The left will try their best to minimize the damage done but the bluedog Democrats are now on notice….pass fiscally irresponsible bills like ObamaCare and your toast. As for NY-23, a few good articles…first from Roger Simon:
Now I realize that the surprise loser there, Doug Hoffman, ran as a Conservative, not a Republican. But I submit in this case that was a distinction without a significant difference because virtually all the Republican establishment had lined up behind Hoffman by the day of the election.
So why – in what was clearly a Republican year – did Hoffman lose? Well, there are several reasons and, yes, the Democratic victory was narrow, thinner than the five or so percent that went to withdrawn Republican nominee Scozzafava who herself endorsed the Democratic candidate. Still, the 23rd is a safely Republican, even conservative, district. In a year where the GOP racked up a 20% margin in Virginia and coasted easily in Jersey, a state in which Obama romped in ‘08 by 16%, what was the problem?
Well… I might as well say it… social conservatism. America is a fiscally conservative country – now perhaps more than ever, and with much justification – but not a socially conservative one. No, I don’t mean to say it’s socially liberal. It’s not. It’s socially laissez-faire (just as its mostly fiscally laissez-faire). Whether we’re pro-choice, pro-life or whatever we are, most of us want the government out of our bedrooms, just as we want it out of our wallets.
Hoffman’s capital-C Conservative campaign, however, tried to separate itself from the majority parties by making a big deal of the social issues. He was all upset that Scozzafava was pro-gay marriage, seemingly as upset as he was with her support for the stimulus plan. He projected the image of a bluenose in a world that increasingly doesn’t want to hear about these things. Hoffman’s is a selective vision of the nanny state – you can nanny about some things but not about others. I suspect America deeply dislikes nannying about anything.
There is, of course, a message in this for the Republican Party going forward. You can choose to emphasize the social issues or not. Today may show the former is a losing proposition.
Somewhat agree but not completely. A few weeks ago no one knew who Hoffman was. A ton of cash was thrown to the supposed Republican in the race, not to the one who had real conservative idea’s and principals, all this and maybe the social aspect of it played a part. Either way…the NY-23 race exposed a Democrat masquerading as a Republican and sent a message. Don’t be choosing candidates in the backrooms of power, especially when that person doesn’t represent the real party.
The other good post on NY-23 comes from Erick Erickson:
There are two big victories at work in New York’s 23rd Congressional District.
First, the GOP now must recognize it will either lose without conservatives or will win with conservatives. In 2008, many conservatives sat home instead of voting for John McCain. Now, in NY-23, conservatives rallied and destroyed the Republican candidate the establishment chose.
I have said all along that the goal of activists must be to defeat Scozzafava. Doug Hoffman winning would just be gravy. A Hoffman win is not in the cards, but we did exactly what we set out to do — crush the establishment backed GOP candidate.
And make no mistake, despite the Beltway spin, we know for certain based on statements from the local Republican parties, that they chose Scozzafava based on advice from the Washington crowd.
So we have demonstrated to the GOP that it must not take conservatives for granted. The GOP spent $900,000.00 on a Republican who dropped out and endorsed the Democrat. Were we to combine Scozzafava and Hoffman’s votes, Hoffman would have won.
Secondly, and just as importantly, there has all of a sudden been a huge movement among some activists to go the third party route. We see in NY-23 that this is not possible as third parties are not viable.
Third parties lack funding and ability for a host of reasons. Conservatives are going to have to work from within the GOP. The GOP had better pay attention.
For all intents and purposes, NY-23 is a trial run for Florida. And in Florida, the conservative candidate is operating inside the GOP. If John Cornyn and the NRSC do not want to see Florida go the way of NY-23, they better stand down.
Great points, especially the third party point. Just won’t happen. If the Beltway crowd hadn’t of picked a person to represent the Republican party who was more liberal then the Democrat challenger….then Hoffman would of won. Instead the establishment picked Scozzafava and it took a groundswell to get her removed.
But there were other races that are even more indicative of citizens sick of the spending:
The biggest defeat for RINOs in New York wasn’t the pre-election collapse of Dede Scozzafava in the 23rd CD. It was tonight’s stunning victory by conservative Republican Rob Astorino in the race for County Executive of Westchester County—the affluent and heavily taxed suburb just north of NYC, which has been solidly Democratic for more than a decade. Astorino’s victory is a stinging rebuke to the brand of New York Republicanism personified by Assemblywoman Scozzafava, former Gov. (and Westchester native son) George Pataki, and Westchester’s famously liberal former state Sen. Nicky Spano of Yonkers, who had endorsed incumbent Democratic County Executive Andy Spano (no relation) and engineered Andy Spano’s endorsement by the local Conservative party. Astorino, 42, a county legislator who used to co-host a satellite radio show with Cardinal Egan, happens to be pro-life — but going against the trend established by Pataki and other suburban Republicans in the 1990s, he didn’t waver from that position. He knew the pro-choice swing vote in Westchester would be motivated by primarily economic issues. He was right, and has a bright future in statewide politics if he does a good job. An even more stunning Republican showing came in the other big, affluent NYC suburb, Nassau County, where an underfunded Republican named Ed Mangano was — as of midnight — in a dead heat with the charismatic Democratic County Executive Tom Suozzi. Meanwhile, the GOP recaptured control of that county’s legislature. Nassau residents apparently were so fed up with the status quo that they may have returned control of county government to the same discredited GOP machine that nearly drove the county into bankruptcy just eight years ago. In a word, Wow.
And from the Westchester Journal News:
Voters rejected the Democratic incumbent’s bid for a fourth term, opting instead for a candidate who pledged to downsize government and cut the highest county taxes in the nation.
“It’s far surpassing anything we expected,” Astorino said after taking Spano’s concession call at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. “But I think the message resonated. People wanted change and they are going to get it starting in January.”
Astorino’s victory came despite Democrats’ 2-1 margin over Republicans among Westchester’s 538,822 registered voters.
With 87 percent of the votes in, Astorino had 58 percent, Spano 42 percent, according to the unofficial results.
And finally a message to Republicans for 2010:
A Republican Strategist’s Take
I just spoke to a smart one. He argues that the Virginia governor’s race offers more lessons for Republicans than either the New Jersey race (because there was an incumbent on whom it was a referendum) or the New York congressional race (because its circumstances were too odd). One of the lessons he draws is that Republican candidates have to “finish the sentence.” Instead of just saying that we have to keep taxes and spending low, and thus pleasing conservatives, he said, McDonnell explain how these policies would create jobs and “plug the hole in Richmond.” Too many Republican candidates, he says, forget to do that.
He pours cold water on the idea that the elections were a referendum on Obama. “Obama’s numbers in Virginia are not that bad. He’s not upside-down, that’s for sure.” (That is, more people rate him favorably than unfavorably.) “I guarantee you that McDonnell got a lot of votes from people who approve of [the job Obama is doing].” He takes the vote to be a rejection of many of Obama’s policies. But he adds, “I don’t think that Republicans should come away from this and think that all that we have to do in 2010 is run against Obama. McDonnell had a very vigorous policy agenda.”
Not the first time I heard from analysts tonight that the McDonnell campaign is one that should be emulated by Republicans in 2010.