Saturday, October 31, 2009

Scozzafava Quits Race in NY-23 UPDATED

Breaking News:  Stacy McCain has a message up on Twitter announcing Dede Scozzafava has quit the race in the New York 23rd Congressional election.  According to McCain, Scozzafava broke down in tears announcing her decision, which came after a new Siena poll showed Hoffman and Owens in a dead heat but Scozzafava still fading.  She threw her support to Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman.  The Siena poll shows Hoffman support surging:
"While Owens has picked up three points of support over the last few weeks, Hoffman has surged going from third place and 23 percent support to now being virtually tied for the lead with 35 percent support," said Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg.

"...Owens has shown slow, steady momentum, particularly with Democratic and independent voters," Greenberg continued. "With the exception of Democrats, however, Hoffman has picked up considerable steam with voters of virtually every demographic, and particularly with Republican, younger and Catholic voters. He has picked up 10 points in the region he does best in, 12 points in the region Owens wins and 15 points in Scozzafava’s home territory."
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air had reported earlier GOP Chairman Michael Steele has said a win by Hoffman would be welcomed by Republicans.  I wonder if Scozzafava was urged to drop in light of her fading chances and the possibility that her continued presence in the race could end up with the Democrat candidate Owens sneaking past for a win.  Karl Rove, in an appearance on Greta last night that the Republicans should embrace Hoffman but expressed concern over the three party race as well.  Meanwhile the White House has made the 23rd election a priority sending Joe Biden to campaign for Owens, hoping to come out of Tuesday's election with something to claim as a win.  Looks as though Scozzafava just threw a monkey in the works for which she deserves the thanks of all who have supported Hoffman.

UPDATE:  Ed Morrissey has more:
Scozzafava has seen her negatives explode, while her two opponents have only become more accepted as they became more well known.  She has no chance of winning this race, and her withdrawal leaves Hoffman with the Republican vote whether she endorses him or not.
On the Siena poll Ed writes:

According to the poll, Hoffman had attracted 50% of the Republican vote, while Owens had 2/3rds of the Democrats.  Hoffman leads Owens among independents, 40%-35%, and the remaining 15% supporting Scozzafava will almost certainly break more towards Hoffman than Owens.  Owens will likely get more of Scozzafava’s Democratic supporters, but she only had 11%, while 14% have already gone to Hoffman.  Hoffman and Owens had a near-even split of the opposition in Scozzafava’s regional stronghold of Jefferson/Lewis/St. Lawrence counties, but I’d be surprised if Hoffman didn’t pick up more in those areas of disaffected Scozzafava voters, too.
Hoffman now has the default Republican endorsement with Scozzafava’s retreat, as well as all of the late momentum.

That looks like game over to me. Tuesday is likely to be a sad day for the Democrats and the Obama administration.

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