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Democrats Salvage Night with NY-23 Special Win

Attorney Bill Owens won one of the most topsy-turvy special elections in recent memory Tuesday night in Upstate New York, giving Democrats nationally something to cheer about on a day that saw them lose the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia.

Owens defeated Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman and state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava (R), who dropped out of the race over the weekend and endorsed Owens but whose name remained on the ballot.

Hoffman was widely expected to win the seat, which was vacated by Secretary of the Army John McHugh (R) earlier this year. Hoffman has become a cause celebre of national conservatives -- led by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin -- and has been the beneficiary of heavy spending by the D.C.-based Club for Growth.

But Owens, who was largely been overshadowed in recent days by the fight between the movement and establishment wings of the Republican Party, used a strong showing in the eastern portion of this sprawling North County district and a surprisingly strong showing in Scozzafava's home county of Jefferson. (Owens carried the county 49 percent to 46 percent over Hoffman.)

The victory was the second for House Democrats this year in an Upstate New York special election. Earlier in the year, Rep. Scott Murphy (D) won a contested race to replace appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) in New York's 20th district, which is based in Albany.

Democrats now control 258 seats to 177 for Republicans.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 4, 2009; 12:32 AM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Morning Fix: Sorting through the numbers in Va., N.J., and N.Y.

Comments

Katherine Hepburn was a fantastic and talented actress beloved by many. However no summary of her career is without a section on how she became "Box Office Poison". Once a tag sticks, it can stick forever.

As we have gotten to know Saracuda (What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull?) Palin we have seen how she helped John McCain turn a close and reasonably respectable race into an embarassing disaster! And now, she both gave Lake Placid accountant Douglas Hoffman his 15 minutes of fame, and in the blink of an eye, turned out to be VOTING BOOTH POISON!

Hmmm, Sara Palin - Voting Booth Poison!

Sara Palin - Voting Booth Poison! Sara Palin - Voting Booth Poison! Sara Palin - Voting Booth Poison! Has a ring to it...

I can't wait to see her put on her lipstick, summon forth her howling mob of scary friends, and go out to help purify things in the next elections!!!!

Honk, Honk!! Call Sara Palin for free VOTING BOOTH POISON!

Posted by: gradya3 | November 4, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

Palin: It's not over until WE say it's over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

Forget it, she's rolling.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 4, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The majority in the House that now supports health care reform is now larger than it was before the election. A great national victory for the progressive forces that shrugged off the mindless attacks of the right-wing for the past many months.

Much thanks to Sarah "I Quit" Palin and all the other Astro-turf, Tea Party wing nuts.

The days when the right wing is able to win at the ballot box with hate campaigns is numbered.

End the war in Afghanistan!
Bring all the troops home - alive!
Support the Employee Free Choice Act!
Support single payer health care!

Posted by: apspa1 | November 4, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone actually WATCH Doug Hoffman pitch the district? That guy had no chance in hell!

"delusion unbroken by reality"

And here I thought the "Palin Bump" was all Hoffman needed. Perhaps next time she should say it louder. That will make the difference I'm sure.

Posted by: trident420 | November 4, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

You guys don't have a clue to what's being stirred up in middle America and the Impact she is having on Single Moms who run it. She's playing the field, including real conservatives and libertarians.

==

uh, wow.

You need to go back to grade school and get a refresher on proper nouns.

And if you think that single moms are the power electorate you need to stop smoking that crackly white stuff

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 4, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of morons...SARAH PALIN is a genuine American INDEPENDENT

==

she's an idiot

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 4, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"Make it a two-way race with early involvement of Palin"

NEWS FLASH: Your fantasy is NOT reality.

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Corzine is a hapless bozo and lost; Hoffman is a hapless bozo and lost; VA stayed true to its voting history.

To make more of it than that insults the intelligence of those who voted.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | November 4, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Uhh, Massachusetts is one of the very bluest states and it elected Mitt Romney as governor .. that's because the state is populated by open-minded liberals who didn't cringe at electing a conservative Mormon.

Last I heard MA remains quite blue.

Second data point: CA and Ahnold.

Christie will do a good job, McDonnell will go pelvic and work on behalf of the wealthy.

The House just got bluer and the only one of the three who ran as a conservative lost, despite boxcars of corporate cash and copro-rate endorsements.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 4, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Dede Scozzafava has a great deal of class for dropping out. It is clear that she has more concern for what is good for the constituents than being partisan.

