John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


It’s A Tie

Posted on April 1, 2009

It’s A Tie


            Jim Tedisco and Scott Murphy pretty much tied last night, and both sides will improbably claim victory.


            The Obama campaign (I mean White House) will say that this was a Republican district (it has 70,000 more registered Republicans) and the Obama endorsement made it closer than it would have been otherwise.


            The Republicans will say that it was a Democratic district (Kirsten Gillibrand, the new Democratic Senator held the seat the last four years), and this was an example of how Republicans are making inroads in the Northeast again.


            It is hard, though, for either side to claim victory until a victor is decided. 


            Tedisco is a better fit for the district.  He was the State Assembly Minority Leader, he was born in the area, and he looks like he is from the Northeast.  Murphy was born in Missouri, only moved to the area a decade ago, and had never held an elected office before.


            New York has been a bloodbath for Republicans lately.  As the national party has inched ever rightward, the local party has taken it in the shorts.  Luckily for the local GOP, the Democrats are now in control and they are making a mess of it.  They can’t put together a budget at the state level, the only thing they agree on is raising taxes, and their governor is a bigger joke than any gag from Saturday Night Live.


            Some were trying to make this an election that pitted Barack Obama against Michel Steele.  I doubt that was the real reason people came out to the polls.  More likely, folks came out because they were doing their patriotic duty, wanted to register their concern with New York’s slipping economy, or because they were contacted by one of the campaigns.


            Still, Obama did win this district by 3 points less than 150 days ago.  While this close race does not mean a complete rejection of the President’s agenda, it certainly doesn’t mean a sweeping endorsement either. 


            With absentee and military ballots still yet to be counted, the guessing is that Tedisco will eke this out.  But until that final count happens, neither side should be spending too much time spinning a victory that hasn’t happened yet.

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