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A Dead Heat in New York Special Election

The special election race in New York's 20th district between state Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R) and venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) is a dead heat -- literally.

As of Saturday afternoon, Tedisco had 77,225 votes and Murphy had 77,225 votes, according to the state board of elections.

WOW.

Remember that several thousand absentee ballots remain uncounted and that overseas and military ballots will be accepted until April 13 -- meaning that we have a long way to go in this race.

But, before we get to all of that, take a minute to marvel at a TIE with more than 150,000 votes cast. How can you not love politics?

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 4, 2009; 6:58 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Comments

observer31: "How do you reconcile what you say with the results of the presidential elections in New York :
Obama 62.2%
McCain 36.7%
Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii were the only states where Obama got a higher percentage of the votes.
Considering that Murphy leaned strongly on the 'Obama connection', it should have carried over."

Why are statewide results relevant in a district race? Obama carried the district by only 3%. That's not much to "carry over." Plus there's a substantial Republican registration advantage which Obama had to overcome to do as well as he did. Plus the candidates are completely different: Murphy isn't Obama, and Tedisco isn't McCain, so there would be ample reason for many people to vote differently than they did for president.

Both sides are trying to spin the results to make some kind of a national statement. But this election wasn't a national referendum. It was a quirky special election that carries little meaning outside NY-20, as entertaining as it may be to the rest of us.

I'd say that considering Murphy was trailing by over 20 points at the start of this thing, he did pretty well regardless of the result. But maybe that's just my own spin.

Posted by: dasimon | April 6, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Re miriamac2001 who said :
"This is a result of the stunning ineptitude and arrogance of the NYS Democratic Party, not a referendum on Obama.
The NYS Dems opposed Obama throughout the primaries, gave him only weak support during the general and continue to undercut him and his supporters. The results, which they will see in this year's local election do not reflect on President Obama nor on real Democrats."
How do you reconcile what you say with the results of the presidential elections in New York :
Obama 62.2%
McCain 36.7%
Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii were the only states where Obama got a higher percentage of the votes.
Considering that Murphy leaned strongly on the "Obama connection", it should have carried over.

Posted by: observer31 | April 6, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

This is a result of the stunning ineptitude and arrogance of the NYS Democratic Party, not a referendum on Obama.
The NYS Dems opposed Obama throughout the primaries, gave him only weak support during the general and continue to undercut him and his supporters. The results, which they will see in this year's local election do not reflect on President Obama nor on real Democrats.

Posted by: miriamac2001 | April 6, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

In case anyone's interested, the odds of a fair coin landing heads exactly 77,225 times out of 154,450 is about one in 493.

Posted by: WmarkW | April 6, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Funny thing and clearly in violation of NYS election laws: the day after the close Murphy election day win, absentee voters were being called from an untraceable Skype number (all zeros is how it shows up on cell phones, etc.) and asked if they voted, and for which candidate. It was described as an "exit poll", even though the count had been fully counted and reported the evening before. It was actually the tactic for trying to subvert the voters' will. The call then ended with a declaration that it had been paid for by the Tedisco campaign.

What many now believe is that the GOP was trying to determine who voted absentee for Murphy, so that in the subsequent key counting of the absentee ballots, the Tedisco campaign would be able to challenge the absentee ballots of those Murphy voters before the envelopes were even opened - a real no-no and against the law.
Oh well, isn't that how the GOP has won in various elections? If you can't win at the ballot box, then try to win in a contested recount and/or in court? These guys do not believe in the democratic process, rule of law, majority control, universal voting, etc. In other words, they are un-American, like Bush/Cheney/Rove/Wolfowitz.Rumsfeld/Feith/ad infinitum...
Subversive, radical, elitists.

Posted by: enough3 | April 6, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Anybody remember the historic Congressional election in one of our Southwestern states where the 2 candidates got the exact same number of votes in the first election and then the redo? Instead of the expenses of a third try to change one voter's mind, they sat down to a game of poker and the loser conceded the election. What a great, common sense way of handling the issue! Made national news at the time.

