Showing posts with label 20th district. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 20th district. Show all posts

Friday, April 24, 2009

Nothing to See Here: NY-20 Race Comes to a Close

Democrat out, Democrat in.

Ah, if only it were that easy. Of course, that's all most will remember of this until the rematch between Murphy and Tedisco heats up in the fall of 2010, if then. For now though, Scott Murphy is the new congressman from New York's 20th district following Jim Tedisco's concession this afternoon. Murphy currently leads by 399 votes.

I think it is safe to say that this one is marked by both parties as one of the most competitive House races for 2010. And I'll say this: The special election has been welcomed respite from all things unelectiony since November.

[Yeah, I just made that one up.]

Up Next?

June 2: New Jersey Gubernatorial primary

June 9: Virginia Gubernatorial primary

July 14: CA-32 special election

See, we'll have a few things to tide us over until the general election campaigns this fall.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NY-20: Does a Tie Mean the Nation is Brutally Divided?

If a Tedisco win meant the beginning of a Republican comeback nationally and a Murphy win meant the nation is on-board with the Obama administration, what does a 65 vote margin with 610 of 610 precincts reporting (and a few thousand absentee ballots to be counted) mean?

[Click for Election Results via The Saratogian]

There's only one answer to that: elections are fun!

UPDATE: As per Jack, via The Saratoagian, it's now down to a 25 vote Murphy edge in NY-20.
[Click to Enlarge]

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All Eyes on NY-20

[Click Map to Enlarge]

FHQ has been quiet on this one, which is unusual for an elections site. But special elections are nice. For elections nerds like myself, they are a welcome respite from the dark period between regularly scheduled elections. However, it is difficult to apply lessons learned from past special elections to any new one that comes along simply because the circumstances from one special election to the next (or from a general election to a special election) vary so widely.

The congressional special elections in the winter and spring of 2008 were nice in that all of them were conservative districts that broke toward the Democrats. There was something of a trend that could be parsed from that; a trend that culminated with Obama winning the White House and Democrats increasing their majorities in Congress. But it's easy to read too much into these specials. For one thing, they aren't always successfully nationalized. Often they hinge on state or local quirks. Scott Murphy is attempting to nationalize the NY-20 special by linking Jim Tedisco to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and George W. Bush. And Tedisco, for his part, is running away from national Republicans despite leaning on NRCC money. In the context of decreasing poll numbers, that's never really a good sign.

Can we extrapolate anything from those poll numbers, though? Given that there have only been six polls* conducted (three of them partisan), there isn't a whole lot of information out there. What those polls do tell us is that the trend has been toward Murphy. He has gained 8 points from poll to poll in the Siena sequence of polls and has a lead that is right around the margin of error to slightly above it.

But drawing anything anymore substantive than that from those numbers is a fool's errand. [Just look back to the Georgia Senate runoff for one such example.] Specials always come down to turnout. And with this race being so closely scrutinized on the national level, polling could either energize Republicans (in a Republican-leaning district) to head out to their nearest polling station or it could, given the current trend and the potential perception of reality, keep them away. For Democrats, it is a question of whether they are still as motivated as they were in November when Obama won the district by three points and incumbent Democratic congresswoman (turned senator), Kirsten Gillibrand, took over three-fifths of the vote.

But, does the tide wash a little further up the beach or has it already begun receding? That's what the media will be talking about tonight when the polls close at 9pm, but in special elections it is rarely that black and white. The results will do a better job of telling us whether Murphy was able to successfully nationalize this race.

*You'll have to back out to Pollster's front page to see the information on the sixth poll; the third one conducted by the DCCC.

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