New York District 23 a Tossup?

The bombshell news this afternoon is that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has withdrawn from the New York 23rd district congressional race, which makes the teabagger candidate, Doug Hoffman, the favorite. Conventional wisdom said she and Hoffman were splitting the Republican vote and possibly giving the district to the Democrat, Bill Owens. With Scozzafava gone, conventional wisdom says Hoffman ought to be a clear winner. “Republicans catch a big break” says Chuck Todd.

Nate Silver argues that the picture is murkier, and that Scozzafava supporters may not move toward Hoffman.

The reality is that a lot of Scozzafava’s ex-supporters, many of whom don’t like either Hoffman or Owens, simply won’t vote. And some of them will still wind up casting their ballots for Scozzafava undaunted, as she’ll still appear on the ballot and may have made herself something of a sympathetic figure. … only 15 percent of Scozzafava’s voters had a favorable view of Hoffman, so they aren’t going to come over easily, if at all.

Hoffman would still have to be considered the likely winner, Nate says, but it’s likely to be closer than people think.

In an earlier post, Nate said that the polls suggested much of Hoffman’s support was coming from people who don’t normally vote, and since special elections tend to be low turn-out affairs, Hoffman’s voters might be more motivated to turn out on Tuesday — it’s for the teabagging cause, after all. I don’t know the district at all, so I’m making no predictions about the outcome.

I will say, however, that this shows us how much Republican party officials have lost control of their own party.

The New Jersey governor’s race between Corzine and Christie is messy, also. The closeness of the race, IMO, reflects general disappointment with Corzine. But Christie may be too right-wing for the state as a whole. Parts of New Jersey are quite conservative, but the more populated counties hugging the northeastern part of the state — the ones closest to Manhattan — don’t like extreme right-wingers. Those counties will elect Republicans who can pass themselves off as being reasonably moderate, but in a choice between a right-winger and just about any sort of Democrat they will vote for the Democrat. Anything is possible, but I will be surprised if Corzine loses.

10 thoughts on “New York District 23 a Tossup?

  1. To add a bit of context, I looked up where NY’s 23rd district is – it comprises the northeastern part of the state, from eastern Lake Ontario to the Canadian and Vermont borders. Map here. It’s not a very urban district – the big towns are Potsdam, Oswego, Ogdensburgh, Watertown, Plattsburgh, and so on – and so, without knowing NY geography in detail, it wouldn’t surprise me if the wingnut won/was able to pressure the moderate into exiting the race.

  2. moonbat — I’m told that district hasn’t elected a Democrat since 1860, or something like that. So a Democratic win would be huge, although apparently unlikely at this point.

  3. Earlier this year I advocated that Rush Limbaugh run for president in 2012. I will be almost as happy to see a teabagger in congress particularly before the 2010 election cycle. Why? Because these people are idiots who can only operate in a vacuume. Push them into the real world and under the pressure of real questions from a real press about real issues and they will implode – Publicly.

    I want the teabaggers to have a soap box – I want them to think that one seat in Congress means they own the GOP and the entire political spectrum right of center. I want teabaggers spouting foolishness every night on CNN – and I want the political commentators – the conservative ones and the liberals to ridicule the ridiculous. Let the GOP split neatly down the middle for 2010 & 2012.

    Teabaggers recruit for us in the same way Bush recruited for al Queda.

    • Doug — Yes, and it’s almost certain that if Hoffman wins, the GOP will be running slates of hard-right loony tune wingnuts next year.

  4. I’m from upstate NY. Not as far upstate as that area, but still upstate.
    I know that area a bit. My sister and niece are both Potsdam graduates. Some of my friends went to Plattsburgh.
    Most of those towns are college towns, so they’re pretty liberal. It’s the rural areas sorrounding those towns that are hard-core conservative. I think the Dem has a chance. The core will vote for the wingnut. A lot of people won’t show up. But, it could come down to the Dem winning by a small margin. Of course, he ain’t much of a Dem…
    BTW – my 2nd job is calling to survey elections. From the calls I’ve made, Corzine will win. That’s the consensus of the other callers. I’m new, so I don’t know how accurate my, or their, feedback is.

    And let the tea-baggers run. They’ll suck off more votes from what remains of the Republican party than Democrats. If I had an “R” next to my name, I’d be scared Beckless of what I’m seeing my party become. But that’s what they get for Palin around with rascist’s and religious loons. If they ever DO win a national election, though, I’ll c u n d gulag.

  5. The “Democrat” is a former Republican who moved into the area recently, and is very conservative. The Conservative candidate is, of course, off the loony tunes end of the spectrum. Whomever wins in the NY 23rd, we lose.

  6. You must see Frank Rich’s column on this:

    BARACK OBAMA’S most devilish political move since the 2008 campaign was to appoint a Republican congressman from upstate New York as secretary of the Army. This week’s election to fill that vacant seat has set off nothing less than a riotous and bloody national G.O.P. civil war. No matter what the results in that race on Tuesday, the Republicans are the sure losers. This could be a gift that keeps on giving to the Democrats through 2010, and perhaps beyond.

    …preposterous as it sounds, the real action migrated to New York’s 23rd, a rural Congressional district abutting Canada. That this pastoral setting could become a G.O.P. killing field, attracting an all-star cast of combatants led by Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Newt Gingrich, is a premise out of a Depression-era screwball comedy. But such farces have become the norm for the conservative movement — whether the participants are dressing up in full “tea party” drag or not.

    The battle for upstate New York confirms just how swiftly the right has devolved into a wacky, paranoid cult that is as eager to eat its own as it is to destroy Obama. The movement’s undisputed leaders, Palin and Beck, neither of whom have what Palin once called the “actual responsibilities” of public office, would gladly see the Republican Party die on the cross of right-wing ideological purity. Over the short term, at least, their wish could come true…

  7. It all goes back to racism: none of these teabaggers were moved to act until a black man was elected President of the United States. Look at the above-mentioned list of luminaries of the loony. Now tell me how “ethnic-friendly” any of them are. Look at who they support, who they criticize, and who they associate with. Just look. Also look at paragraph 2 in the comments above from moonbat and cundgulag. Can you figure out who lives in rural upstate NY?

  8. Bill you are absolutely correct. I agree, every one hates black people. It has nothing to do with the fact that Obama surrounds him self with Marxists and revolutionary radicals that want to “fundamentally transform” America and take away our freedom. Nor does it have anything to do with the fact that that he has doubled our national deficit and placed us in a situation that we might possibly never be able to financially recover from. And in only less than a year in office. It is simply because he is black that every one disagrees with him. Well said Bill. BTW, where do you think “Obama money” comes from?

  9. RU I don’t agree. Obama couldn’t have been elected if “everyone hates black people”. As far as the deficit, When bush took office, we were 2 trillion in black and when he left office we were 2 trillion in the red and forking over money like halloween candy. If you had something to say about the deficit, why weren’t you speaking up when bush was throwing out unfunded tax cuts for the rich?

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