Dem wins NY-26: World ends for GOP tomorrow says media

Rick Moran
One district in a liberal state that had gone Republican for years has flipped thanks to a fake Tea Party candidate who was able to siphon just enough votes from the Republican to give the Democrat the victory.

Jack Davis managed to get 9% of the vote in NY-26, thus handing Democrat Kathleen Hochul a 47-43 victory over Republican Jane Corwin. This fact seems to get lost in the telling, but absent Davis - a Democrat who ran as a tea party member - Corwin would have almost certainly eked out a victory.

No doubt scaring the crap out of seniors by lying about Paul Ryan's Medicare plan and budget had something to do with the outcome. Shameless demagoguing, millions of dollars from outside sources, and high negatives for Corwin all contributed to the Democratic victory.

Only 25% of the voters turned out and this too, helped Hochul. Democratic pollster Nate Silver on what it means:

First, any one special election probably does not have all that much predictive power. Once there are several special elections, they may begin to mean something, but one taken in isolation is a rather fuzzy indicator.

Second, Ms. Corwin had very high unfavorable ratings and tried a crass political stunt that backfired, so she was probably a below-average candidate.

Still, a seat that would ordinarily be won by Republicans by about 12 points, but was instead won by the Democrats by 6 points, is a pretty big deviation from the norm. Odds are, like in the special election in Massachusetts last year, that some part of this had to do with factors that could carry over to the national level, while some other part had to do with circumstances specific to the district.

There is strong circumstantial evidence from the Siena poll, which came reasonably close to the actual outcome, that one of the more broadly applicable factors was Ms. Corwin's association with Representative Paul Ryan's budget, which Ms. Hochul criticized for its changes to Medicare.

Nobody said getting the deficit under control will be easy. Democrats have yet to offer anything approaching a viable plan and will avoid doing so at all costs. Cutting spending anywhere is unpopular when the spending being cut affects a large bloc of Americans who vote a lot. As long as the Democrats can kibitz from the sidelines without showing their hand, they will probably make political hay.

This is why the debt ceiling vote is important. The GOP needs to get the Dems on record supporting cuts in entitlements. Otherwise, they will get hammered with the issue in 2012.



One district in a liberal state that had gone Republican for years has flipped thanks to a fake Tea Party candidate who was able to siphon just enough votes from the Republican to give the Democrat the victory.

Jack Davis managed to get 9% of the vote in NY-26, thus handing Democrat Kathleen Hochul a 47-43 victory over Republican Jane Corwin. This fact seems to get lost in the telling, but absent Davis - a Democrat who ran as a tea party member - Corwin would have almost certainly eked out a victory.

No doubt scaring the crap out of seniors by lying about Paul Ryan's Medicare plan and budget had something to do with the outcome. Shameless demagoguing, millions of dollars from outside sources, and high negatives for Corwin all contributed to the Democratic victory.

Only 25% of the voters turned out and this too, helped Hochul. Democratic pollster Nate Silver on what it means:

First, any one special election probably does not have all that much predictive power. Once there are several special elections, they may begin to mean something, but one taken in isolation is a rather fuzzy indicator.

Second, Ms. Corwin had very high unfavorable ratings and tried a crass political stunt that backfired, so she was probably a below-average candidate.

Still, a seat that would ordinarily be won by Republicans by about 12 points, but was instead won by the Democrats by 6 points, is a pretty big deviation from the norm. Odds are, like in the special election in Massachusetts last year, that some part of this had to do with factors that could carry over to the national level, while some other part had to do with circumstances specific to the district.

There is strong circumstantial evidence from the Siena poll, which came reasonably close to the actual outcome, that one of the more broadly applicable factors was Ms. Corwin's association with Representative Paul Ryan's budget, which Ms. Hochul criticized for its changes to Medicare.

Nobody said getting the deficit under control will be easy. Democrats have yet to offer anything approaching a viable plan and will avoid doing so at all costs. Cutting spending anywhere is unpopular when the spending being cut affects a large bloc of Americans who vote a lot. As long as the Democrats can kibitz from the sidelines without showing their hand, they will probably make political hay.

This is why the debt ceiling vote is important. The GOP needs to get the Dems on record supporting cuts in entitlements. Otherwise, they will get hammered with the issue in 2012.