New York's 20th Congressional District seat was supposed to be an easy pickup for the Republicans; after all, the voters in the majority Republican and rural district prefer their politicians to reflect their socially conservative values.
While Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand won in the 20th, she did so as a hometown girl from a prominent Republican family and as pol with social conservative views on issues such as guns, war, immigration and government spending -- a so-called 'blue dog' democrat.
So, the newly minted GOP Chair Michael Steele thought it smart to fly to Albany to declare that the GOP's rebirth starts with a win in the 20th. The GOP has poured resources in support of their standardbearer, 58 year old Jim Tedisco, a longtime Albany politician who's against the Obama stimulus bill. The GOP's enthusiasm further heightened when the Democrats picked Scott Murphy, a 39 year businessman and political novice with progressive views aligned with Obama's policies.
Needless to say, Steele's tenure as GOP Big Dog has not gone as planned, and neither has Tedisco's imagined stroll to Congress. With a recent Marist poll showing Murphy gaining a slight lead in the run-up to the March 31st Special election, Tedisco is sinking under the weight of the obstructionism of the Party of No.
It seems the more national Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Boehner and others support Tedisco, the weaker he grows.
Is there a message here?
On the issues concerning Latinos in the 20th and across the country--as well as Americans of all stripes, a smart, energetic, moderate progressive newcomer like Murphy representing New York's 20th is hugely preferable to an old-line Albany pol aligned with national reactionary forces like Tedisco.
For Republicans, 20th Race Will Be 'Battle Royale' Says Steele
Murphy Takes 4-Point Lead Over Tedisco in Final Week
President Obama Endorses Scott Murphy for Congress
Scott Murphy for Congress
NY-20: Libertarian Sundwall Endorses Murphy
ACTBlue: Scott Murphy