Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mixed Messages In New York Primary Results

What kind of message did voters send based on last night's election returns?

Mixed messages - and it totally depends on the race we're talking about.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY15) won reelecting pretty handily despite being up on ethics charges that could get him booted from the House. His constituents didn't seem to mind, and it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that the primary was the only chance to unseat him. What does that say about his constituents in Harlem? They don't care about his criminality and illegal acts - including evading paying taxes in multiple jurisdictions and to the IRS?

At the same time, the nutter Carl Paladino handily beat the GOP preferred Rick Lazio. Neither of these guys are world beaters and Paladino is a nut job whose racist and bigoted comments surely reflect his true mindset and views on the diverse population found throughout the state. He has money to burn, and that surely helped him beat Lazio. Paladino seems to have touched a nerve of discontent, but it will not be sufficient to beat Cuomo in November.

Paladino really doesn't have a chance at beating Andy Cuomo in November, but he might make it interesting with tons of money to devote to his campaign. What the primary showed is that the GOP is particularly weak in NYS - something I've been noting for years and that the GOP establishment has few candidates to run for statewide offices except retreads - Lazio was last seen running as a replacement for Rudy when Rudy withdrew from the US Senate race against Hillary Clinton following his prostate cancer diagnosis. Before that, he was pretty much a nobody - and will again return to obscurity.

Other local races of note here indicate that some voters finally got tired of criminal behavior - sending Hiram Monserrate (who was now running for Assembly after being tossed this summer from the State Senate) and Pedro Espada Jr. packing. Those two loathsome Democrats launched a coup last year to hand power back to the GOP for a few months so that they could push their own agenda and enlarge their own political fortunes, but fortune turned quite cold real fast - and both are really thugs in nice clothes.

Can we draw a larger conclusion?

I think the real story is that voters are fickle - and that predicting the outcome in November is going to be a tall order. The Delaware outcome may have made a GOP takeover in the Senate more difficult because the candidate chosen, O'Donnell is less electable than Castle. That's a slim bit of good news for Democrats on an otherwise difficult election season.

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