The winner of the special election in New York is Jim Tedisco, although you would never know by reading the mainstream press. Tedisco represents the 20th US Congressional District (NY-20) in New York, a seat that was vacated when Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the open U.S. Senate seat.
Granted, Tedisco is only even with Scott Murphy on election night March 31st, or technically even slightly behind by 70-some-odd votes. However, ten thousand absentee ballots were mailed before Murphy last minute surge, and the majority of those were sent to GOP households. The mathematics tell us that the NY House race winner is James Tedisco by a cozy percent unless the Democrats manufacture votes as what happened in the Al Franken Minnesota Senate contest. As a precaution, Tedisco has successfully sued to impound all ballots.
Scott Murphy was heavily campaigned for by Democrats including Barack Obama himself in recent days. Obama was confident enough in Murphy’s prospects that he laid a little political capital on the line by recording robo-calls on his behalf. The latest two polls in the race showed Murphy leading by 2 points, overtaking a strong lead that Tedisco enjoyed early.
The New York house race was cast by the two candidates as a referendum on the Obama spending plans, sheepishly described as a “stimulus plan” by Obama and alternatively described as a waste of our money by opponents like Jim Tedisco. Unfortunately for Tedisco, he was only tepid in his opposition to Obama early on, which appears to have lost him some votes among an angry electorate in upstate New York’s NY-20 district.
The spinsters have been out in full force this week. The GOP establishment began preparing for defeat, while Murphy and Team Obama began gloatefully whispering about his prospects. Now with defeat in sight, Democrats are attempting to claim a moral victory by running close in a GOP-leaning district. They don’t want us to remember that the prior elected incumbent was a Democrat congresswoman.
The sting of the defeat is clearly lessened for Obama because of the close vote on election night. A tied contest was declared by the press, so inferences in the headlines are that the nation’s first referendum on the Obama presidency is a tossup. When Tedisco is declared the winner later, it will hardly make the news and the analysis of the results will not be so potent.
But this is the first significant election since Obama took office, the first one in which he attempted to spread coattails, and in truth a crushing defeat for Democratic political operatives. There is no moral victory in losing an election you expected to win.
As for the socialist agenda, there is now one less tree in Obama’s receding rainforest. The GOP will take solace from the narrow victory and build from here.
Jim Tedisco’s biography is unspectacular. He was born James Nicholas Tedisco in 1950 which makes him 58 years old. His most notable work in the New York legislature is on missing children, and he is credited with forcing Democrat Governor Elliot Spitzer’s scandalous resignation.
Tedisco – Murphy Race (Video)