Posted by: commonsense101 | April 6, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I hope people think this through - the Republican Administration can say nothing constructive and come up with nothing new. Lower taxes for the Bushies again, cut entitlement programs (Medicare, etc). All they ever want to do is cut programs that help poor people. Sure some of them should be scrutinized and cut just as President Obama has stated, but these guys can never come up with anything new except tax cuts, more Pentagon spending and less entiitlements.

I could not believe the Budget Committee stating that none of the Iraqwar spending was ever put into Bush’s budget. How did they ever account for the $10 billion a month expenditure? They hid it and then they want to say Obama’s budget is huge. Don’t forget he got stuck with over $3 trillion of that $7 trillion he is proposing. And at least his budget is willing to tackle major issues such as the big elephant in the room: health care and we pay for the uninsureds is what people don't understand. I know I retired after 30 years with a big insurance company where our Home Office is in New York.

Then with all this important stuff going on in our country a few of their spokemen such as Eric Cantor from Virginiawas not even listening to the press conference to offer some constructive criticism but chose instead to go to a Britney Spears concert. What a joke.

I am so glad we are through with these idealogues. Now look at Oklahomaand (state Senate President Pro Tem Glenn) Coffee — another one that could not seem to pay his taxes here in Oklahomabut yet he wants to make more tax cuts. Oklahomabetter wake up and smell the roses

These Republicans sure are not helping our state and as soon as more of them got in the first thing they did was vote themselves 12% to 59% raises. The leader Cole made sure he got the 59% share. They are not worried about the economy or helping, just worried about their own pocket book.


or we are going to continue being 49th or worse on every bad list.

Posted by: bedazzled | April 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I hope people think this through - the Republican Administration can say nothing constructive and come up with nothing new. Lower taxes for the Bushies again, cut entitlement programs (Medicare, etc). All they ever want to do is cut programs that help poor people. Sure some of them should be scrutinized and cut just as President Obama has stated, but these guys can never come up with anything new except tax cuts, more Pentagon spending and less entiitlements.

I could not believe the Budget Committee stating that none of the Iraqwar spending was ever put into Bush’s budget. How did they ever account for the $10 billion a month expenditure? They hid it and then they want to say Obama’s budget is huge. Don’t forget he got stuck with over $3 trillion of that $7 trillion he is proposing. And at least his budget is willing to tackle major issues such as the big elephant in the room: health care and we pay for the uninsureds is what people don't understand. I know I retired after 30 years with a big insurance company where our Home Office is in New York.

Then with all this important stuff going on in our country a few of their spokemen such as Eric Cantor from Virginiawas not even listening to the press conference to offer some constructive criticism but chose instead to go to a Britney Spears concert. What a joke.

I am so glad we are through with these idealogues. Now look at Oklahomaand (state Senate President Pro Tem Glenn) Coffee — another one that could not seem to pay his taxes here in Oklahomabut yet he wants to make more tax cuts. Oklahomabetter wake up and smell the roses

These Republicans sure are not helping our state and as soon as more of them got in the first thing they did was vote themselves 12% to 59% raises. The leader Cole made sure he got the 59% share. They are not worried about the economy or helping, just worried about their own pocket book.


or we are going to continue being 49th or worse on every bad list.

Posted by: bedazzled | April 6, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

scrivner50: "What percentage of the vote was recorded on electronic voting machines?"

The answer is zero. New York still uses those old lever machines (largely because the partisan and divided elections commission couldn't agree on another method or vendor) almost exclusively, the exception being for voters with disabilities (which I believe use optical scan). The lever machines don't have a paper trail, but they're essentially tamper-proof. The slightly shifting totals for the "recount" just reflect errors in adding up the numbers from the various machines.

Posted by: dasimon | April 6, 2009 12:25 AM | Report abuse

Ahhh, Kouk my old friend! Still not understanding:

…as long as such as you (as pale an imitation of Limbaugh/Beck/Coulter as you may be) are seen as representing the Republican Party in general;

….as long as you can convince them to continually obsess on the utterly trivial, entirely irrelevant, and completely fictional; and

…. as long as you can continue to convince them personal insult is a substitute for thoughtful debate,

…the R’s will continue to lose elections simply through demonstrating a refusal to rationally discuss meaningful issues.

