Is it time for Scozzafava to drop out?

posted at 3:37 pm on October 27, 2009 by Allahpundit

You’d think some reputable pollster would be interested in asking that question given the national interest in the race, but at the moment, the last three polls taken in the district were sponsored by the Club for Growth, the Minuteman PAC, and, um, Daily Kos. No surprise on the split, either: The two conservative groups have Hoffman up by four or five points while dKos has the Democrat ahead by the same margin. Whichever it is, there seems to be no dispute that Scozzafava’s a distant third. WaPo’s hearing from multiple sources that it’s now a two-man race between Hoffman and Owens, and that’s exactly how the DCCC is playing it:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its allies have not run advertisements attacking Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava for about two weeks, sources confirm. Instead, the party has focused solely on knocking down Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

Meanwhile, Democratic strategists in Washington are privately beginning to downplay expectations for the race, hinting that they would not be surprised if Hoffman were to win outright, defeating both Scozzafava and attorney Bill Owens (D).

Two recent polls, both commissioned by conservative organizations that support Hoffman, show the Conservative leading both his rivals. Public polls have showed Hoffman trailing Owens and Scozzafava, but sources in Hoffman’s camp and among Democrats with knowledge of the race each say private polls show a two-way contest between Hoffman and Owens, leaving Scozzafava out in the cold.

“This race is neck and neck between Owens and Hoffman,” said DCCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer.

No surprise, then, that their latest fundraising e-mail is aimed at Palin and the “tea party folks” who are trying to get Hoffman elected. And yet — the NRCC continues to dump money on Scozzafava’s campaign, even as the stream of prominent Republicans endorsing Hoffman flows ever onward. Why? It’s tempting to think they’re doing it purely out of spite, to try to kneecap the guy who dared oppose their handpicked candidate, but if they go down with Team Dede’s ship and Hoffman wins anyway, they’ll look like even bigger schmucks than they already do. I assume the answer is that, a la Gingrich, they don’t want to send a message to would-be third-party challengers next year that the GOP might support them over its own nominees if they manage to muster some critical mass of grassroots enthusiasm. That’s a recipe for disaster in the midterms so they’re going to bite the bullet now rather than set a bad precedent. Although who knows? Maybe Scozzafava is so far left that the GOP fears her dropping out of the race would free up more votes for the Democrat at this point than for Hoffman. In which case, propping her up is actually helping the conservative win.

On a related note, here’s Rush touching on the argument raised last night in the Beck post about the folly of third-party challenges. He makes a good point about how sui generis NY-23 is: It’s a special election, which means there was no primary to settle the Hoffman/Scozzafava question, and Scozzafava herself is so liberal that she doesn’t even qualify as a RINO. I’m curious to know, though, which way he’d be leaning if there had been a primary and Team Dede had squeaked through. Beck made his own position on that pretty clear yesterday, declaring that he’ll no longer throw his vote away on centrist Republicans simply because they’re marginally better than Democrats. Rush seems a little warier of that absolutism, which is why he’s at pains to distinguish NY-23 from a normal purple-district race. It’ll be interesting to see how he and Beck grapple with this question next year. Click the image to watch.

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Venusian Visitor on October 27, 2009 at 5:03 PM

Thanks. I’m not really stupid but I get tired of having to look this stuff up all the time just to get what Allah and Ed are talking about.

Big John on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I hope that Scozza stays in the race and garners about 15% of the vote.

The RNC needs the smackdown.

I am officially off of the GOP reservation.

The RNC doesn’t even remotely represent my interests.

The RNC has become a party of ad hoc policies, determined not as a result of firmly-held core principals, but on the basis of backroom bartering with Democrats relating to the division of tax dollars (aka pork).

I couldn’t begin to name the firmly held beliefs and core values of the GOP.

The RNC is taking this election seriously and I suspect that the DNC is also doing so.

The DNC may start having uber-liberals, who disagree with Obama, Pelosi and Reid on certain matters that are important to them, run as independents.

molonlabe28 on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM

I, for one, refuse to be relegated to the “taken for granted” position in the Republican party. Voting for McCain’s just encourages the leftward slide. Never again.

Venusian Visitor on October 27, 2009 at 5:03 PM

But I’d vote for a rock if it was running against Obama.

