Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Lessons from NY-23

When the RNC pours nearly a million bucks into the campaign of a liberal Republican, it can't help but end badly for the party.

Conservatives owe NY-23 candidate Doug Hoffman immeasurable gratitude. He overcame impossible odds (single digits just a month ago) to come within two points of defeating Democrat Bill Owens. Hoffman had zero name recognition. National Republican Party officials dumped nearly $1 million into the race on behalf of radical leftist GOP candidate Dede Scozzafava, who then turned around, endorsed Owens and siphoned off 5 percent of the vote with her name still on the ballot after she dropped out.

It is truly remarkable that Hoffman very nearly won. As I've said repeatedly, third party candidates tend to act as spoilers, weakening the strongest candidate and allowing the weaker one to prevail. In this case, it became Scozzafava who played spoiler.

The good news in NY-23 is that conservatism in some form or fashion won. Both Owens and Hoffman were more conservative than Scozzafava, and having the voters represented by someone closer to their values is always better.