It is both amusing and tragic that the far-right fringe of the GOP has been allowed to destroy this country and then has gotten away with tsk-tsking Obama with not cleaning up their ginormous messes fast enough. Just proves that the home-schooled, Nascar-lovin' radical right ain't dead yet. I am starting to believe that the world will in fact end in 2012, mainly because these lunatics will do something too stupid for the mainstreamers and liberals to fix.

Posted by: eed017 | November 4, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

DENNIS IS MY SUPER....ACORN didn't do this one; S.E.I.U. did with taxpayer supplied funds...Time to terminate these leaches, think of how many poor people could be insured with union dues; now go clean up Dennis!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Make it a two-way race with early involvement of Palin, and OWENS is toast! 2 years goes fast, wonder if OBIE will still be around??

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

"the Impact she is having"

If yesterday is any indication then I look forward to more of her "Impact".

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

REALITY CHECK...HILL dems are saying health care reform will 'have to wait for next year'..I wonder why???????????????????

lololololololol.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

REALITY CHECK...HILL dems are saying health care reform will 'have to wait for next year'..I wonder why???????????????????

lololololololol.

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of morons...SARAH PALIN is a genuine American INDEPENDENT..check out her PAC..well over a million dollars in it; check out all the blogs and social networks supporting her.

You guys don't have a clue to what's being stirred up in middle America and the Impact she is having on Single Moms who run it. She's playing the field, including real conservatives and libertarians.

Keep sucking up that SORO's Money...there's a nice place in GITMO for him!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Huge victory in NJ and VA GOVERNOR'S races.

But what party now has another member that can actually influence anything on a NATIONAL level ?

Hmmmm, the Dems, you say ? How nice for the Repubs and their stunning victories in STATE races. Congrats, R's. Enjoy immensely.

Posted by: dennissuper | November 4, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"Palin lost????...this was a toe in the water, compared with the drubbing Obama took in N.Jersey and Virginia.

Color both of them BLUE, esp. Virginia. Sarah will be in both soon! read her Blog, everyone does now, even OPRAH. ...and try to keep up!"

Very simple question for you and anyone else who cares to answer: Who has more ability to affect the progress of the Obama agenda: A congressman, or a governor?

BTW, Blue is the Democratic color. I agree that visits from Palin will turn Va back to Blue, like her efforts did in NY-23.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 4, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Palin lost????...this was a toe in the water, compared with the drubbing Obama took in N.Jersey and Virginia.

Color both of them BLUE, esp. Virginia. Sarah will be in both soon! read her Blog, everyone does now, even OPRAH. ...and try to keep up!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Did SOROS/MOVE.on lose here too?

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------------------------
Nope.

Just Sarah the stupid, Rush, Pawlenty....

How's it look to lose a seat that hasn't seen a Dem in it since the Civil War ?

Man, that totally SUCKS and I'm laughing my @ss off. C'mon, tell how ACORN did THAT one ?

Posted by: dennissuper | November 4, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

"the fact that she could go to upstate NY and campaign for a third party candidate who came close"

YET ANOTHER FUNNY JOKE!

She is a Republican! She LOST an election for HER OWN PARTY.

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 12:36 PM | Report abuse

"The SARAH effect? the fact that she could go to upstate NY and campaign for a third party candidate who came close...imagine if she had a political machine backing her?"

Uh, that's exactly what she had -- many prominent national Republicans tripped all over themselves to follow her lead and endorse Hoffman, combined with massive amounts of Club for Growth $$.

The biggest loser, though is Tim Pawlenty, both for endorsing the loser Hoffman and doing so in a me-too fashion. He proved to be lacking in the nutsack dept. I think he's done.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 4, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Did SOROS/MOVE.on lose here too?

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I think this race is much more important than the either of the Governor's races because we pick up a seat in the house and it shows that the right-wing pressure to drive out moderate Republicans is also driving out moderate voters. Congratulations to Mr. Owens, and thanks to Dede for throwing her support to the Dems. It's also a slap in the face to Sarah Palin and the nasty Dick Armey who worked so hard for their clueless candidate.

Posted by: jsquires | November 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, this was a grassroots rep/conservo. uprising with a lot of local offices falling and a close call from a Conservative---under mined by a RINO turncoat who endorsed the opposition...but it sent a shot across the bow of the RINO's, shape up or you'll be replaced.

The SARAH effect? the fact that she could go to upstate NY and campaign for a third party candidate who came close...imagine if she had a political machine backing her?

