Tuesday, October 27, 2009

NY23: New York Times finally notices there's a congressional election upstate

Their staff writer Jeremy Peters discovers how difficult it is to summarize this thing in 1,100 words:

The conservatives who oppose Ms. Scozzafava have attacked her as they would a Democrat. They have tried linking her to Acorn because of her relationship with the Acorn-affiliated Working Families Party, and they have called her the candidate of big labor because of her endorsement from the New York State United Teachers Union.
The attacks have at times rattled the Scozzafava campaign. Last week, the campaign called the police after a reporter from The Weekly Standard, the conservative magazine, continued to press Ms. Scozzafava to answer questions after she declined to comment. Afterward, Ms. Scozzafava was mocked relentlessly in the conservative blogosphere. . . .
You can read the whole thing, but the most interesting part to me was this:

"The No. 1 victory will be to defeat Dede," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, which works to elect candidates who oppose abortion.
Ms. Dannenfelser, along with members of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, are helping to coordinate efforts on the ground in support of Mr. Hoffman.
At the Days Inn on Sunday, Ms. Dannenfelser, 43, of Arlington, Va., and three other organizers from the Washington area who have temporarily relocated to Watertown joined a conference call with conservatives from across the country. A small picture of Jesus and the Virgin Mary rested on top of the television, while the Pittsburgh Steelers game played with the volume muted. . . .
Very interesting that the New York Times guy got the inside tour of this pro-life HQ in Watertown, but none of my Hoffman campaign sources even mentioned it to me. (Note to self: Chew sources a new one.)

All along, I've figured that a big key for Hoffman would be the Catholic vote in this district. A lot of pro-life Catholics didn't trust John McCain (Episcopalian, IYKWIMAITYD).

Obama got support from some of those "social justice"-type Catholics who spend too much time reading Rerum Novarum. Now that the Obama/Pelosi/Reid axis has shown its true colors, there's a backlash.

Because of the GOP/Conservative split in NY23, this special election really isolates the bedrock conservatives. And I mean "isolate" in the scientific sense, as a chemist would isolate an element, separating it from a mixture. Separated from the Republican herd, Hoffman supporters constitute a profile of the grassroots conservative base: Lot of military veterans, Catholic laymen, small business people, technicians, grandparents worried about the debt that's being heaped on the next generation.

Oh, but you can't tell a story like this in 1,100 words!

UPDATE: Janet Hook of the L.A. Times takes her turn with 1,200 words and misses the point:

McHugh had been easily reelected in the district by wide margins, and Scozzafava's backers say a conservative like Hoffman does not fit the district.
"Her positions on a lot of issues are reflective of the electorate here," said Matt Burns, a Scozzafava spokesman. "If the idea is that every Republican that runs for office needs [to be] someone who fits in Georgia, then it's going to be very, very difficult for Republicans to gain a majority in the House of Representatives."
There's not much evidence from this story that the L.A. Times reporter, who filed under a D.C. dateline, has spent any significant time in the 23rd District.

It's a region of small towns. It has far more in common with rural north Georgia, in terms of culture and economics, than than the Scozzafava's team would have you believe. There are more Catholics than Baptists, but that's really the only major difference. Fort Drum is in the district, and you have a significant military/patriotic element up there.

Even the district's 52% vote for Obama in 2008 is deceptive. As one source pointed out to me, there are several colleges and universities in the 23rd District; Obama no doubt got thousands of his votes from liberal student-activist types who are unlikely to pay much attention to a special congressional election.

Like I said before: Don't believe the MSM.


Our complete coverage of the NY23 special election


  1. Robert,
    New poll out shows Doug's lead increased again.
    I'm polling on whether folks think Scozzafava should bow out and throw her support to Hoffman to ensure the seat stays Republican.

  2. Scozzafava will not do what is best for the GOP because she is not even a Republican.

    And Newt, you are not really a conservative.

  3. Riehl is right in a macro way. While I like third party candidates in races like this one in New York, what we need in the long term is to reform the GOP. We can't beat Obama and the Dem majority in Congress spliting the vote. And the damage Obama and the Dems are doing is enormous and not easily repaired.

  4. [Marjorie Dannenfelser]

    I believe she's in charge of TeamSarah.org