Not to step on DougJ’s toes, but Daniel Larison has some interesting thoughts on the special election between Tedisco and Murphy:
Taken in isolation, this outcome wouldn’t matter much. But if Murphy does win it will mean that an out-of-state transplant made up a 20-point deficit against a fixture of regional politics in less than six weeks, and he will have done it in a district where Republicans enjoy a registration advantage of many tens of thousands (71,000 to be exact, which is approximately 25% of the size of the 2008 turnout). When Ogonowski lost a special election for MA-05 in a landslide, there were more than a few Republicans who went wild at how well he had done in a House special election in deep-blue Massachusetts. In that case, Ogonowski’s smaller-than-expected margin of defeat was supposed to signal a Republican resurgence in 2008 (which did not happen), which was never very credible, but are we really supposed to believe that a Democratic win in a traditionally Republican district in a special election doesn’t say something significant about the political fortunes of the GOP? When Gillibrand won in 2006, it could be written off as part of a wave and a reaction against Sweeney’s scandals, and when Gillibrand was re-elected and Obama carried the district it could be written off to some extent as part of another wave and a reaction against the financial crisis and recession, but if the Democrats hold the seat for the third time that begins to suggest a pattern. It may mean that the GOP’s strongholds in the hinterlands of the Northeast, already disappearing in New Hampshire, are also eroding in upstate New York.
I would agree that this should probably be seen as bad news for the Republicans at large in NY, but I am not sure I think there is anything to be really learned about the public and Obama from the outcome of this election, whatever it may be. Now I know full well should Tedisco win, the usual suspects will have banner headlines shouting “OBANOMICS REFUTED” and “THE WORM HAS TURNED- GOP BACK IN BUSINESS.” That doesn’t mean that it is true, nor do I think it means anything really significant should Murphy win. From what I have read (most of which was here and at the Albany Project) leads me to believe that this is just a really attractive Democratic candidate versus a Republican who has run a really, really bad campaign.
Am I wrong to think there is no larger significance to this election? Also, I thought it was weird that Larison frequently referred to Murphy by name but only called Tedisco the “GOP candidate.”
At any rate, I’m hoping DougJ can keep us posted on what is going on.