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30th March
written by Sean Noble

Tuesday, March 31 is a big, big day in politics this year.  Why, you ask? It is the special election for Rep. Kristin Gillibrand’s seat that she vacated to ascend to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat in New York.

“NY-20” is going to be a critical touchstone for months to come as we go into next year’s mid-term elections.  This is a Democrat seat, and the Democrat’s have pulled out all the stops to keep it in their column.  President Barack Obama has now weighed in, and both parties have major get-out-the-vote operations in place, with phone banks both in New York and D.C., and even some remote volunteer phone banks in other states.

This is an absolute must-win for the Democrats – because it will be seen as a litmus test on the Democrat Congress and on President Obama.  If the Democrat candidate, Scott Murphy, doesn’t get elected, the shockwaves will be felt from San Francisco to New York to D.C. and everywhere in between.

In some ways, the Republicans couldn’t be in a better spot.  If Republican Jim Tedisco wins, the momentum will have shifted less than 100-days into Obama’s administration.  If Tedisco loses, but keeps it close (within 5 points) it will still have a lasting impact on the way the Democrats in the House and President Obama play their cards (including “card check”) going into 2010.  For Republicans, this is a win-win, as long as a “loss” is close.

Murphy has some problems that are unique to this time – he’s been a lobbyist for Wall Street and he was an executive with an internet company that lost millions of dollars and later approved big bonuses for executives (sound familiar?).  AIG is a central issue in this campaign.  Here is how the NRCC has framed the issue:

This will be one of the biggest elections this year – it may be even more important than the Virginia’s Governor’s election this fall.  One thing for sure, the Democrats know the risk of losing, and they have doubled-down.

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  1. Thomas Grier

    Where is the RNC & RSSC? Where are the PACS? Every second of my life I am bombarded with Democrat propaganda ads and the only Republican ads I see is web based. I would feel much better if I started seeing ads against Harry Michell.

  2. MoreNobleBS

    You might be the only person in the world who considers NY20 a Democratic seat. Gillibrand was only able to win this seat because Sweeney was caught in multiple scandals. Of course Dems want to keep the seat, but this is a CD that heavily favors Republicans, which is the only reason Tedisco is competitive. Even in NY20 many I’s and R’s support Obama.

  3. NotSoNoble

    I agree with MoreNobleBS, as does Rep. John Boehner:

    Politico: GOP lowering expectations?

    With momentum shifting to Democrat Scott Murphy in today’s special election in upstate New York, House Republican leaders are pre-empting any blame that might come their way should Republican Jim Tedisco lose.

    In a Tuesday morning news conference, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the outcome of the election shouldn’t be seen as a referendum on the GOP leadership in Congress.

    “It’s between those two candidates in New York,” Boehner explained to reporters. “I hope Jim Tedisco wins.”

  4. Thomas Grier

    Historically the out party does well in the mid-term along with special elections caused by vacancies. This coupled with the district leaning Republican = a Tedisco win. If we are poll junkies then we should be fine conceding Obama has lost major ground among Republicans and Independents that he carried over from the general. He is also losing ground with moderate Democrats as their retrospective analysis tells them things are worse since Obama took the reigns.

  5. 02/04/2009

    Thomas — I think it is safe to say that nobody believed that Obama would stay in the 68% approval rating. Absolutely he has lost ground with Republicans and some pockets of Independents. But even though groups of Democrats (ie Blue Dogs) have criticized some of his policies — the polls do not indicate they have broken support for him over all. — but more so because the criticism has been fine tuned from the right.

    Sean — you are trying to point to a Republican district as evidence of the GOPs revived movement. You are in for a wake up call in 2010 as the Republicans are hemorrhaging voters. Look at Penn. Look at NY. Look at FL. Look at OH. The margin between registered voters of the two parties is widening. Instead of writing so many posts about what Democrats are doing wrong — how about you write some posts about what Republicans are doing right. If your party continues with the same rhetoric that has been spewed out over the past several months — NY 20 will be the least of your worries – and 60 senate votes will be the reality.

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