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Blog Home Page --> House -- New York -- 23

Countdown '09: New York-23, New Jersey and Virginia (Today!)

NEW YORK-23 (Latest Polls)

*A local paper writes about the big final rallies.

*Scozzafava talks about her decision to drop out, and back the Democrat.

*What to watch for in the race.

NEW JERSEY (RCP Average: Christie +1.0)

*On Election Day, Gov. Jon Corzine's schedule is heavy on labor GOTV events. Chris Christie visits some diners and goes to a local GOP headquarters. Chris Daggett also has some retail stops and does some interviews.

*Expecting a recount? And charges of voter fraud. Gear up for what could be a wild day.

*Judges and attorneys will be on hand in courthouses around the state.

*Democrats admitted that they were behind a robocall praising indie Daggett and knocking Republican Christie.

*The suburbs are key in a state that's mostly suburban.

*Corzine thinks he has momentum.

*Look who joined Christie yesterday: former Gov. Christie Whitman. Also, Tom Kean.

*The Seinfeld of races: A "campaign about nothing"?

VIRGINIA (RCP Average: McDonnell +13.4)

*Polls close at 7 p.m. ET.

*Down so far in the polls, Deeds is facing a tougher task of getting out the vote than McDonnell.

*Virginians want "jobs, jobs and more jobs."

*Both candidates swung through Charlottesville yesterday.

*Chuck Todd calls Deeds' campaign "inept."

*Brad Todd says the race came down to the "advertising decisions made by both parties" in Northern Virginia.

*Democratic strategists are preparing to lose all three big races today.

RNC Radio Ad In NY-23: Vote Conservative

So much for pushing moderateness in this Northeastern swing district.

"Vote conservative," says the announcer in a new 60-second, RNC-sponsored radio ad in New York's 23rd District. Now that GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava has left the race, the national Republican campaign committees are pushing Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.

Scozzafava was lambasted by the GOP's conservative base for her relatively liberal positions on such issues as abortion, taxes and spending. The new RNC ad mentions the word "conservative" five times in the ad, which is airing today and tomorrow in New York's North Country media markets.

"Let's tell the liberals, enough is enough," the announcer continues. "No more bailouts, taxes and budget busting spending. It's time to create jobs, with proven conservative ideas like lower taxes. Let your voice be heard, join the movement to bring real conservative change."

You can hear the ad here.

NY-23 Poll: Hoffman +5

With GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava now out of the race and directing her supporters to back Democratic nominee Bill Owens, the special election race for New York's 23rd Congressional District has drastically changed. Siena Research Institute conducted a new poll yesterday to keep up with the late-breaking, game-changing events, and found Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman leading Owens by 5 points.

Hoffman 41 (+6 vs. last poll, Oct. 31)
Owens 36 (nc)
Scozzafava 6 (-14)

Click here to see all of the polls released in the NY-23 special election.

"With nearly one in five voters undecided the day before Election Day and voters still trying to comprehend the dramatic withdrawal of Scozzafava, and her subsequent endorsement of Owens, this is still a wide open race," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. "The two candidates and campaigns are both in a sprint to try and convince these undecided voters to support them. Which ever campaign succeeds in convincing the undecided voters and then getting them to the polls tomorrow, will likely be looking at a victory tomorrow night
Und 18 (+9)

Countdown '09: New York-23, New Jersey and Virginia (1 Day)

NEW YORK-23 (Latest Polls)

*Owens (D) and Scozzafava (R), together on the campaign trail.

*Politico has a tick-tock on Scozzafava's decision to back the Democrat.

*VP Biden will do what he can today as he campaigns for Owens.

*The race could be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the conservative base bucking national GOP leadership.

*The weekend's developments will reverberate beyond the district's boundaries.

*Is it a good sign for the GOP if NY-23 is a bellwether for 2010?

NEW JERSEY (RCP Average: Christie +1.2)

*New Polls: Is Christie pulling ahead?

*The Times looks at Democratic efforts to score a victory tomorrow.

*Christie says it all comes down to turnout.

*Republicans are unhappy with a late robocall that aims to push Christie voters to Daggett.

*Joe "You Lie" Wilson was in the Garden State boosting his fellow Republican.

*The Post says Obama's butt is on the line for Corzine.

*Property taxes is the big issue, as always.

VIRGINIA (RCP Average: McDonnell +13.8)

*New York Times looks at the two governor's races and what they could mean for Obama and Democrats.

*McDonnell appears to be running away with the race.

*Deeds took to criticizing McDonnell for negative campaigning.

