Is the House race in NY district 23 a bellwether of conservative opportunities around the country, or is it merely a local race that will have little meaning at the end of the day? Here’s the story as it was on October 1st:
Republican Dede Scozzafava leads Democrat Bill Owens in the race to fill a vacant House seat in upstate New York, even though the Conservative Party’s Doug Hoffman skims off a chunk of GOP voters.
Scozzafava, a longtime assemblywoman, was backed by 35 percent of likely voters in a Siena College poll conducted Sept. 27-29 — the first independent survey in the hotly contested race to fill the seat of former Rep. John McHugh.
Owens, a Plattsburgh attorney, was favored by 28 percent of those polled, while Hoffman, an accountant and entrepreneur, was the choice of 16 percent.
But that was not, and is not the end of the story.
Club for Growth and Gary Bauer both endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.
And it doesn’t end there.
RCP Reported these poll results on October 15th:
Owens 33 (+5 vs. last poll, Oct. 1)
Scozzafava 29 (-6)
Hoffman 23 (+7)
As the polling reflects, Scozzafava’s chances were fading while Democrat Owens took the lead and Hoffman made a serious leap upward. Dana Loesch, writing at BigGovernment.com, looked at the race:
A special election to replace departing Congressman John McHugh features a GOP candidate, Dede Scozzafave, backed by national GOP ‘leaders’, DailyKos and the state teachers’ union, a Democrat, Bill Owens and a Conservative Party Candidate, Doug Hoffman.
National GOP figures claim Dede Scozzafava is the best candidate hold the seat for the GOP. If that is true it begs a question, is it worth holding? Dede Scozzafava has regularly sought the support of ACORN’s Working Families Party, supported higher taxes, increased government spending, the stimulus bill, bailouts, Card Check…oh, lets just stop there.
Loesch created the website www.DumpDede.com
I have the feeling that Scozzafava thought this campaign was going to be a cake walk. John McHugh had won the district by comfortable margins in the past.
As her poll numbers shrank so did good ideas for her campaign. Example 1 — calling the cops on a reporter.
Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack caught up with Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava at a campaign event in Lowville, New York, yesterday. McCormack scared the hell out of Scozzafava by asking her questions on card check, taxes and abortion coverage.
McCormack scared Scozzafava so badly that she called the cops on him. “[Scozzafava] got startled, that’s all,” the officer explained to McCormack. “It’s not like you’re in any trouble.”
McCormack was relieved, but he wonders “if it’s the Scozzafava campaign that’s in trouble–with a candidate who supports card check, who is unwilling to say she’d oppose a health care bill that raises taxes or includes abortion coverage, and who is so reluctant to answer questions that she has someone with her campaign call the cops when she’s questioned by a reporter who is (if I may say so) polite–if a bit persistent.”
What could be worse than that? Yes, that was a rhetorical question. The answer is holding a press conference in front of your opponents campaign headquarters. It was not a good photo-op.
While Scozzafava enjoys the support of Republicans like Newt Gingrich and the NRCC, in the past few days Hoffman has picked up some serious conservative support. Ken Blackwell said,
Hoffman is a genuine Reagan conservative in a district that generally votes in that direction. Now, some smart people argue that in some districts, only a moderate Republican can get elected. That’s what coalitions are all about. We cannot get all we want all the time. Even the Gipper would campaign for some Republicans I was less than thrilled about. He understood the importance of building a majority in Congress.
That’s not the situation that faces us in New York 23, however. There, the GOP establishment’s nominee for Congress, Dede Scozzafava, is pro-choice and anti-marriage; she supported the failing Obama stimulus, and she has waffled on whether she would back Big Labor’s demand for “card check.”
Hoffman is a true Reagan conservative. He accepted the Conservative Party’s nomination because he was denied the chance to make his case to the party’s grass-roots voters. If elected, he would caucus with the Republicans. He’d provide unquestionably stronger support for genuine GOP principles than Scozzafava — based on her own liberal record — would provide.
And Rep. Michelle Bachmann:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) became the first Republican member of Congress to publicly support Conservative Doug Hoffman over the GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava in the upcoming New York special election.
Want more? How about Sarah Palin.
The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it’s important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York’s 23rd Congressional district. It’s my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.
Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a “time for choosing.”
The support has also come in financially.
Over the past week, New York House special election candidate Doug Hoffman has doubled the amount of donations he has received for his unusually strong third-party campaign.
Hoffman, the Conservative Party nominee in the Nov. 3 contest for the 23rd District seat, disclosed just more than $300,000 in total receipts in his pre-general election fundraising report, which covers the beginning of the race through Oct. 14. That included a $102,000 loan that Hoffman, an accountant and first-time candidate, made to his campaign from his own funds.
But Hoffman’s campaign also said that since Oct. 14, the candidate — who is in a tight three-way race to fill the seat Republican Rep. John M. McHugh vacated to become secretary of the Army — raised more than $200,000 online.
While this race is coming down to the November 3rd wire, it is far from over.
Hoffman’s campaign website and on Twitter — @dougforcongress