Help stamp out RINO's!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | November 4, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"Hoffman was widely expected to win the seat"

What a joke!

This graph says it all:

http://www.pollster.com/polls/ny/09-ny-23-ge.php

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

You just have to love the Post for its spin. Two cases in point:

1. The Fix by Chris Cillizza - paints a picture where Hoffman was "widely expected" to win NY-23 and lost 49 to 46. This for a district that is moderately republican where the liberal republican candidate admired in a key part of the district endorsed the democrat two days before the election.

2. Karl Vick reporting on Christie's win over Corzine called it a "close battle" as Christie won 49 to 44 in a heavily democratic state with the President and his team all but taking over the campaign.

No where did I see a poll saying Hoffman was widely expected to win so Cillizza stop making this stuff up please.

As to Vick, stop with your nonsensical comments. You are reporter so report the facts please.

Mr Post Editor - it is obvious why your paper is slowly failing as it is no longer a real newspaper but an emerging yellow rag. What a shame!

Posted by: jfweissMD | November 4, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

All the news media is doing their usual "monkey see, monkey do" journalism by proclaiming the governor's races in NJ and VA a referendum on Obama, but were strangely silent on this race where the people firmly rejected right wingnut meddling. Why isn't that a "referendum" on the GOP? Maybe that question wasn't in their talking points this morning.

Posted by: PepperDr | November 4, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

So a big Republican "sweep" and yet the Democrats expand their majority in Congress.

Posted by: skrut003 | November 4, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Arguably this was the only major race of national significance reflecting on BHO, chief of our federal executive branch. In voting for Owens to represent them in our federal legislature controlled by the Democrats, NY-23 arguably were giving a vote of confidence to BHO and Pelosi. By contrast, the state races have nothing at all to do with the federal government.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | November 4, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Owens won because the independent thinking NY 23 Republican voters - not the GOP wingnut true believers - were appalled by what they saw as meddling in their district, the ignorance of local issues by Hoffman, Hoffman not even living in the district, and the Club for Growth from Wall Street using its ill gotten wealth to try to distort an otherwise unremarkable special election.
Hoffman double crossed the district GOP and ran anyway after promising not to, and then sullied a popular local pol (Dede ) and so it got even uglier. Upstate Republicans of the old kind are still Rockerfeller Republicans, not the crazed new religion soaked and hate filled champions of Ayn Rand.

Posted by: enough3 | November 4, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"To conclude that this result is a victory for the democrats is silly."
* * * *
I'll take a defeat like that any day. Again, conservatives have blinded themselves with ideology. No doubt they are telling themselves that this was a win because they showed the GOP not to mess with the loony right. PLEASE please continue this strategy on the right! I'd love to "lose" like this again in 2010 and 2012.

Posted by: pezdrake | November 4, 2009 11:20 AM | Report abuse

"To conclude that this result is a victory for the democrats is silly. This result is simply pointing out how absurd the political machine is in New York. A real primary would have given credibility to a republican candidate and ONLY then would a democratic victory be significant. The mush brains commenting here that this means anything are typical NY dems that look to others to take care of them."

Now here's some trenchant analysis.

Of course this is a victory for the Dems. They now hold a seat they haven't had for 137 years. You can't spin that any other way.

Now, how they got this huge win is another matter entirely. Of course it was handed to them. But, NOT by the local GOP leaders. Scozzafava would have won in a two-person race vs. Owens.

No, the race was handed to the Dems by Sarah Palin, dick Armey, the Club for Growth, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and all those elected Republicans who fell over themselves to endorse the laughable Doug "Green Teeth" Hoffman.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 4, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"To conclude that this result is a victory for the democrats is silly."

Really? The end result is one fewer seat for the Republicans and one more seat for the Democrats.

I suppose then you would not mind if the trend were to continue until the Republicans have no seats left at all.

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse


Sarah Palin believed she could see the Adirondacks from her house; but the voters responded, "Upper U. S."

BE clear: Palin failed again on the national political stage.

The 23rd district has voted in Republicans for generations; perhaps they can tell the difference between Republicans and reactionaries.

Posted by: Anadromous2 | November 4, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The GOP "leadership" gave this election to the Democrats.
Spiff

Posted by: us1156 | November 4, 2009 10:50 AM | Report abuse

To conclude that this result is a victory for the democrats is silly. This result is simply pointing out how absurd the political machine is in New York. A real primary would have given credibility to a republican candidate and ONLY then would a democratic victory be significant. The mush brains commenting here that this means anything are typical NY dems that look to others to take care of them.

