Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scozzafava Drops Out Of NY-23 Congressional Race

I didn't see this coming, but Dede Scozzafava has suspended her campaign with just days before the special election to fill the seat vacated by McHugh. This opens the way for Doug Hoffman to take on Democrat Bill Owens in a straight up fight in a district that has traditionally gone Republican.
The decision to suspend her campaign is a boost for Hoffman, who already had the support of 50 percent of GOP voters, according to a newly-released Siena poll, and is now well-positioned to win over the 25 percent of Republicans who had been sticking with Scozzafava.

Scozzafava has “probably made her last campaign appearance between now and Election Day,” spokesman Matt Burns told POLITICO. “She’s releasing her support to the two other candidates."

"I had a discussion with her last night, and we made the decision after I spoke with her. We talked about it, what this came down to was spending. It came down to the ability to defend herself from the get-go. And that’s the reality. She was unable to define herself where the people didn’t know her."
Hoffman is well to the right of the district and has garnered quite a bit of support from outside the state, he's also started to pick up support from mainstream Republicans in the state, including former Governor George Pataki. Pataki must have seen the writing on the wall yesterday when he came out backing Hoffman over Scozzafava.

Both Scozzafava and Hoffman are seriously flawed candidates. Hoffman isn't even a resident of the district he's hoping to represent, which I find abhorrent and should disqualify him outright. Scozzafava was an insider who has significant ties to ACORN and the WFP, and while the WFP backs Democrat Bill Owens in this race, Scozzafava's husband has worked quite a bit for both organizations.

Owens will likely go down to defeat because voters will coalesce behind Hoffman, not Owens. Looking back at the past several election cycles in NY-23, and Democrats have not won the seat.

Now, what will this mean outside the district? That's the million dollar question. Democrats will try and say that this shows that the GOP is fracturing and in the firm grip of conservatives and the far right. They'd be right to a degree, but that would be more than offset by a win by Chris Christie in New Jersey's gubernatorial race. No, what this shows is the continuing failure of the state GOP in New York to proffer candidates that are acceptable to the voters in their districts, and it took a rogue campaign by Hoffman to expose still more problems with the insider attitudes of the state GOP. Ed Cox, the head of the state GOP has to clean house and begin to understand that they have to work from the ground up to provide candidates that can win elections throughout the state from the local level on up to statewide races.

Cox needs to work the ground game and understand that tax and spend is destroying the state GOP because fiscal conservatives have no place to go and trying to spend less against Democrats is a losing cause because voters would rather vote for those who are going to spend more than those who are going to spend just a bit less.

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