Big John on October 27, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Sui generis = a unique case, or one that should not be used as the rationale for a broad principle. And yeah, it’s Latin.

Cicero43 on October 27, 2009 at 5:10 PM

Yes…but what does Meghan McCain think?

/

unwashed minion on October 27, 2009 at 5:11 PM

http://www.dumpdede.com

Red Cloud on October 27, 2009 at 5:12 PM

The RNC needs the smackdown.

molonlabe28 on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Amen to that!

Venusian Visitor on October 27, 2009 at 5:13 PM

It was time after SignGate. Bribe her into withdrawing, I don’t care.

Speedwagon82 on October 27, 2009 at 5:18 PM

I am one of the few Conservatives to challenge a sitting Rep. in a primary. He was a 16 year Congressman, and did not think his primary duty was to be a representative of his district. According to his campaign message, his primary qualification was he was a Vietnam POW. He had no leadership duties, and had no significant legislation passed to show for his terms in Washington.
I was fed up with a US Congressman who could not articulate the position of middle class adults facing the problems of an over reaching federal government that was taking more and more, and helping less and less. I can today say this was a foolish venture, that is , trying to take on an operator of the political machine.
Doug Hoffman has several advantages over my attempt to help the residents of his district.

1. He doesn’t have to go through the primary process.
While his candidacy puts him outside the party leaders, it does not put him outside the party voters. Only 20% (at best) of the voters come out for the primary, and this always favors the party’s selected candidate. The party can say they are neutral in an open primary slot, but the machinery is in place to protect the selected candidate, which would be Dede in this case. If Hoffman lost (and he would), and still wanted to pursue his passion as the Conservative Party rep, he would be viewed as a sore loser, and would be but a footnote.
2. He has gotten the support of people who are conservative in principle and have money to send him.
I realized my effort was futile when 5 close friends who were down ticket, elected officials blankly told me they could not help me in any way, lest they incur the wrath of the local party and the Congressman. The Congressman was sure to spend his war chest, over $1 mil in a 75% Rep district, on his people. They would not forgo that wrath.
3. He has the chance to turn that money and the current tax protest fever into a real vigorous and supportive organization that will dwarf the Dem and the Rep.
A perfect storm is brewing out there that I was too early to capitalize upon. The rage of the tea parties is real and, when properly channeled, is a formidable force with which Dede has been run over.

The most important thing I learned from my endeavor was there are 3 things I needed to have to be successful – organization, experience and money. Because of the situation and the election terms, Doug Hoffman has been able to acquire all 3 in a very short time. I have no doubt he will win, and any bad blood will quickly be patched up with the true Republicans. AND it is reprehensible for the Republican machine to be running hurt ads against Hoffman.

gonnjos on October 27, 2009 at 5:21 PM

I’m curious to know, though, which way he’d be leaning if there had been a primary and Team Dede had squeaked through

If Scozzafava had won some primary, Hoffman wouldn’t be able to claim that he was so shocked a liberal RINO won it that he had to get involved. So yes, she wouldn’t be so down in the polls in that case.

Speedwagon82 on October 27, 2009 at 5:21 PM

I am not donating one cent to the RNC, NRCC, or NRSC.
… the party continues to reject conservatism. I’ve had enough. …

cubachi on October 27, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Actually, maybe you should donate one cent — a check for $0.01 — to the RNC. It would cost them more than that to cash the check, and it would get the point across arguably better than not making any donation at all.

Mary in LA on October 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM

But I’d vote for a rock if it was running against Obama.

Big John on October 27, 2009 at 5:10 PM

That’s why I swallowed hard and voted for McCain last time. But I’ve come to realize that Obama and the Democrat machine being temporarily in control is far from the worst thing that could happen.

The Republican party has talked a pretty good game of fiscal conservatism but the deficit still keets getting higher when they controlled both Houses of Congress, too, and a lot of that waste and pork goes to Republican districts and projects. All I can say is that, up until now, they have at least given lip service to some principles I can identify as being not entriely unlike my own.

What I fear is that the new, unprincipled Republican party that has emerged will stop representing anyone but themselves; the point of their tenure will simply be to preserve their own power as elected officials. And when that happens, we will effectively have a one-party oligarchy. It may respectfully maintain the forms of a democratic Republic, but they will be ceremonial vestiges of the past. We could very well lose our liberties entirely to a totalitarian state, with no one at all looking out for us.