Posted by: vitaglubet | November 4, 2009 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The plain and simple fact is that Palin's meddling cost the Republicans a seat in the house.

You can spin it all you want, but you can't cover up the truth.

I wonder how many more seats the Republicans are willing to sacrifice in the name of "principle".

Posted by: frantaylor | November 4, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

pmendez, like a good GOP foot soldier, is taking exactly the message from NY-23 that the Democrats hope the GOP will take: Move further to the right. Get more conservative.

Yeah, that's the ticket.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | November 4, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"So, yes, the seat was the GOP's to lose and lose it they did, but it was because they ran a liberal RINO."

---

There's no point in arguing with you about this. I agree with you completely. The GOP should go farther right and run more candidates like Hoffman. It will work out really well for you in the long term, keep up the good work.

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 4, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The irony of Hoffman thanking Beck for his guidance, when he should have been studying local issues letting constituent needs be his guidance has me ROFLMAO. Conservative is not always ignorant regardless of the following of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Coulter. If you're not one of us you hate America and the constitution is rejected by 75% of Americans. Neither McDonell or Christie used it in the campaign and won their races against weak opponents (both polled at 40% at the end of summer). Now the big question is will they govern the same way?

Posted by: jameschirico | November 4, 2009 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"The conservative party candidate also had orders of magnitude more money, and support from national-level conservative political figures."

Obviously, you have no experience in local politics. Hoffman, let me remind you, was a 3rd Party candidate and kind of a geek. He did amazingly well, given he had little political experience and did not have the infrastructure and support of the local GOP, which is a lot more important than either money or backing from outsiders.

If GOP had put its resources behind a conservative candidate (not necessarily farther to the right of Hoffman, just not a RINO) that person would have easily won.

So, yes, the seat was the GOP's to lose and lose it they did, but it was because they ran a liberal RINO.

Posted by: pmendez | November 4, 2009 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"of course this story now that the conservative lost is relegated to small headlines..."

Posted by: katem1 | November 4, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------------------
I found this to be quite amusing as well. Before the results, this was a true test of the republican party especially the conservative branch. Every day it was Sarah Palin endorsed this candidate and the country must be ready to go back to its conservative roots. Now, after a democrat won in a seat held by republicans for years, its no big deal. The hypocrisy is ridiculous. And I'm beginning to wonder if the Post in an effort to get more subscribers has decided to turn into the Times.

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | November 4, 2009 10:20 AM | Report abuse

after the2010 census there will be no 23 district it will be divided up among two dem districts.according to lawerence mcdonnell.

Posted by: donaldtucker | November 4, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

" If GOP had picked a conservative candidate in the first place, it would have won."

---

That doesn't make any sense. The race did have a "conservative candidate." The conservative candidate *lost*. The conservative party candidate also had orders of magnitude more money, and support from national-level conservative political figures.

The cognative dissonance is stunning. The srategy to go far-right in the NY-23 race cost the GOP a seat in a district they had held since the Civil War, and your argument is that they should go *farther* right?

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 4, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who views results of NY-23 through the Manichean lens of Dem vs. Rep is mired in 20th Century thinking and missing the entire point. Republican Party lost a Congressional seat because it nominated a RINO. Hoffman was a 3rd Party candidate. If GOP had picked a conservative candidate in the first place, it would have won.

Posted by: pmendez | November 4, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

hello! 60 million people voted for Obama last year, and how many voted for each gov? Corzine was an incumbent (as in before Obama) with corruption issues, and Virginia always goes to the opposite party the year after a national election. But I love how up state NYers basically told Palin, Armey, and Beck "NOT IN MY BACK YARD!!!" of course this story now that the conservative lost is relegated to small headlines...

Posted by: katem1 | November 4, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

"VTDuffman: I seem to have missed that Supreme Court ruling. What case was it again?"

---

No case has reached the Supreme Court yet. I was just using logic. It seems pretty clear to me that this is a 14th Amendment Violation.

If you'd like to take a shot at explaining how it's not, I'd love to hear it.

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Um, Chris, it's "North Country", not "North County". The Adirondacks are one of the two large unpopulated areas in the Northeast. (Northern Maine is the other.)