*Whoever is elected will likely need to slash the budget, as the state faces a $1 billion shortfall.

*Jim Moran being Jim Moran: He compares McDonnell to Taliban.

*Did GOP's road to victory start with "The Deal"?

*What it's really all about -- this is where the candidates stand on the issues.

*Sarah Palin is robo-calling Virginians, urging them to "vote for Sarah's principles."

National GOP Reacts To Scozzafava Decision

Republican House leaders John Boehner (Ohio) and Eric Cantor (Va.), and NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), released a statement earlier today reacting to the news that Dede Scozzafava had suspended her campaign in New York's 23rd District special election three days before the election:

"As the House stands on the cusp of the forthcoming vote on a trillion-dollar healthcare reform measure, it is vital that we unify behind a candidate that will support reining in massive government spending and work with Republicans in Congress to restore fiscal sanity and propose thoughtful measures to get our nation's economy on the right track. "With Assemblywoman Scozzafava suspending her campaign, we urge voters to support Doug Hoffman's candidacy in New York's 23rd Congressional District. "He is the only active candidate in the race who supports lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and opposes Nancy Pelosi's agenda of government-run healthcare, more government and less jobs. "We look forward to welcoming Doug Hoffman into the House Republican Conference as we work together for the good of our nation."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement as well reinforcing the RNC's support of Hoffman:

Continue reading "National GOP Reacts To Scozzafava Decision" »

Scozzafava Quits NY-23 Race

A late bombshell in the NY-23 Congressional race: Republican Dede Scozzafava has dropped out, citing her standing in the polls and poor fundraising. From her statement:

"In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I've come to accept is that in today's political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money--and as I've been outspent on both sides, I've been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record.


"It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations."

A new poll from Siena Research this morning showed Democrat Bill Owens leading the race with 36 percent, followed by Conservative Bill Hoffman with 35 and Scozzafava with just 20.

Her full statement is after the jump.

Continue reading "Scozzafava Quits NY-23 Race" »

NY-23 Poll: Owens, Hoffman In Dead Heat

Third-party candidate Doug Hoffman's place in the race gets reinforced today, as a new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll finds the Conservative Party nominee in a statistical tie for the lead in the special election for New York's 23rd District.

The only other polls that had shown him ahead of the GOP nominee were released by conservative groups who publicly support him.

Hoffman has won the backing of national Republicans, such as Sarah Palin and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and leads Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava by 11 points. He trails Owens by just 1 point, putting him well within the margin of error and in a strong position to replace former congressman John McHugh (R-N.Y.).

The new survey also shows a huge change since the Kos/R2000 survey out last week, in which Scozzafava led Hoffman by 7 points.

Owens 33 (-2 vs. last poll, Oct. 22)
Hoffman 32 (+9)
Scozzafava 21 (-9)
Und 14

The special election will be held Nov. 3. The survey was conducted Oct. 26-28 of 600 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4%.

NY-23 Poll: Hoffman +5

For the second time in two days, a poll released by a conservative group finds Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman leading the Nov. 3 special election race for New York's 23rd District. Neighborhood Research polled the district for Minuteman PAC, the political arm of the Minuteman Movement, which has endorsed Hoffman and is airing ads on his behalf.

Hoffman leads Democrat Bill Owens by 5 points and GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava by 20 points.

Hoffman 34
Owens 29
Scozzafava 14
Und 23

The poll was taken Oct. 25-26 of 366 likely voters. The three candidates are vying to replace former congressman John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who was appointed by President Obama to be Secretary of the Army.

Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative group, released a poll yesterday showing Hoffman up 4 points. CfG has also endorsed Hoffman in the race.

NY-23: Pawlenty Endorses Hoffman

Tim Pawlenty is endorsing Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in the Nov. 3 special election for New York's 23rd District, according to Pawlenty, who's angling for a 2012 presidential bid, becomes the first sitting Republican governor to endorse Hoffman over the Republican nominee, Dede Scozzafava.

"We cannot send more politicians to Washington who wear the Republican jersey on the campaign trail, but then vote like Democrats in Congress on issues like card check and taxes," Pawlenty said in a statement to RedState. "After reviewing the candidates' positions, I'm endorsing Doug Hoffman in New York's special election. Doug understands the federal government needs to quit spending so much, will vote against tax increases, and protect key values like the right to vote in private in union elections."

Hoffman has previously been endorsed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and he has the backing of Club for Growth, which is airing ads in the district and released a poll today showing Hoffman in the lead.