That, to me, is the worst thing that could happen. That is why I prefer a small, principled conservative party to a larger party that stands for nothing and does not look out for me. For us.

Venusian Visitor on October 27, 2009 at 5:29 PM

What I fear is that the new, unprincipled Republican party that has emerged will stop representing anyone but themselves; the point of their tenure will simply be to preserve their own power as elected officials. And when that happens, we will effectively have a one-party oligarchy. It may respectfully maintain the forms of a democratic Republic, but they will be ceremonial vestiges of the past. We could very well lose our liberties entirely to a totalitarian state, with no one at all looking out for us.

You’re talking as if this isn’t already the case

Sugarbuzz on October 27, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Thanks. I’m not really stupid but I get tired of having to look this stuff up all the time just to get what Allah and Ed are talking about.

Big John on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Don’t feel bad. AllahPundit has to throw some Latin into his posts every once in a while so that he qualifies as a blogosphere “intellectual” in between the Sarah Palin hate posts.

BigD on October 27, 2009 at 5:45 PM

This is the exact mirror of the New Jersey Gov race where Corzine sent in a third party candidate to draw off votes from the republican candidate. In NY you have two democraps running one with a D next to his name the other with an R next to her name and then you have the real republican/ conservative running and picking up the votes. If Scozzofava (why does that name elicit Hannibal Lechter thoughts?)wants what is best for the party she would drop out of the race now and turn over the 200K she received from the HRCC to the conservative Hoffman immediately.

eaglewingz08 on October 27, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Allapundit: And yet — the NRCC continues to dump money on Scozzafava’s campaign, even as the stream of prominent Republicans endorsing Hoffman flows ever onward. Why?

I though the NRCC had standard rules and procedures. If you’re a Republcian nominee, which Scozzafava is via her selection by the local Republican committee, the NRCC sends you at least some money. No questions asked. But, perhaps I’m mistaken.

Maybe Scozzafava is so far left that the GOP fears her dropping out of the race would free up more votes for the Democrat at this point than for Hoffman. In which case, propping her up is actually helping the conservative win.

I believe this is correct.

Loxodonta on October 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM

Rush is just another ayatollah. He will push the GOP no matter what.

True_King on October 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM

You are just another fool who knows nothing about Limbaugh and yet still has an opinion on him. You aren’t worth my invective.

Jaibones on October 27, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Roll Out!!!

BigWyo on October 27, 2009 at 5:54 PM

I hope that Scozza stays in the race and garners about 15% of the vote.

[molonlabe28 on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM]

There area a lot of vagaries to a really good assessment of Hoffman’s chances. Despite the R-41/D-31 break, it’s spurious for AP to say it’s a purplish district.

McHugh had been representing at least part (how much I don’t know) of the district since 1993 and took over the 23rd after the 2000 census related redistricting. He won in 2008 with 64% of the vote and in 2006 with 63%, both when the R’s had disastrous down years. McHugh had a lifetime ACU rating of 75%.

If you take the 31% Dem enrollment and multiply by total ballots in 2008 (261K) you get 80K which is 10K more than the total votes the Dem received and note that there were 42k Blanks in that election. I mention this because offhand
I’d say that Scozzafava will not be pulling from the Dem fold here and the WOR (only pulled 5K in 2008 and 3.5K in 2006) will be practically negligible this time around since Scozzafava has it and there’s no way now that that line will go R.

It’s best that Scozzafava drops out for the guaranteed Hoffman win. The biggest unknown in my opinion is not the breakdown but the turnout. The above numbers are based on regular Nov voting years, and I haven’t seen how special election turnouts go in the 23rd nor have I seen the ballots for the various counties to gauge whether turnout might be paltry or big, but I think this vote will depend on who wants it more and gets their voters to the polls.