Posted by: SoloOwl | November 4, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The two important races last night were:

1) New Jersey - the loss by Corzine in a historically blue state shows weakness for the Dems there. Christie is a fairly moderate Republican, so he has a chance of holding the position for multiple terms if he does not cave to the right-wingers.

2) NY-23 - the win by a Democrat in a district which has been held by a Republican since the Civil War is devastating to the Republican party and a repudiation of their right-wing strategy there. This seat was the Republicans to lose, and they lost, by pursuing a bone-headed strategy of taking down and discrediting their own candidate.

The Virginia race may be telling us something, but it is hard to discern because Deeds was such an awful candidate. I would have liked to have seen McDonnell go up against someone more substantive and then we would know for sure if VA has swung back Red again.

Posted by: CNY-DC | November 4, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse

The conservo rethugs put their money, their political stars and their hope on the 23rd district and lo and behold a democrat won a seat that had been held by republicans since 1872, meaning at the federal level, the democrats went +1. We were going to lose Virginia due to a bad choice of candidate. New Jersey is abut New Jersey, not Obama. Sorry conservo rethugs, its all meaningless but have your fun, we will be very ready in 2010.

Posted by: robertmerry | November 4, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

This win is more of a story. For a Democract to win in a Repubican stronghold shows that Republicans lost the seat because of their backing the "wrong" Republican.

Posted by: rlj1 | November 4, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Living in Upstate NY, I can't believe that Sarah Palin didn't understand the nature of its citizens. She of all people should know that like Alaskans the vast majority of them live in small communities that are isolated from big city politics. And they hate outsiders telling them what to do. But more importantly telling them who to vote for. She did to this state what she would have been incensed about if it happened in her own backyard!

I suggest that someone in the GOP should take away her blow gun, otherwise she will kill their tired, old, white elephant one poisoned dart at a time.

Posted by: AverageJane | November 4, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

VTDuffman: I seem to have missed that Supreme Court ruling. What case was it again?

Sunshine: Agree! Michael Steele is a total idiot and putting him in charge just because of the color of his skin shows how clueless the GOP really is.

Drindle: Such bad language! Getting under your socialist skin, eh?

Posted by: pmendez | November 4, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"NJ is HUGE. No way you libs can spin that."

---

I agree with you 100%, Obama's approve/disapprove numbers in NJ are 57/42. That's a HUGE gap in the number of people who support the president.

As for NY-23, the RINO would have won. The "true conservative" ended up sending the first democrat to Washington from that district in 140 years. Keep up the good work, true conservatives.

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 4, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Is the Club for Growth short for the Club for Growth of the Democratic Party? I'm just sayin'.

Posted by: optimyst | November 4, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Libs are overlooking the fact that a THIRD PARTY candidate did well. Of course the RINOs were going to vote for Owen...Dede was a RINO herself.

And a repudiation of Palin? Baloney. Using that (il)logic, an endorsement by Obama was the kiss of death in VA and NJ.

NJ is HUGE. No way you libs can spin that.

Posted by: Darlene_Jr | November 4, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"as Tea Party Patriots whup the Big Government Socialists in both dino-parties."

what a sad sack of crap these rightwing losers are.

Posted by: drindl | November 4, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Fix, I like your blog but often find mistakes. I don't often mention mistakes, because I like your efforts.

You said the 20th Congressional district in NY is based in Albany. Nope. That's the 21st. I believe the 20th is considered based in Saratoga, but if you look at a map it is one of NY's strangely shaped districts, north and south of Albany, but not Albany.

We have very creative and self-protective politicians in our state legislature who create these districts, and apparently federal officials wink at it. I assume the buck stops with feds, but I wonder if anyone ever looks into it.

Posted by: kateinNY | November 4, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Re NY23: Michael Steele does it again. What in the name of Ross Perot has this imbecile ever accomplished in his life, except make life better for the Democrats? You go, guy!

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | November 4, 2009 9:12 AM | Report abuse

"Oh, I almost forgot. Voters in Maine rejected gay marriage. Every single time the American people are allowed to have a say in the matter, gay marriage is rejected."

---

It's a constitutional issue, not a political referendum. Denying homosexual couples equal protection under the law is a clear violation of the 14th Amendment.

