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« The Special Relationship, Take Two | Blog Home Page | NY-20: A Photo Finish »

White House On NY-20: Wait And See

Make no mistake: if Scott Murphy wins in the NY-20 special election tonight, the White House will have plenty to say. But hours before the polls close and half an ocean away, press secretary Robert Gibbs was hesitant to say much, while making sure to call it a "very conservative" district where Republicans hold a registration advantage.

"Let's wait and see the result," Gibbs said when asked about domestic politics during Air Force One's journey to the United Kingdom. "You know, public polling and even Republican polling that showed the Democratic candidate down 30 points only several weeks ago. So regardless of the outcome, this is a district where, by all accounts -- particularly in a special election which largely, as you know, drives out the partisans -- the real partisans on each side -- to even be competitive in a district like that I think demonstrates quite a bit."

The White House did step up its role in the race, with a late endorsement from President Obama, a cash infusion from the DNC, and a radio ad voiced by Vice President Biden. It's been said repeatedly that the race is a referendum on Obama's stimulus package, if not his administration in general.