Dusty on October 27, 2009 at 5:59 PM

The RNC has become a party of ad hoc policies, determined not as a result of firmly-held core principals, but on the basis of backroom bartering with Democrats relating to the division of tax dollars (aka pork).
molonlabe28 on October 27, 2009 at 5:07 PM

If I thought the RNC was actually bartering on the issue of conservatism vs. liberalism, I could at least theoretically try to support them. We take one step forward, they take one step back…

But it never, ever works that way. The face the RNC presents to us is that they’re “limiting” the growth of government by convincing the Democrats to take only half of everything they ask for today, and waiting to take the rest until next year.

In reality, Republican and Democrat Congressmen are doing nothing but negotiating with each other on how to split the ever-growing pile of federal money among themselves.

When those conference room doors close, they must all just sit down and laugh their asses off at us.

logis on October 27, 2009 at 6:17 PM

authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee · http://www.NRCC.org

320 First Street SE · Washington, DC 20003
Privacy Policy · (202) 479-7000

Ask for a refund….get their attention….the tea parties have set the stage do some arm twisting. NO CASH FOR RINOS

nondhimmie on October 27, 2009 at 6:31 PM

Go-on, git!

royzer on October 27, 2009 at 6:32 PM

Allahpundit: Rush seems a little warier of that absolutism, which is why he’s at pains to distinguish NY-23 from a normal purple-district race.

As I recall, Reagan used the “Eleventh Commandment” about not criticizing fellow Republicans, to protect conservative Republicans from attack by liberal Republicans during the Goldwater period. However, Reagan was a Big Tent conservative who friendly to moderate and liberal Republicans who were friendly with conservative Republicans. The liberals that Rush mentioned and that Reagan told to take a hike were those who were attacking the conservatives.

I know it may be difficult to believe today and from recent history, but liberals and conservatives often had a lot more in common back then. There were some broad areas of general agreement, such as national security.

I agree with Rush on the NY-23 special election and third parties. We aren’t a parliamentary system. Third parties rarely win. And there are indeed purple districts and states where one has no choice but to vote the lesser of two evils or not vote at all. And moderate Republicans can be much better than liberal Democrats.

To me, voters rule. Period. If we as Republicans want to set some boundaries for what is and is not acceptable to be within the GOP, I’m fine with that, but the boundaries need to be large enough to accommodate candidates and voters who are not purely conservative on every issue, as even conservatives disagree amongst ourselves on many conservative issues. If don’t make the rules accommodating enough, we are telling everyone but ourselves, “My way or the highway.” And I don’t think that’s an approach that will win the most American voters.

Loxodonta on October 27, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Rush is just another ayatollah. He will push the GOP no matter what.
.
True_King on October 27, 2009 at 4:03 PM
.
You are just another fool who knows nothing about Limbaugh and yet still has an opinion on him. You aren’t worth my invective.
.
Jaibones on October 27, 2009 at 5:51 PM

.
Rush’s approach is obviously one that is similar to Newt’s. He didn’t support Tancredo or Hunter in the primaries.
.
His slavish praise of Bush and lack of criticism of Bush for all his anti Conservative positions such as illegal alien amnesty, not protesting the persecution of the Pendleton 8 and the Murtha Haditha fiasco, supporting Dubai ports and allowing Geneva accords to apply to terrorists demoralized the Conservative base. This caused the fiasco of a candidate like McCain.
.
Rush has to get onboard the no more Rino train. His Conservative standing is very weak at this point.

FactsofLife on October 27, 2009 at 6:44 PM

As a Brit, this is rather confusing to me. Perhaps some kind soul can explain?

Isn’t the GOP, by its very nature, a conservative party? Isn’t conservatism in its DNA? If so, why would they let some liberal represent their party? WHy would she want to join the GOP. Surely the only attraction to her is political sabotage.

To me this all implies that Republicanism is NOT synonymous with Conservatism. If so, then perhaps it’s time to reflect on what Republicanism does mean? What are the core values of the GOP that are exclusive and not specifically conservative. And are these exclusive Republican ideals important in this day and age? Is the “Republicanism” redundant in the light of liberalism and conservatism?

uptight on October 27, 2009 at 6:48 PM

What Scozzafava needs is to have Newt Gingrich make a series of whirlwind campaign stops with her. Then she would surly win in a landslide. Yes, that should do the trick.

MB4 on October 27, 2009 at 6:49 PM

I assume the answer is that, a la Gingrich, they don’t want to send a message to would-be third-party challengers next year that the GOP might support them over its own nominees if they manage to muster some critical mass of grassroots enthusiasm.

