NY-23: Scozzafava Bowing Out!


Republican Dede Scozzafava announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign in the Nov. 3 House special election in New York, a dramatic development that increases the GOP’s chances of winning the contentious and closely-watched race.

“In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I’ve come to accept is that in today’s political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money-and as I’ve been outspent on both sides, I’ve been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record,” she said in a statement.

“It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican.”

On first blush, this seems like bad news for Democrat Bill Owens. While there isn’t much time left, it allows Doug Hoffman to consolidate the Republican vote.

UPDATE: Dave Weigel reports that the chairman of the Independence Party is now endorsing Owens:

I just got off the phone with Frank MacKay, state chairman of the New York Independence Party, which had endorsed Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava in the NY-23 special election. While Scozzafava has suspended her campaign, she will remain on the ballot as the candidate of the Republican and Independence Parties. MacKay can’t change that, but he told TWI that the party probably made a mistake in endorsing her over Democratic candidate Bill Owens.

“Some of our local organizations have endorsed Hoffman now that Scozzafava is out, and I want to be careful and respect their decisions,” said MacKay, who lives in downstate Suffolk County. “I don’t have a vote in the district. But if I did, I would vote for Bill Owens.” …

“If I knew how chaotic the Scozzafava campaign was going to be, I would have gone with Owens in the beginning,” said MacKay. “That certainly was a disastrous campaign.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: I was about to put up a post about Siena’s newest poll, though it seems a bit moot. I had already written it up, though, when the Dede news broke, so here you go:

Siena (PDF) (10/27-29, likely voters, 10/11-13 in parens):

Bill Owens (D): 36 (33)

Dede Scozzafava (R): 20 (29)

Doug Hoffman (C): 35 (23)

Undecided: 9 (15)

(MoE: ±3.7%)

Siena’s numbers confirm R2K’s – Dede was in utter freefall.

ONE MORE UPDATE: A dispiriting tweet from Tom Jensen:

With about 200 interviews down we had Hoffman 45 Owens 26 Scozzafava 17…her withdrawal will just make it that much easier for Hoffman

Those are very different numbers from what Siena and R2K have shown, though.

EXTRA UPDATE: Unsurprisingly, the NRCC is endorsing Hoffman. Scozzafava herself didn’t endorse Hoffman, but it’s easy to read between the lines:

“It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations,” she said.

“Most liberal candidate in the race” my ass.

STILL ANOTHER UPDATE: Charles Franklin points out that the Siena internals look bad for Owens:

Can Owens pick up from Scozzafava supporters? Not so likely given these poll results.

Owens Fav/Unfav among Scozzafava suppporters: 19/50

Hoffman Fav/Unfav among Scozzafava supporters: 15/57

Looks like a wash with many likely to skip the choice of two disliked alternatives.

And the worse news for Owens is among independents:

Ind. Fav/Unfav Owens: 39/47

Ind. Fav/Unfav Hoffman: 47/33

151 thoughts on “NY-23: Scozzafava Bowing Out!”

  1. that the teabaggers are going to get their congressman. I really thought we had stopped electing these kinds of people from New England.

  2. My sense (from across the lake in Vermont, watching upstate NY news) is that Hoffman had already cornered the hard core Republican vote.

    A significant of those voters who were sticking with Scozzafava after the right wing assault on her were probably in tune with her socially moderate stands — I really wonder if pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-labor pro-environment centrists are going to give their votes en masse to a far right winger like Hoffman. (Much of the support of Scozzafava’s campaign was coming from groups like NARAL, some unions, etc).

    There is a lot of resentment among mainstream upstate Republicans about the influx of out of state right wing activists playing out their national power game on the voters of the district.

    Like most of the Northeast, the 23rd has been steadily trending Democratic in response to the takeover of the national Republican party by the far right. It is a district that has voted for Obama, Hillary Clinton, Spitzer, Andrew Cuomo, Schumer, etc.

    I expect this will still be a very close race – Hoffman will probably pull out a win because of the sense that his campaign has momentum – but Owens still very has a shot of winning.  

  3. She remains on the ballot, people have already voted for her absentee. I suspect her support won’t collapse completely even though she has suspended. I think the big question is where do her Republican supporters go? I’m not taking any notice of PPP because there is too much noise involved plus they have never polled the district before.

    Siena has Scozzafava with 29 of Republicans. With all the Hoffman momentum the fact she still had that is important. They are obviously McHugh moderates. Some will go to Hoffman but probably not a majority. Some won’t vote at all, some will still vote for her, Owens gets a few. She has 11% of Dems – they’ll most go to Owens. Most interesting is the 15% of independents because overall Hoffman only leads with indies 40-35. He probably wins but I don’t think its a slam dunk.

  4. Independents in the district like Obama, and they also like Hoffman.

    This doesn’t make a lick of sense. Maybe Americans are too stupid to be trusted to pick their government.  

  5. Greetings from the other side of the world – Australia.

    Like all of you I was stunned at DeDe’s withdrawal.

    Just wanted to say as a House race addict the analysis on both sides of this race on this site has been superb – well done all.

    The alacrity and incisiveness of the comments post Dede withdrawal have been nothing short of superb. Well done all of you.