"What makes this stand out even more than the Palin endorsement is that Pawlenty has not been seen as diverging with the Republican establishment," wrote RedState's Erick Erickson. "He's not seen as the maverick that Palin is. But Pawlenty has a huge amount of stature inside the Republican establishment, more so than Palin. That he is now willing to come out in favor of Hoffman is going to resonate among the Republican establishment in ways Palin's endorsement will not."

Democrats are hoping the divide in the GOP base between Hoffman and Scozzafava -- whom conservatives consider a liberal -- will splinter the vote in favor of Democratic nominee Bill Owens.

NY-23: Hoffman Leads New Poll

Club for Growth, which has endorsed Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman in the special election race for New York's 23rd District, has released a new poll finding Hoffman leading the two major party nominees, Dede Scozzafava (R) and Bill Owens (D).

The race has split the Republican Party, as major GOP names such as Sarah Palin have backed Hoffman, while such luminaries as Newt Gingrich are standing behind Scozzafava.

The CfG survey of 300 likely voters was conducted October 24-25 with a margin of error of +/- 5.66%. Hoffman leads with 31%, followed by Owens with 27% and Scozzafava with 20%, while 22% remain undecided with just eight days remaining.

"Dede Scozzafava's support continues to collapse, making this essentially a two-candidate race between Hoffman and Owens in the final week," said Basswood pollster Jon Lerner, who conducted the polling for CfG.

NY-23 Poll: Owens (D) Leads; Hoffman Wins Indies

In a contentious three-way contest, Democrats currently have a slight edge as the Republican vote splits between the party's chosen candidate and a conservative alternative in a new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll.

Special Election Matchup
Owens (D) 35
Scozzafava (R) 30
Hoffman (C) 23
Undecided 12

Looking at the party breakdown, Bill Owens has a solid lead among Democratic voters with 60 percent of the vote. Dede Scozzafava, however, only wins 46 percent of Republican votes, with Conservative Party candidate David Hoffman getting 27 percent. Among independent voters Hoffman actually leads, garnering 35 percent to Owens' 32 percent and Scozzafava's 22 percent. That may suggest Hoffman's appeal as an alternative to the major party candidates is stronger than his appeal based on issues.

Asked for their second choice, only 9 percent of Hoffman's voters said they'd back Scozzafava, with 26 percent saying they would not vote and 62 percent undecided. National Republican figures have split on endorsements in the race as well, with Sarah Palin weighing in on Hoffman's behalf last night.

Favorable Ratings
Scozzafava 38 / 35
Hoffman 27 / 19
Owens 33 / 24
Gov. Paterson 26 / 57
Obama 53 / 39

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted October 19-21, and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Conservatives Call On Scozzafava To Withdraw

A dozen conservative publications and blogs are calling on New York 23 special election nominee Dede Scozzafava (R) to withdraw from the race. The online editorials, including from National Review, Washington Times, Washington Examiner and, were all published at around noon today.

The calls for Scozzafava's withdrawal come in response to her husband calling the police on Weekly Standard reporter John McCormack, who was attempting to question the GOP nominee on some of her policy stances following a campaign event. McCormack followed her into the parking lot for further questions, and a police officer later approached him, saying the candidate had been "startled."

Conservative groups, including Club for Growth, are standing behind Doug Hoffman, who is running on the Conservative Party line in the Nov. 3 contest. They're turned off by Scozzafava, who is backed by national GOP committees as well as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, because of her positions on numerous issues, including abortion, card check and taxes.

NY-23: Club for Growth Launches TV Ad

The Club for Growth is launching a $300,000 TV ad campaign tomorrow in New York's 23rd Congressional District in support of Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. The Club endorsed Hoffman in September for the Nov. 3 special election to replace departed congressman John McHugh (R), who was appointed Secretary of the Army.

Hoffman is running against Republican Dede Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens. Despite the endorsement of Scozzafava last week by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, conservatives have not jumped on board the GOP nominee's bandwagon, and instead support the more-conservative Hoffman.

"There's a stark contrast in the three candidates running in this race," Club for Growth president Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, said in announcing the ad buy. "The two liberals, Dede Scozzafava and Bill Owens, support the Pelosi tax and spend agenda, while Doug Hoffman offers a fiscally conservative alternative based on lower taxes and limited government. Hoffman is the only candidate in the race who will fight for less wasteful spending, no more bailouts, and no tax hikes on hard working Americans."

A poll released last week by the Siena Research Institute found the three candidates all with legitimate chances to win. Owens led with 33 percent, followed by Scozzafava with 29 percent and Hoffman with 23 percent.