To them party, and the perks they personally get from it and their egos, is clearly more important than country.

MB4 on October 27, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Here’s hoping for some CONSERVATIVES to vote for next election.

FloridaBill on October 27, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Why should they run conservatives? You voted for their candidates last time, didn’t you?

PersonFromPorlock on October 27, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Newt used to represent change. Now he’s just another Repub Party elder trying to keep the status quo. He is soooo over!

chickasaw42 on October 27, 2009 at 7:17 PM

We are in perilous times, and we all need to gird our loins and put personal ambitions and party behind Country. Do the right thing Dede: step aside, endorse Hoffman, and start campaigning for him.

motionview on October 27, 2009 at 7:37 PM

The only poll that counts is on Election Day. However, Intrade is pretty close:

http://www.intrade.com/jsp/intrade/trading/t_index.jsp?selConID=699145

Democrat-45% chance of winning

Republican- 5% chance of winning

Other (Hoffman)- 50% chance of winning

Please note, it’s not generally accurate until there has been about 2,000 trades.

patch on October 27, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Democrat-45% chance of winning

Republican- 5% chance of winning

Other (Hoffman)- 50% chance of winning

patch on October 27, 2009 at 7:51 PM

So she has basically a snowball’s chance of winning, but an even chance of getting the Democrat elected.

Great job there, RNC. What would we ever do without you?

Seriously. Millions of us are thinking very, very hard about that question right now.

logis on October 27, 2009 at 8:36 PM

Where is Michael Steele DEMANDING Scuzzynavel to drop out? Where is the republican leadership? We had their way of squishy republican’s like McCain, Goober Graham and the rest.

It is NOW time for conservatives to lead and let the moderates get out of our way.

dthorny on October 28, 2009 at 12:26 AM

But I’d vote for a rock if it was running against Obama.

But NOT if that rock had won the Margaret Sanger Award.

seanrobins on October 28, 2009 at 7:05 AM

If you’re a Republcian nominee, which Scozzafava is via her selection by the local Republican committee, the NRCC sends you at least some money. No questions asked. But, perhaps I’m mistaken.

Loxodonta on October 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM

They didn’t send any money to David Duke.

MarkTheGreat on October 28, 2009 at 8:41 AM

What I fear is that the new, unprincipled Republican party that has emerged will stop representing anyone but themselves; the point of their tenure will simply be to preserve their own power as elected officials. And when that happens, we will effectively have a one-party oligarchy. It may respectfully maintain the forms of a democratic Republic, but they will be ceremonial vestiges of the past. We could very well lose our liberties entirely to a totalitarian state, with no one at all looking out for us.
That, to me, is the worst thing that could happen. That is why I prefer a small, principled conservative party to a larger party that stands for nothing and does not look out for me. For us.
Venusian Visitor on October 27, 2009 at 5:29 PM

That is why I use the train anology to describe the difference between the Democrat Party and the Republicans under their current leadership. The express train to fascism versus the slow freight to the same destination.
Why would any sane Amercan want to be on either?

SKYFOX on October 28, 2009 at 8:55 AM

His slavish praise of Bush and lack of criticism of Bush for all his anti Conservative positions such as illegal alien amnesty, not protesting the persecution of the Pendleton 8 and the Murtha Haditha fiasco, supporting Dubai ports and allowing Geneva accords to apply to terrorists demoralized the Conservative base. This caused the fiasco of a candidate like McCain.
.
Rush has to get onboard the no more Rino train. His Conservative standing is very weak at this point.

FactsofLife on October 27, 2009 at 6:44 PM

I heard him regularly dump on Bush for amnesty and the prescription drug benefit, slamming Murtha, and he did not let up on McCain even after the nomination. His hissing Queeg-croak McCain impression was brutal.

He has done a U-turn of late. For the last few years he was proud not to adopt the Republican label. Now apparently he wants to “take back” the party. I don’t think he’s going to get any traction.

Chris_Balsz on October 28, 2009 at 10:39 AM

I no longer consider myself part of the Republican party. However, that doesn’t mean that I won’t vote for the Republican candidate, I will..if they meet my criteria.

SueM on October 28, 2009 at 1:06 PM

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