I patiently await the reclamation of the Republican Party by actual conservatives (not those mentioned above of course) though, noting the recent reelection of Dick Wadhams as chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, may not happen here very soon.

(If you don’t recognize Wadhams, he was Virginia Senator George Allen’s campaign manager and was going to be Allen's Karl Rove, right up to the moment Allen uttered the immortal word, “Macaca.” Last cycle he managed the Colorado R's Right-Wing-Evangelical Senate candidate, Resulting in new D Senator Mark Udall.)

Posted by: malis | April 5, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

rabid, deranged drivl extrapolates from the specific to the general and finds (surprise). All repubs and anyone who is sane is crazy.

Hey moonbat, is every lib a tax cheat like turbo tax tim and wrangle? Must be, kook.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 5, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Point of information:


What percentage of the vote was recorded on electronic voting machines?

Could this alleged razor-thin margin be another manufactured phenomena to camouflage some dirty electoral doings?

If the electronic voting factor isn't even considered, haven't potential election manipulators already won?


********


"When you see the abuse of power, you've got to speak."

-- VP candidate Joseph Biden, Aug. 27, 2008, Democratic National Convention


***


Bush-Cheney Constitutional Abuses Continue...


THE EXTRAJUDICIAL PUNISHMENT NETWORK:

VIOLATING HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS OF INNOCENT BUT 'TARGETED' U.S. CITIZENS...

ON THE STREETS OF NYC, DC, PHILLY, BOSTON...

...AND IN CITIES AND TOWNS ACROSS AMERICA.

And federally-funded programs equip the "community gang stalkers" who are terrorizing their neighbors as police look the other way -- destroying their livelihoods and degrading their health with widely-deployed microwave radiation ("directed energy") weapons


A parallel array of federal "programs of personal financial destruction" slowly decimate the family finances of "target" families -- surely a factor in the mortgage meltdown that precipitated the global financial crisis.


When victims complain, they are told there is "nothing to investigate."


True -- because federal and local authorities KNOW ALL ABOUT IT.


Will the national press corps -- and Team Obama -- wake up and realize that democracy and middle-class wealth are being stolen at the GRASSROOTS?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america
http://nowpublic.com/world/domestic-torture-radiation-weaponry-americas-horrific-shame

OR (if links are corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 5, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

For those of you that do not understand the bizarro world of New York politics, the election was decided six weeks ago when the Independence Party endorsed Scott Murphy.

Unlike most states, New York State permits the minor political parties to endorse candidates and the votes are added up.

Tedisco ran on the Republican and Conservative Party lines. Murphy ran on the Democrat, Working Families and Independence Party lines.

When Tedisco, who owns a house in the 20th, but does not actually have his primary residence in Saratoga County, was rammed through as the nominee steamrolling other legislators, the Independence Party had an easy decision in endorsing the Democrat. Generally, the Independence Party sides with Republicans and incumbent Democrats.

Murphy received almost 7,000 votes on the Independence line. If Tedisco had it, the race is over.


Posted by: Digital_Voter | April 5, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

This is how I can not love politics, CC. Because the republican party is not only loony, but irresponsible as well.
And thhis is what their wingnut media brings:

" Glenn Beck got all hysterical and overwrought with Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association about Obama's evil plot to take away our guns."

And so as a result of this, in Pittsburgh:

'A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.'

Every wingnut who is promoting this nonsense, every radio host, and the whole crew of Fox News, should be lined up and shot by the police for being the direct cause of 3 good cops [all of whom had small children] getting murdered by a republican nutcase.

Posted by: drindl | April 5, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

SCOOT

Don't mind ZOUK, he'll be ranting for the next 8 years, if he makes it that long. No matter how much tin foil he puts on his head, the mother ship has not come back for him.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | April 5, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

king_of_zouk wrote:
Unless Rs win by huge margins, libs manage to create votes.
--------------------------------
I see, so does that explain the passion of the Republican Party for creating voter suppression?

As far as your comments about the First Lady's physical attributes, do you really think that making nasty personal attacks about insubstantive issues does anything but reduce your already dwindling numbers?