Posted by: VTDuffman | November 4, 2009 9:11 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans will keep winning. In Illinois we have a shortage of H1N1 vaccinations for Americans because Illegal Aliens are out numbering Americans at most vaccination clinics. If one would drive down the highway in Chicago and look at most construction sites where the so called stimulus money has gone, Illegal aliens are working at most construction sites stealing jobs away from Americans.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | November 4, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans will keep winning. In Illinois we have a shortage of H1N1 vaccinations for Americans because Illegal Aliens are out numbering Americans at most vaccination clinics. If one would drive down the highway in Chicago and look at most construction sites where the so called stimulus money has gone, Illegal aliens are working at most construction sites stealing jobs away from Americans.

Posted by: mattadamsdietmanager1014 | November 4, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh, I almost forgot. Voters in Maine rejected gay marriage. Every single time the American people are allowed to have a say in the matter, gay marriage is rejected. Yet the politicians keep forcing it on us. Just like the force more immigration on us, despite the majority of the people wanting less. Proof that both parties are utterly and hopeless out of touch with the American people.

Posted by: pmendez | November 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Let's look at what the leader of the Conservative movement in America predicted:

"If Hoffman wins -- and polls suggest that he will -- the race there will be dismissed as an outlier... Folks, I want you to print these words out. I want you to get the transcript off my website. I want you to print these out, I want you to distribute them, I want you to carry them with you, and we'll just see how close I am to being right. When Hoffman wins the State-Run Media will say, "New York-23, the race is more about the demise of the Republican Party and anger on the right than Obama or his policies."

Boss Limbaugh

And lest we forget...

"They're still going to call the states, when they get to Michigan and Florida, may even call their names, and there's going to be riots and protests and even Reverend Jeremiah Wright notwithstanding, if the superdelegates after all this give it to Hillary, Sharpton's promised to march. Operation Chaos, Bob, I hate to tell you will go on even after the superdelegates vote, especially depending how they vote.

Obama is burning cash fighting Operation Chaos. Here's the latest poll numbers. "Barack Obama's big national lead over Hillary Clinton has all but evaporated in the U.S. presidential race, and both Democrats trail Republican John McCain, according a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday. The poll showed Obama had only a statistically insignificant lead of 47 percent to 44 percent over Clinton, down sharply from a 14 point edge he held over her in February. ... The poll showed Arizona Sen. McCain, who has clinched the Republican presidential nomination, is benefiting from the lengthy campaign battle between Obama and Clinton." Well, yes, which was the primary purpose of Operation Chaos."

This drug-addled, gaping asswound has no connection with reality. The NY race says more about the GOP than either Governor's race.

Posted by: willandjansdad1 | November 4, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Wasn't most of the focus on this NY-23 race? And yet this is such a horrible night for Democrats. Please. The teabaggers wanted this one badly, but once again they find out where they truly stand. You can't win by shouting lies at town meetings.

C'mon WaPo. I know you want to push the Gov. races as some kind of repudiation of Obama, but they aren't. You're really reaching here.

Posted by: dflynn221 | November 4, 2009 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The "Big Story" is that a 3rd Party candidate (Hoffman) came within a few percentage points of winning, and CRUSHED the RINO. All the D's and R's who read the Washington Pest are trapped in a last-century mindset. Both parties are corrupt and intellectually bankrupt. 2010 will be a hoot, as Tea Party Patriots whup the Big Government Socialists in both dino-parties.

Posted by: pmendez | November 4, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

You mean the Dems pick up a seat they haven't had in over 100 years, in a precinct so solidly GOP all these years, and this gets buried?

Seems like those die-hard conservatives are pretty pleased with Obama and the Democrats...

But this paper is becoming Faux News, and therefore it isn't important.

Posted by: ScottChallenger | November 4, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Funny that this little contest turned out to have more import than the two gubernatorial elections. McDonnell won by pretending not to be a conservative, a strategy that also worked in New Jersey. The one 'real' conservative candidate turned out to be the loser....

Posted by: Samson151 | November 4, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

The outside-agitating GOP took a page from Tonya Harding's book, with Newt and Sarah as the kneecap-ers. Another pratfall for the rubes.


Posted by: snowyphile | November 4, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Virginia was no surprise. NJ had low Democratic turn out compared to the large block of Republican turn out. Not to mention that Corzine ran an awful campaign. NY showed the Right Wingnuts that a centrist approach is what we want. A repudiation of Palin, Armey and their ilk.
Now let's see if anyone has learned anything from this election.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | November 4, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

the republicans will win the seat back next year...........no worries

Posted by: charlietuna666 | November 4, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

wingnuts in both parties never learn. A hundred year safe R seat blown up by wingnut ideology.Will the party of No get the Message? No.

