The special election to fill the empty seat in New York 23 has drawn national attention. First, the Republican leadership nominated Dede Scozzafava bringing outrage from local residents which was amplified by the Tea Party crowd and several prominent Republicans on the national stage. Scozzafava’s voting record is so far left her Democrat competitor was essentially accusing her of being too liberal. This outrage and voter frustration prompted the impromptu campaign of Doug Hoffman. Hoffman’s campaign skyrocketed through the polls primarily by siphoning off dissatisfied Republican voters wanting to send a message to the Party.
With abysmal poll numbers and absolutely no hope of victory Tuesday, Scozzafava finally relented and put her campaign out of its misery, but not without causing further controversy. Though most expected her to follow the rest of the Party and endorse Hoffman, she chose to endorse the Democrat, Owens. This decision, far from helping Owens or winning her sympathy, meerly confirmed what most people already knew: Scozzafava was a liberal in disguise.
With a Hoffman victory becoming ever more palpable–the most recent polling data at press gives Hoffman a 17pt margin over Owens–everyone is scrambling to define the implications of this election. Liberals are shouting through every available outlet that the ousting of Scozzafava signals the death of the Republican Party. Conservatives are quick to counter that Scozzafava would never have been the nominee if there had been a primary election.
In reality, the major impact of this election has already been realized. The voters are reminding Washington that the Republican Party stands for fiscal conservatism, and they are no longer willing, or perhaps even able, to stomach voting for liberals posing as Republicans. Hoffman’s campaign shows that policy is once again more important to the voters than “preserving the R.” A Hoffman win on Tuesday will only affirm this conclusion and provide the added benefit of preempting liberal media outlets from attempting to marginalize Conservatism and the Tea Party movement.