November 2, 2009
In yet another bizarre twist to the strange race in New York's 23rd Congressional District (see my post on Wednesday), Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava has withdrawn from the race. The Washington Post interpreted this as a victory for the the right wing of the GOP. Today, Scozzafava endorsed the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, rather than the Conservative candidate, Doug Hoffman. This move leaves little doubt that Scozzafava was indeed a liberal and not a "moderate," as the Post and several other media sources have indicated. Her husband is a union official who is in close touch with Democratic leaders. According to politico.com, Democrats have been courting Scozzafava very assiduously, and even Joe Biden showed up to campaign on Owens' behalf. It could be a very close race, but it won't be as significant for natiowide trends as either the Virginia or New Jersey governors' races.
The odd situation came about because President Obama nominated John M. McHugh to be Secretary of the Army. McHugh resigned from the House on September 21 (see house.gov) and assumed his new duties the same day (see army.mil). It would be nice to know why the local GOP leaders picked Scozzafava without duly consulting party members. What were they thinking of?? Perhaps it was just a hasty, ill-considered fluke. On ABC This Week with George Stephanopoulus, the panelists discussed the "GOP Civil War." The same situation almost came about here in the Virginia 20th District House contest in July, but the party leaders held a public forum at the last minute to solicit input.
I was disappointed that a Washington Post editorial criticized Ken Cuccinelli for alleged "bigotry," just because he opposes the homosexual agenda. I see no reason to doubt that his views, while strongly on the traditional social conservative side, are sincere and religiously-based.
On Facebook, Chris Saxman solicited election predictions. Here's mine:
McDonnell and Bolling by 9% points each, Cuccinelli by 3%. Steve Landes by 12%, Ben Cline by 14%, Dickie Bell by 8%. Net GOP gain in HOD: 2 seats. Just an unscientific hunch.
This isn't very encouraging: According to the Washington Times, the Obama Justice Department "decided that equal rights for black voters cannot be achieved without the Democratic Party Party." That is, without party labels on ballots, they might not know who to vote for. Hat tip to Megan Rhodes.