    Personally I think she withdrew too early. The DCCC now has a bit of time to respond. For maximum effect she should have waited 24 hours.

    My tip for tuesday? Who cares what I think it’s been an enthralling race.


    Benawu from Down Under.

  6. Presuming Hoffman wins, I guess we can safely guess no who’s gonna be out on his ass after 2010 redistricting.

  7. Independents seem perfectly fine with supporting a tea-bagger.  It’s only one district but a Hoffman win or even a close race would seem to indicate that the far right isn’t actually isolating the GOP.  

  8. Those are much different to the Research 2000 numbers.

    Owens 31 24 45

    Hoffman 53 14 33

    Hoffman approval must partly be Republicans calling themselves indies.

  9. As this was always a competitive threeway race,

    The Dtrip should have already identified who their Number 2s were (Owens as a 2nd choice after her)and what issues will turn those voters

    Immediately step up their GOTV ground game with busing union activists from the region to blanket the district — starting tomorrow.

    Immediately work her for an endorsement, unlikely but the calls should be made.

    Immediately drop mail (yes there should be time to do it immediately) and phones and canvassing to her identified supporters.  Theres no reason every “1” voter for her and every “2” for Owens isnt called yet tonight/tomorrow and turned based on their likely issues.

    A certain amount of her supporters will likely sit it out but theyre now all up for grabs and the Ds need to react

    immediately to pull this out yet.

    A certain amount of wasted votes will still go to her on election day as well as for whatever absentee/early vote

    program she had been running.  Watch to see if these wasted votes here and on election day is greater than the

    overall margin.

    Huddle with your media consultants to review and change up new ads. Increase media buys and preempt Hoffman where


    Hoffman may have momentum, but… remember this is still a special election and is ALL ABOUT TURNOUT.  


  10. Your last update doesn’t make sense period. I realize you’re just posting what someone else wrote, but couldn’t you at least make a note about how it doesn’t make any sense? Those numbers are GOOD for Owens…he’s faring BETTER among Scozzafava supporter than Hoffman is, how do you spin that as BAD? And yes, his numbers among independents are slightly worse but Owens is still leading by one with the votes of those independents already factored in to the poll. The only number that matters here is where the Scozzafava supporters go and it looks like that’s to Owens, if only by a slight margin. Since he’s already (barely) leading, a slight margin is all he needs!

  11. within the Charles Franklin link — a graph that shows basically 2/3 of Scozzafava voters having favorable view of Obama (very much unlike Hoffman voters) …

    Franklin writes: “If this race were a referendum on Obama, then the Hoffman voters look just like they should– angry anti-Obama folks, while the Scozzafava and undecided look a lot more positive to Obama, and hence potentially attractive Democratic voters.

    Perhaps the best move Owens can make in the last three days is to drape himself in the cloak of Obama, hoping to bring home those wavering 25% of Dems, and use this favorable view of Obama among Scozzafava and undecided to bring in the margin of victory.”

    this all seems like Politics 101 to me: BRING IN OBAMA !

  12. and those who remained are more favorable to President Obama and thus Bill Owens.

    But that’s just a gut feel. But with what the DeDe withdrawl has done to the race, gut feel is as good as anything.

    One thing that could help Owens – old line Rs endorsing him – e.g. new SecArmy McHugh, former Congressman Martin, some of the local R state Assembly members (watch Janet Duprey), some of the DeDe endorsing newspapers.

    Expect a lot of private pressure on McHugh…

  13. 1. no one knows what’s going on anymore

    2. “independents” are now synonymous with “rabid conservatives who’ve fallen out with the Republican establishment”

    3. Scozzafava supporters are the new independents

    4. seriously, no one knows what’s going on anymore.

    Scozzafava has a 20% share, with a 9% undecided share, while Owens is at 36% and Hoffman at 35%.  If the 20% splits 2/3 to one candidate (or alternatively, if 1/3 of them vote Scozz or don’t vote at all but the undecideds go with one of them) then that candidate wins.

  14. Remember that race between Murphy and Tedisco?  Obama won that district by 3 points, and Murphy went on to win that district in the special election.  In NY-23, Obama won by 5.22 points.  This may be a squeaker, but I think Owens can win it.

  15. http://www.watertowndailytimes

    I don’t know the source for this nugget

    During the day Saturday, she began to quietly and thoughtfully encourage her supporters to vote for Democrat William L. Owens.

    A couple of other snippets from the editorial

    Mr. Owens seems to approach politics and challenges with an open mind, a generous spirit and a can-do attitude. He has conducted a dignified campaign in comparison to Doug Hoffman.

    Mr. Hoffman is running as an ideologue. If he carries out his pledges on earmarks, taxation, labor law reform and other inflexible positions, Northern New York will suffer.

  16. Between Owens supporters, Scozzafava supporters, and Hoffman supporters, the least likely (in my completely non-data-supported inference) to have early-voted (and thus committed to a candidate) would be Scozzafava supporters.

    Also, in that Great Orange Satan thread, I was entertained by someone complaining about someone spelling “coz”, citing that the person was wasting z’s that were needed to spell this lady’s name.

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