Even with Dede withdrawal, race is still tight

Rick Moran
Inside the Siena poll numbers that shows Hoffman and Owens neck and neck in NY23 is some potential sobering news for Hoffman fans; Scozzafava supporters like Obama more than they do Hoffman.

Nate Silver:

Certainly, the conventional wisdom would be that when the Republican candidate suspends her campaign and encourages her supporters to vote for someone else, it would help the Conservative candidate more than the Democrat. And that's where the betting is on Intrade, where Conservative Doug Hoffman has shot up from having a 50 percent chance of winning NY-23's special election to a 67 percent chance on the news this morning.
The reality may be more complicated.

Consider the Siena poll out this morning, which has all sorts of useful cross-tabs. Scozzafava's supporters in this poll:

-- Have a favorable view of Barack Obama by a 64-31 margin.
-- Have an unfavorable view of Hoffman 15-57.
-- Have an unfavorable view of Democrat Bill Owens, 19-50.

[...]

If I had to guess, I'd think that of Scozzafava's support, one-quarter of people don't vote, one-quarter vote for Scozzafava anyway, 30 percent defect to Hoffman and 20 percent defect to Owens. Extrapolating from the morning's Siena poll, that would produce a result of Hoffman 43, Owens 42, Scozzafava 5, with 10 percent of the voters still up for grabs.
Gun to my head? Sure, I'd take Hoffman at this point. But I'd also take the short side of the 67 percent odds that he's been given at Intrade.

Nate's analysis is, as always, insightful, logical, and based on sound reasoning. But he is ignoring the "X" factor; conservative enthusiasm for Hoffman that far exceeds any comparable excitement for Owens.

And in a low turnout election, that enthusiasm may very well give Hoffman the boost he needs to win.


Inside the Siena poll numbers that shows Hoffman and Owens neck and neck in NY23 is some potential sobering news for Hoffman fans; Scozzafava supporters like Obama more than they do Hoffman.

Nate Silver:

Certainly, the conventional wisdom would be that when the Republican candidate suspends her campaign and encourages her supporters to vote for someone else, it would help the Conservative candidate more than the Democrat. And that's where the betting is on Intrade, where Conservative Doug Hoffman has shot up from having a 50 percent chance of winning NY-23's special election to a 67 percent chance on the news this morning.
The reality may be more complicated.

Consider the Siena poll out this morning, which has all sorts of useful cross-tabs. Scozzafava's supporters in this poll:

-- Have a favorable view of Barack Obama by a 64-31 margin.
-- Have an unfavorable view of Hoffman 15-57.
-- Have an unfavorable view of Democrat Bill Owens, 19-50.

[...]

If I had to guess, I'd think that of Scozzafava's support, one-quarter of people don't vote, one-quarter vote for Scozzafava anyway, 30 percent defect to Hoffman and 20 percent defect to Owens. Extrapolating from the morning's Siena poll, that would produce a result of Hoffman 43, Owens 42, Scozzafava 5, with 10 percent of the voters still up for grabs.
Gun to my head? Sure, I'd take Hoffman at this point. But I'd also take the short side of the 67 percent odds that he's been given at Intrade.

Nate's analysis is, as always, insightful, logical, and based on sound reasoning. But he is ignoring the "X" factor; conservative enthusiasm for Hoffman that far exceeds any comparable excitement for Owens.

And in a low turnout election, that enthusiasm may very well give Hoffman the boost he needs to win.