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House Democrat to switch parties

From NBC's Mark Murray and Domenico Montanaro
Earlier this year, Democrats benefited from a party switch when Arlen Specter defected from the Republican Party, giving Dems (eventually) 60 votes in the Senate.

Now, as the year ends, Republicans are benefitting from a party switch of their own. First Read has confirmed a Politico report that Alabama freshman Rep. Parker Griffith (D) is switching to the GOP.

Before the defection, Democratas held a 258-177 majority in the House, so this move would reduce that advantage by one seat.

However, it doesn't change the health-care vote. Griffith voted against the House health-care bill. He also voted against the stimulus earlier this year.

This congressional seat is a conservative-leaning one. John McCain won Griffith's district in last year's presidential election, 61%-38%; Griffith won it narrowly, 51%-48%.