Breaking: Scozzafava quits after Siena poll; Update: Hoffman campaign asking for endorsement?

posted at 10:37 am on October 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Stacy McCain reports today that Dede Scozzafava has quit the special election in New York after an independent pollster found her badly trailing both Douglas Hoffman and Democrat Bob Owens.  Reportedly, she tearfully withdrew and threw her support to Hoffman:

Just confirmed that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has quit the race. Speaking to supporters, Scozzafava broke down in tears.

UPDATE: Scozzafava, the hand-picked choice of the New York state GOP in the key 23rd District special election, reportedly will throw her support to Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman.

This has been confirmed by the local Watertown Daily Times, but report that she has not made an endorsement:

Dede Scozzafava, the Republican and Independence parties candidate in the 23rd Congressional District, is suspending her campaign and releasing her supporters.

The state Assemblywoman has not backed either of her two opponents in the race, Doug Hoffman or Bill Owens.

What prompted the withdrawal?  The new Siena poll this morning shows Scozzafava trailing both candidates badly:

The race for the 23rd Congressional District is too close to call between Democrat Bill Owens (36 percent) and Conservative Doug Hoffman (35 percent) heading into the final days of the campaign. Republican Assembly member Dede Scozzafava has dropped to 20 percent, with nine percent of voters still undecided, according to a new Siena (College) Research Institute poll of likely voters.

Owens has increased his lead among Democrats, while Hoffman has taken the lead with Republicans and maintained his lead with independent voters. Hoffman has widened his lead in the southern portion of the district, as Owens’ lead in the eastern part of the district has narrowed and Scozzafava’s strong lead in the western portion of the district has virtually disappeared, although she maintains a narrow lead. By a 51-29 percent margin, likely voters have an unfavorable view of Scozzafava, while both Hoffman (41-37 percent) and Owens (40-36 percent) receive slightly favorable ratings from voters.

“Unfortunately for Assemblywoman Scozzafava, this has become a two person race between Owens and Hoffman,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg. “She now has the support of only one in five voters, having gone from 35 percent support to 20 percent support since the beginning of the month.["]

This confirms the basic thrust of the three earlier polls, and especially the Daily Kos poll, which got the ranking of the candidates and the distribution of the vote almost exactly correct.  Scozzafava has seen her negatives explode, while her two opponents have only become more accepted as they became more well known.  She has no chance of winning this race, and her withdrawal leaves Hoffman with the Republican vote whether she endorses him or not.

Will the NRCC shift gears and start buying ads supporting Hoffman in the final three days of this race?

Update: I had neglected to review the poll in much detail, but I suspect that Scozzafava’s withdrawal (or suspension, more accurately, since her name will stay on the ballot) hurts Bob Owens tremendously.  According to the poll, Hoffman had attracted 50% of the Republican vote, while Owens had 2/3rds of the Democrats.  Hoffman leads Owens among independents, 40%-35%, and the remaining 15% supporting Scozzafava will almost certainly break more towards Hoffman than Owens.  Owens will likely get more of Scozzafava’s Democratic supporters, but she only had 11%, while 14% have already gone to Hoffman.  Hoffman and Owens had a near-even split of the opposition in Scozzafava’s regional stronghold of Jefferson/Lewis/St. Lawrence counties, but I’d be surprised if Hoffman didn’t pick up more in those areas of disaffected Scozzafava voters, too.

Hoffman now has the default Republican endorsement with Scozzafava’s retreat, as well as all of the late momentum.

Update II: Dave Weigel reports via Twitter that “Hoffman activists are heading to Scozzafava’s HQ to convince her to make an endorsement.”


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Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

I continue to not know what you guys are so excited about.

Also-

http://www.pollster.com/blogs/ny23_siena_poll_again_some_hop.php

Proud Rino on November 1, 2009 at 10:55 AM

I guess ‘us guys’ are liking the anti-RINO aspect of it. As far as the poll, sounds like a toss-up. The real story is the trend line graphic on the main page for this post. I’d like to see that one updated to reflect the current situation. FYI the RINO just endorsed the liberal Democrat. Who knew?

2ipa on November 1, 2009 at 3:52 PM

The unmitigated GALL of the woman! To wear the Republican label and then, after withdrawing, to endorse THE LIBERAL DEM!

THIS is what she gives for having other Republicans take heat for endorsing her.

Do we need any further proof that RINOs and DIABLOs give their allegiance to the Dems, not to the Republicans?

Hyunchback on November 1, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Great post technopeasant.

The big tent should definitely not be an invitation to anarchy, division or dilution of conviction.

Agree that the “big tent” should not be so big & floppy that the camel can get its nose inside the tent.

And as far as DeDe goes, if the nose fits… you must [not] admit [her]!

You are welcome to come to the tent but you have no right to raise a fuss or claim narrow-mindedness if what you hear within the tent is alien to your way of thinking.

technopeasant on November 1, 2009 at 7:07 AM

Sometimes the camel will not be denied…

RD on November 1, 2009 at 4:09 PM

FYI the RINO just endorsed the liberal Democrat.
2ipa on November 1, 2009 at 3:52 PM

NOW it starts, ladies & gentlemen. Beautiful!!

Update II: Dave Weigel reports via Twitter that “Hoffman activists are heading to Scozzafava’s HQ to convince her to make an endorsement.”

If she doesn’t, or worse yet endorses her Dem comrade, what will that say about all the Republicans who stood by her?

Jim Treacher on October 31, 2009 at 5:28 PM

Zing. Been waitin’ since you wrote that yesterday to see what she’d do, and ditto on how Newt’s going to handle this. Seems it didn’t take long for this train to get rolling. Ha!

RD on November 1, 2009 at 4:23 PM

I gotta say it shows some class for Scozzafava to bow to the reality of the situation and suspend her campaign.

highhopes on October 31, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Care to retract that statement yet? (It’s okay, it’s nice for you to have given her the benefit of the doubt. Too nice entirely, in fact. :)

RD on November 1, 2009 at 4:27 PM

Dede is such a piece of excrement. She was never anything but a libturd in sheep’s clothing.

dogsoldier on November 2, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Comment pages: 1 4 5 6