Posted by: auntywbush | November 4, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Republicans would probably have won this seat if it hadn't been for their infighting. Hopefully conservative Republicans will continue to demand a purity test for candidates. An influx of conservative heavyweights didn't help their standard bearer. This race was the true bellwether of the night. There were no surprises in the races the GOP won, and their winning them has no effect on the balance of power in congress. If the Republicans can muzzle their sanctimonious blowhards they may appeal to independents and disaffected Democrats and have a chance to regain power. When will they realize McCain would have been president except for his poor choice of a running mate. Romney or Huckabee as a partner would have put him in.

Posted by: csintala79 | November 4, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Fox is so funny. Republicans Wins! Where Billy Kristal when you need him or Krutenhammer? If that's now you spell his name? Not that I really care about some one who is so bitter, that the only words of cohesion is the words of hate that comes from his mouth. True be known, Fox News stinks especially Chris Wallace. His father should be turning in his grave.

Posted by: danielburke3 | November 4, 2009 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Kinda hard to say the dems are down and out when they pickup another republican house seat and expand their majority in the house. If anything this should be a clear signal that people want the republicans not to be more conservative or be obstructionists, but to work with the president and democrats to solve our problems. I doubt the republicans will listen.

Posted by: zackool | November 4, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Washington13 it is to early in the morning to smoke crack.

Posted by: danielburke3 | November 4, 2009 8:11 AM | Report abuse

I am a RINO and thrilled with this outcome. A message to Limbaugh and Palin: "Appreciate that we are Republicans and don't mess with us."

Posted by: richardshaker | November 4, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

I am a RINO and thrilled with this outcome. A message to Limbaugh and Palin: "Appreciate that we are Republicans and don't mess with us."

Posted by: richardshaker | November 4, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I am a RINO and thrilled with this outcome. A message to Limbaugh and Palin: "Appreciate that we are Republicans and don't mess with us."

Posted by: richardshaker | November 4, 2009 8:03 AM | Report abuse

Sure looks like these elections are demonstrating that the moderate Republicans and Independents backed the equally moderate Governor-elects and did not support the far right wing approved congressman-nonelect. Moderates still are the deciding factor. Take heed, you extremists in both parties!

Posted by: GordonShumway | November 4, 2009 7:57 AM | Report abuse

The front page of the WaPo is filled with the triumphant Republican winners, the Democrat winner, Bill Owens, "salvages a win" like he was a junkman, gets a mention in your rightwing column.
Hooray, the neocon, rightwing Republican beltway establishment has made a comeback! I've been watching the triumphal crowing and preening on CSPAN this morning, well, let's follow up on their every boast and promise and lets see how they sling the blackmail threats around to maintain power. Let's keep track of how New Jersey is doing in six months, if Trenton isn't a shining city on a hill, let's all attack and destroy Christie as being unfit and a liar and a sham.
Democrats need to get down and dirty and corrupt and stunningly dishonest a la the Republican Party or they'll never have a grip on governing this nation.
The media, all of it, with a few exceptions, is totally on the side of the Republicans, totally, totally, totally and completely in their pocket.

Posted by: Minka | November 4, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Washington13 - you are full of $h!T

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | November 4, 2009 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Washington13 - by that reasoning, then, Vice President Biden deserves the credit for Owens' win, as he campaigned for him last weekend.

Posted by: tracymohr | November 4, 2009 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Bill Owens needs to thank President Obama for staying away from him.

Otherwise, Owens campaign my have been infected by the Obama appearances in Virginia and New Jersey.

Lesson to Democrats,

If you are running for election in a district that Obama won by 52%, that doesn't mean you need to risk your election by bringing him into your district.

Keep the Unpopular President away and you will Win.

Posted by: Washington13 | November 4, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Left of the Pyle -- I liked Palin making calls for McDonnell in the past week: after she saw he was going to lay waste to the opposition, not before. Of course, he was running on a switch-and-bait platform that he'll have to reconcile with the voters. Good luck on that one.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 4, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Remember back to the days of yesteryear---
when Elmer Fudd used to go after that "bunny wabbit" (Bugs) Inevitably,
Bugs would tie Elmer's rifle in a knot and Elmer would wind up with buckshot singeing
his face. To wit: Elmer Fudd meet Sarah
Palin. Better luck next time, Elmer, uh
Sarah.

