NY-23: Hoffman Drops Out, Name Will Stay on the Ballot

Disappointing news:

Doug Hoffman has dropped out of the race to represent New York’s 23rd Congressional District. Hoffman’s name will still appear on the ballot on the Conservative line; however, Hoffman said Tuesday morning that he wants his supporters to vote for Republican Matt Doheny.

“Our nation is at a crossroads, and it is imperative that on Election Day we wrest control of Congress from Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat majority,” Hoffman said in a prepared statement.

Of course, Doug Hoffman could still end up having a serious impact on the race, whether he campaigns or not. Recall that John Powers, whose name appeared on the NY-26 ballot as the Working Families Party nominee, still collected 5% of the vote despite his wholehearted endorsement of Democratic nominee Alice Kryzan and his subsequent efforts to remove his name from the ballot.

Still, it’s very sad to see the cat actually escape from the dryer…

28 thoughts on “NY-23: Hoffman Drops Out, Name Will Stay on the Ballot”

  1. on the bright side some absentee/military ballots have already been returned yeah? (as little as an impact that that would have, still….)

  2. Does this really affect this race? I still have this as Lean Democrat, but I have no idea. I haven’t seen any polls.

  3. He fits the district well.  Doheny may be a strong opponent, but he has baggage, including that time he rode his boat while drunk and got cited for that.

  4. Bit premature IMO to move it all the way from Favored in one go but I will await polling with great interest.

  5. …it’s harder now.

    Hoffman was enough a celebrity from his special election run that he would have registered a few percentage points as an active candidate, even with little money.

    Now he’ll get less, and Doheny more.

    I still can easily see Owens winning, and would bet he does.  But his defeat no longer would be a big shock, as it would be to me in a 3-way.

  6. I can’t see Hoffman getting more than 1 or 2% now that he’s dropped out.

    This definately moves at least a few points of vote Hoffman would have gotten to Doheny.

    I had this race as a Dem hold due to the GOP split.

    I think Doheny can win this now. He was the best candidate the GOP has in this district. If the local GOP county leaders picked him for the special I think he would have won easily.

    I would definately move this race to at least a toss up.

  7. One thing I guarantee is that even if we lose the House, and a net of close to 50 seats, we still will have a large number of vulnerable incumbents get reelected whose internals WE NEVER SAW.

    It’s a mistake to judge anything from the decision to release or not release internals.  Campaigns HATE releasing private numbers, they do it when they think they NEED to for some specific reason.

    SOMETIMES radio silence means “we’re in trouble.”  And sometimes it simply means “we’re winning and not telling you that doesn’t jeopardize anything.”

    Remember, Nancy Pelosi hasn’t released her internals, either…is she in trouble?  Yes that’s a ridiculously extreme example, but the same principle applies to some vulnerable incumbents.  And sometimes silence matters MORE in a close race because you just don’t want to tip off your opponent to anything at all.

  8. The DCCC has touted internals and public polls for Acuri and Murphy but nothing here…I believe? I think the hotly contested state senate race here may drive turnout more than the top of ticket .  I would say this is a tossup pending polling showing Owens ahead and at or near 50.  

  9. I imagine polls with Hoffman in the race showed the anti-Owens vote was split.  I wouldn’t even be surprised if he still polled as much as Dede Scozzafava after she withdrew from the special.  But had he stayed in he probably had a chance at 10-12% of the vote.  Owens never got over 50 in the special and in this environment I would think his special election percentage is more of a ceiling then a floor.

  10. No such thing. Completely different dynamics. The environment was pretty bad last November. And LV polling models don’t show turnout any worse in general for Dems than it was in the NJ and VA exit polls. And would they not have polls asking just Doheny? They released lots of polls before primaries decided candidates.

  11. House races are weird, even in a wave they’re not linear according to a district’s partisan lean or ideological orientation.

    Everyone thought Rick Boucher might be toast after voting for cap-and-trade in coal-centric VA-09, and Morgan Griffith is a big-name challenger, and yet Boucher is consistently up big in released polling.

    And there are Dems thought likely safe who are in deep trouble like Phil Hare, who is in a much more liberal and Democratic district than Boucher.

    NY-20 isn’t so predictable.  The economy up there has been hurting for a loooong time, not just in this recession.  Upstate NY has been trending away from the Republicans in voting behavior for quite some time, and NY-20 is no different.

    I think it’s awful hard to guess what internal polling looks like up there.  I bet it’s close for sure, but I wouldn’t assume Owens doesn’t lead a 2-way, and perhaps even has over 50.  Ingratiating yourself in your district with a frequent and visible presence and good constituent services can both go a long way.

  12. Different dynamics exist etc.  Constituent service goes a long way…although somewhat less in this environment.  But comparing Owens to Boucher is apples to oranges.  Boucher is a looong time incumbent with a long record of winning.  Owens is a half-termer that won under unusual circumstances.  And the environment in many respects is worse than last November…Obama’s approval rating is much lower for one.  Owens CAN still win but I’m very nervous about this one.  

  13. …between NY-20 and NY-23. Both are upstate, yes, and both have highly rural components (in and around the Adirondacks especially). But NY-23 has been reliant more on shipping (along the Seaway) and military installations. Its population centers are consistently compact, whereas NY-20 actually has some swaths of suburban territory, in Saratoga County and central Dutchess County (where it abuts the highly-suburban NY-19).

    But both districts rank far behind NY-19 as the biggest concern in NY (behind the long-gone 29th). Previously, I had the 1st and 24th next; I’d probably slide the 23rd in between those two now. You can see that I’m feeling pretty good about the 20th these days.

  14. Absentee voting in NY only begins 32 day prior to the election. Since ballots arent usually print until after the judicial nominations are made (which was last Monday) I doubt many have been sent out yet.

    Also NY has pretty restrictive absentee voting rules. Unlike many other states in NY  you need a reason to vote early. Voters have to certify that you will be unable to vote on election day due to of occupation, business, studies, travel, imprisonment (other than a convicted felon), illness, disability and hospitalization or resident in a long term care facility in order to vote absentee.  

    So chances are VERY few to none votes have been cast.

  15. It’s historically been a Republican district.  And statewide Democrats will not do as well in this upstate part of NY as they will do elsewhere.  

  16. As Dede proved in the special she was unelectable because she was unacceptable to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the GOP.

    Any other GOP candidate would have most likely united all sides of the Party and beaten Owen.

  17. if Scozzafava’s votes had been pushed to either him or Hoffman I think enough would have gone to Owens that he would have won in a fair 1v1 fight. (I understand the dynamics of the campaign would be different, but if Dede had endorsed Owens in a fair fight then he still would have had a coalition of Dems + moderate Republicans.)

  18. Hoffman would not have gotten nearly as much national attention or outside money, and those are the factors that let him marginalize Dede to the point where she threw in the towel.  You forget, Dede had been a sitting Assemblywoman for 10 years, so she must have been considered fairly acceptable in her district to win all those primaries and general elections.

    And as sapelcovits points out, Owens would likely have beaten Hoffman in a 1v1.

  19. send out limited ballots and blank ballots before the official ballots are printed? At least, that’s how RI does it…(and we’re the same in terms of needing an excuse to vote absentee)

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