NY-23 Poll: Owens (D) Takes Lead

With assistance from Conservative Party nomninee David Hoffman, Democrat Bill Owens has erased a 7-point deficit from two weeks ago and taken a 4-point lead with 19 days to go in the special election race for the vacant 23rd District of New York, according to a new survey from the Siena Research Institute (Oct. 11-13, 617 LV, MoE +/- 3.9%).

Just 40% of Republicans back the GOP nominee, Assembly Member Dede Scozzafava, as 27% back the more-conservative Hoffman. Hoffman also leads among independents with 31%, while Owens draws 28% of the independent vote and Scozzafava gets 24%.

Owens 33 (+5 vs. last poll, Oct. 1)
Scozzafava 29 (-6)
Hoffman 23 (+7)

"With just 10 points separating the three candidates, this is likely to be a very tight - and fiercely fought - campaign right through election day, now less than three weeks away," said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. "With one in six voters still undecided, who these undecided voters choose to support - if they choose to vote at all - will likely determine the outcome of this race. And given how tight the race is, this election may very well be won by a candidate with less than 40 percent of all the votes cast."

The three candidates are running to replace former congressman John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who left for an appointment as Secretary of the Army. McHugh had regularly won the district easily, with his lowest winning percentage (61%) coming in his first election in 1992. However, Barack Obama won the district by 5 points with 52% of the vote in 2008, after George W. Bush won by 4 points with 51% in 2004.

Republican Leads In New York Special

The first independent poll in the special election in New York's 23rd Congressional District shows Republican Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava with an early lead over Democratic businessman Bill Owens, with Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman in third.

Special Election Matchup
Scozzafava 35
Owens 28
Hoffman 16
Don't Know 21

That lead in the Siena Research survey can be attributable to her name advantage recognition. She's the only candidate known by more than half of the electorate, with Owens familiar to just over a third and Hoffman unknown to 70 percent of voters.

Favorable Ratings
Scozzafava 33 / 20
Owens 23 / 12
Hoffman 16 / 13

A key dynamic in the race will also be the role of the third-party conservative candidate. Scozzafava has support of 47 percent of Republicans at this early stage, compared to 22 percent for Hoffman. But the Club for Growth and some other conservative groups have come out early for Hoffman. Another potential factor is Owens' money -- 34 percent say they have seen or heard his advertisements, and 32 percent say it makes them more likely to support him.

Voters say the most important issue they want their new member of Congress to address is the economy (34 percent), followed closely by health care (30 percent).

Thirty-two percent of voters say President Obama's support would make them more likely to support a candidate, while 24 percent say it's less likely. Obama weighed in late on behalf of Scott Murphy; his favorable rating in the district is 55 percent. Speaker Nancy Pelosi polls worse, with only a 33 percent favorable number; Gov. David Paterson has a 31 percent favorable rating.

The survey of 622 registered voters was conducted from September 27-29, and had a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percent.

NY-23: Club Endorses Hoffman (C)

The Club for Growth Political Action Committee endorsed today Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the special election for New York's 23rd District. The group endorsed Hoffman over GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava.

Hoffman, Scozzafava and Democrat Bill Owens are running to replace former Rep. John McHugh, who resigned his seat after being sworn in last week as Army Secretary.

"After months of runaway spending, bailouts, and record deficits, the last thing we need in Congress is another rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi and the liberal Democrats," said Club President Chris Chocola. "Doug Hoffman is the only candidate in this race who will stand up for taxpayers and fight to protect our freedoms in Washington."

Scozzafava is a State Assemblywoman, whom the Club refers to as "liberal," and who may have trouble picking up support from the right wing of the GOP. Hoffman was also endorsed this morning by Fred Thompson, a former presidential candidate and senator from Tennessee, and the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund, a national pro-life PAC.

"It's gravely disappointing that the Republican Party chose to nominate a candidate whose position flies in the face of the actual pro-life party platform," said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. "Dede Scozzafava's support for the extreme abortion agenda is out of step with New York's 23rd District."

The Club released a poll last week that found Scozzafava leading Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens by just 3 points, with 45% undecided.

The NY-23 Race Begins

John McHugh was officially sworn in as the nation's Army Secretary during a ceremony at the Pentagon today. Before taking the oath, the Republican resigned as the U.S. Representative from New York's 23rd Congressional District, creating a vacancy that will be filled in a special election, date still TBD.

Also today, the Democratic nominee in that special election launched his first TV ad. Bill Owens highlights his family's tradition of military service, and talks about attracting jobs to the Upstate New York district.

Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava is the Republican candidate.