Why Isn’t Jim Tedisco Winning Easy?
Jim Geraghty reports that Republicans are starting to worry about the race for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) old House seat, a chunk of upstate New York where Republicans outnumber Democrats, and where the GOP has not-so-quietly talked about a confidence-building victory.
“The first poll had the Republican up 25, and the second poll has him up 15,” said a GOP consultant in the region, noting that Obama carried the district in 2008 by a narrow margin. “Some of that is natural as the voters get to know the candidates. But if there’s a third poll that I’m not privy to that shows continued erosion, then it’s reason for real concern.”
I’m reminded of what Rep. Tom Price told me yesterday: that he knew “in his gut” how voters were growing angry at the Democrats’ spending.
Let’s say that voters are, indeed, getting fed up with President Obama and the Democrats. They blame Obama for the falling Dow Jones Industrial Average, they shake their heads at his nominees’ tax problems, they think the White House was behind a Rush Limbaugh “distraction” campaign. Wouldn’t a good way of registering their disgust be a rejection of a Democratic candidate for Congress in a special election? Wouldn’t New York’s 20th Congressional District — a rural, 94 percent white district that former President George W. Bush carried twice — be a good place for the backlash to start?
It’s totally possible, and maybe likely, that Tedisco will win the March 31 special election. Perhaps he’ll win bigger than the polls suggest. But his slipping numbers and the decision of the Independence Party to endorse Democrat Scott Murphy cut against the argument that Americans are quietly turning on Obama.