Scozzafava suspends her campaign for NY's 23rd District

The conservative base appears to have won a smashing victory, as the liberal GOP Nominee suspends her campaign, opening up a path to victory for conservative Doug Hoffman to win. The Watertown (NY) Times reports:

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate, announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign for the 23rd Congressional District and releasing all her supporters.

The state Assemblywoman has not thrown her support to either Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, or Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate.

Scozzafava's letter to supporters (via Politico)

Dear Friends and Supporters:

Throughout the course of my campaign for Congress, I have made the people of the 23rd District and the issues that affect them the focal point of my campaign. As a life long resident of this District, I care deeply and passionately about its people and our way of life. Whether as a candidate for Congress, a State Assemblywoman or a small town Mayor, I have always sought to act with the best interest of our District and its residents in mind-and today I again seek to act for the good of our community.

The opportunity to run as the Republican and Independence Party candidate to represent the 23rd District has been and remains one of the greatest honors of my life. During the past several months, as I've traveled the district, meeting and talking with voters about the issues that matter most to them, I've been overwhelmed by the amount of support I've received as I sought to serve as their voice in Washington. However, as Winston Churchill once said, Democracy can be a fickle employer, and the road to public office is not always a smooth one.

In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I've come to accept is that in today's political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money-and as I've been outspent on both sides, I've been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record. But as I've said from the start of this campaign, this election is not about me, it's about the people of this District. And, as always, today I will do what I believe serves their interests best.

It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my Party will emerge stronger and our District and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations.

On Election Day my name will appear on the ballot, but victory is unlikely. To those who support me - and to those who choose not to - I offer my sincerest thanks.


This follows GOP Chairman Michael Steele's endorsement of Hoffman, which may have had something to do with Scozzafava's choice. Whatever the sources of her move, Steele and Scozzafava demonstrate that the GOP establishment finally is getting a clue about the intensity of the base, and the need to stand up to the radical changes threatened by the Obama administration.

Once again, Sarah Palin, who was the first major figure to endorse Hoffman, gains in strength as a leader of the GOP.

Hat tip: Susan L and Clarice Feldman


The latest poll results for a three way race show that Hoffman was virtually tied with his Democrat opponent at 35 and 36 percent support, with Scozzafava’s support trailing at 20 percent. One must presume that her supporters, voters for the official GOP candidate, will mostly support Hoffman.  

Hat tip:

Richard Baehr adds:
I suspect there is some lingering bitterness on her part. She was an easy winner with Hoffman third at about 10%, until the campaign by conservatives began to back him and not her. Not all of her support will go to Hoffman. The Conservative Party in New York is not a natural home for all New York Republicans.

If her vote splits 2 to 1 for Hoffman, he wins by maybe 5%. If it breaks more decisively (say 3 to 1 or more), he wins by 10%. But she will still get votes with her name on the ballot. My guess is 5-10% of the total.