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1st April
2009
written by Sean Noble

The special election in NY-20 will hinge on the estimated 10,000 absentee ballots that will be counted over the next two weeks.   Election day voting had Democrat Scott Murphy leading Republican Jim Tedisco by a mere 65 votes out of 154,000 cast.  Given that a large number of the 10,000 to be counted are military voters, it is very likely that Tedisco will end up the winner.

This is a huge, huge victory for Republicans.  Democrats were unified in their message that they won a moral victory with Murphy being ahead and keeping it very close, but that spin belies the facts of recent history.  Now-Senator Kristin Gillibrand won the 2008 election by double digits despite the Republican spending $6 million trying to unseat her.  Obama carried the district by three points in the last election, and in previous elections, Democrats Elliot Spitzer and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton did as well.  This was the Democrats to lose, and lose they will.

This sends a shot across the bow of President Obama and Congressional Democrats, because this race was in essence a referendum on the young Presidency of Obama and on the Democrat Congress.

The most instructive quote of the night came from NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions:

“Less than 150 days ago, President Obama carried New York’s 20th District, and former Congresswoman Gillibrand was handily reelected in this district by a margin of 62-38 percent, despite the fact that her Republican opponent spent $6 million trying to defeat her.  For the first time in a long time, a Republican candidate went toe-to-toe with a Democrat in a hard-fought battle over independent voters. This was hardly a common phenomenon in 2008, particularly in the Northeast.”

History of Recent Elections in NY-20:

•    President Obama carried the district by a margin of 51%-48% in 2008.
•    Kirsten Gillibrand won re-election in 2008 by a margin of 62%-38% against a challenger who spent $6 million.
•    Eliot Spitzer carried the district by a margin of 57%-36% in 2006.
•    Chuck Schumer carried the district in 2004, as did Hillary Clinton in 2006.

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8 Comments

  1. MoreNobleBS
    01/04/2009

    Sean, Sean, Sean…

    Republicans have a huge registration advantage in NY20.

    And even more: Tedisco started the race with a 20-point lead in public polling by Siena. Murphy closed the big gap by arguing that he would SUPPORT Obama and his policies.

    Your arguments really just don’t hold water.

  2. Kelley
    01/04/2009

    The comment above mine seems a tad bitter, no? Awww, it’s okay, Dems. Don’t cry.

  3. Woody
    01/04/2009

    The real question is will Republican leaders nationwide get the message and those who abandoned conservative principles get out of the way (or be pushed out of the way) of those who will hold fast to genuine conservatism. Who has a longer memory, the Republican leadership or the voters?

  4. NotSoNoble
    01/04/2009

    There are 70,000 more Republicans than Democrats in NY20.

    70,000. more. Republicans.

    I think POLITICO (who clearly lean conservative editorially) has it about right:

    SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – There’s no winner yet in the Upstate New York special election, and it might be mid-April before the race is settled. But a few things are clearer after Tuesday’s contest, none of it welcome news to the Republican Party. Link: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20748.html

  5. Thomas
    01/04/2009

    please…last election the Democrat’s won 62-38 if I am not mistaken. This is a win…

  6. Nick
    01/04/2009

    I hope you’re right, Sean, but I have learned to not count my chickens. Remember the Minnesota U.S. Senate race? The Dems seem to have a way of stealing elections when absentee votes are in play.

  7. Lichen Planus
    05/04/2009

    Honestly,

    I don’t know how you all focus so much on the industry of politics, it’s a rather corrupt institution that parades about like a democracy. Presidents starting wars, firing CEO’s, Corrupt Mayors, Stealing from the people and call it taxes to payback campaign supporters…..

  8. […] it was essentially a tie, and we faced weeks of counting to determine the winner.  Back then I predicted that the Republican, Jim Tedisco, would come out on top.  I was […]