there had to be a special election for that seat. The election took place on Saturday, March 8, 2008, and the Democrats won the seat.
While the Republcan National Committee is trying to downplay the significance of the Democrats' win, this is a very good thing for Dems. The Republican Congressional Campaign Committee poured $1,000,000 into the race when it became apparent that the Democrats could take the seat. John McCain campaigned for the Republican nominee and Barack Obama endorsed the Democratic nominee. So, not only does the GOP lose a seat that had gone for George W. Bush in 2004 by a vote of 55% to 45%, its presidential nominee looks like he has zero coattails. All in all, a very good night for Democrats.