Posted by: canaldoc | November 4, 2009 5:11 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this right: Rick Perry is adamant that outsiders shouldn't monkey around with Texas or tell us what to do, then he turns around and gets involved in a race in NY state on the border with Quebec for a candidate who doesn't even live in the district and ends up helping the Democrats win a seat the GOP has held since the 19th century?

Overrated doesn't even begin to describe the man. Too bad Kay has hired the rejects of Texas politics to run her campaign.

Posted by: Left_of_the_Pyle | November 4, 2009 2:45 AM | Report abuse

The Club for Growth just grew one for the Democrats--maybe it should be renamed Flub their Growth for the Republicans.

Posted by: ejgallagher1 | November 4, 2009 2:42 AM | Report abuse

Well, Q1 in Maine was approved, it seems, repealing gay marriage in the state.

Blah, that's the one I care about the most.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 4, 2009 2:32 AM | Report abuse

And take note Republicans, this in no way repudiates anything you believe. It's when you go moderate that you lose, you know, as long as you run hard-right social conservatives like Doug Hoffman, why, you can't lose.

(insert canned excuses here as soon as you get the official story)

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | November 4, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

A Democrat winning a congressional seat held by Republicans since U.S. Grant was president is a gift, indeed. I'll take this opportunity to thank Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and Sarah Palin, etc., for their role in creating this outcome and encourage them to continue advocating for hard right candidates who represent their version of reality. It's because of you that we are able to understand why America is so great. It's because of you that POTUS Obama will remain if office until 2016 and then pass on the conservation of a Democratically led government for generations to come. Keep up the good work. Oh! And thanks again. You GOP wing nuts were spectacular!

Posted by: queenofromania | November 4, 2009 2:00 AM | Report abuse

By the way, at the end of the day, the effect of these elections on the United States congress is

Democrats +1

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 4, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

A Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia who supported the National Rifle Association, dissed the first African-American governor of Virginia, and dissed the first African-American president of the United States lost tonight in Virginia.

A Democratic candidate for governor whose previous experience was making hundreds of millions of dollars on Wall Street, and who last faced voters about 4 years before Wall Street blew up the American economy, lost tonight in New Jersey.

In New York state's 23'rd congressional district, a moderate Republican was driven from the race by a concerted effort on the part of the sorts of people who read National Review, listen to Rush and Glenn, and lust for Sarah Palin. They got what they wanted: a Conservative straight up against a Democrat.

The outcome? For the first time in a century, New York's 23'rd congressional district is sending a Democrat to congress.

All things considered, my reading of these tea leaves does not bode well for Republicans - and it doesn't bode well for Democrats who try to win elections by bellying up to the NRA or by nominating Wall Street traders to high office.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | November 4, 2009 1:30 AM | Report abuse

Credit must go where credit is due; thanks Club for Growth for assuring a Democratic majority for years to come!

Posted by: 13joe85 | November 4, 2009 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Whack!

That seat has been Republican since the Civil War. It would be today, without Beck and Palin. Now, it's one more brick walling the GOP into a regional fringe Southern Evangelical party. Pelosi is a little stronger tonight.

I'll trade two governorships for that!

So, to recapitulate the lessons from this evening: Republicans are most successful when the pretend to be moderates. At least in the short term. Ultimately, Democrats are better at actually being moderates so ta-ta GOP.

Cheers, CFG!

Posted by: nodebris | November 4, 2009 1:25 AM | Report abuse

Yep, as far as I'm concerned, this NY 23 election was the most important one of all! Who cares about Virginia and New Jersey!?

Sometimes, people couldn't care less about voting along party lines. Sometimes they (gasp) just vote for the Best Candidate.

The way to get elected these days is to distance yourself from the far-right fringe, no matter WHAT party you actually belong to.

Are you listening, Sarah Palin?

Posted by: mavisdarling | November 4, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Always entertaining when the bright lights of the Republican Party (Sarah Palin and Dick Armey come to mind) conspire to give the Dems a seat that they have not won since the Civil War. What is their next act?

Posted by: lips-are-moving | November 4, 2009 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Maybe the WP and other mainstream liberal media will start being more fair and more critical of Obama going forward. He is not invinvible, as we saw this evening.

Posted by: kenpasadena | November 4, 2009 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Correction Chris, Dede Scozzafava lives in the town of Gouverneur, which is in St. Lawrence County not Jefferson. Owens seems to have carried St. Lawrence too, but by 15 points.

Posted by: MaineMan1 | November 4, 2009 12:39 AM | Report abuse

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