If you want to be the opposition party with the Rush-style mindset, you will get the party core...and nobody else.

Posted by: scootmandubious | April 5, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Tedisco literally had no solutions for the economy and had no public opinion on the stimulus until his 27% favorable margin vanished and unknown Murphy moved ahead in the polls. This was not about one party or another, and Tedisco was a lifelong government employee, whereas Murphy had helped build and grow many small companies in the private sector. Can't wingers like wing-of-zouk get that through their head rather than spread mindless partisan BS? Murphy represents what the right says it wants: private sector solutions, entrepreneurship, family values, lower taxes, non-career politicians, etc. Only real partisans believe the Tedisco lies about Murphy.

Of course people want fast and immediate solutions to huge problems, but why blame Gillibrand who has been in Congress only 2 years, or Murphy who has never even run for office before? You may not like the solutions, but then, the problems don't have any good solutions. Bush and the GOP created many of these problems, and in trying to resolve them, the party of NOPE (the GOP) continues to run interference and block action.
Stop complaining and start moving toward solutions, not just complaining and spreading lies. Governing is the art of the possible, so come up with some better ideas.
An upstate independent voter

Posted by: enough3 | April 5, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Lib vision of the world:

America is arrogant.
America is downright mean.
God dang America.
Profit is evil.
Americans are racist cowards.
Missiles aimed at us is no problem.
Crazy Muslims with nukes is no problem.
As long as the French like us.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 5, 2009 9:50 AM | Report abuse


"How can you not love politics?"

Easily. It's the politics as sporting event or game that I hate. Political commentators look at politics as a game to be played. Unfortunately it shouldn't be a game. It should be taken seriously, not looked at as a reality TV show. This is the real thing. Politicians make decisions that affect people's lives in a serious way, I wish the politicians and pundits and reporters and VOTERS would realize that rather than thinking elections are just like voting for Idol or scoring a golf tournement. It's not a game, it's our leadership, we all need to take it more seriously.

Posted by: tmw4587 | April 5, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

n Korea must be shaking in their boots. Obambi is going to talk about them.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 5, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Much more exciting than the Final Four.

Posted by: newbeeboy | April 5, 2009 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Demoncrats, don't worry. You folks "find" votes faster than Gregoire and Franken could, for sure.

Posted by: tjhall1 | April 5, 2009 2:07 AM | Report abuse

We know that Tedisco is probably crooked, he's a politician after all.

But it's a certainty that Murphy is crooked. He's a high flying financial type. Being a democrat, he probably hasn't paid his taxes either......

Posted by: surfer-joe | April 5, 2009 2:02 AM | Report abuse

What happened to the 65 vote lead that Murphy had a few days ago, when the votes were first counted?

Posted by: cjprentiss | April 5, 2009 12:13 AM | Report abuse

Unless Rs win by huge margins, libs manage to create votes.

Michelle, your arms are so buff in J Crew.

Meanwhile, a N. Korean missile is headed our way. The Paris Hilton presidency continues. She is busy, busy at a ribbon cutting somewhere.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | April 4, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Someone at the NYT put it best....
The People Have Mumbled

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | April 4, 2009 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow

Posted by: theamazingjex | April 4, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

To Tannim123. How right you are but have to agree with treaflefish - I would just change the names and party.

Posted by: susanai1 | April 4, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

It just goes to show every vote does count. This was a very nasty race. We here in upstate NY need good representation both in the state legislature and in Washington. We've had neither since the Democrats took over. The top leaders in the legislature are all NYC people and Gillibrand will be even more useless in the Senate than she was in the house.
I've had it with both sides of the aisle. So much so that I'm starting to favor term limits!

Posted by: treadlefish | April 4, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, it wouldn't be a dead tie if Tedisco hadn't engaged in dirty tactics to throw Libertarian Eric Sundwall off the ballot. That's why Sundwall endorsed Murphy.

Tedisco uses dirty tactics and at best gets a tie, showing that he really had nothing in the first place.

Posted by: Tannim123 | April 4, 2009 7:11 PM | Report abuse

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