No bones about it, last night’s New York result was a defeat for the Republicans - period. Had Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-gadfly Jack Davis won 20% of the vote – or even 15% – perhaps some solace could have been taken for the GOP. Instead, he only won 9%, meaning just about every would-be Republican voters was gleaned from him. Tellingly, he did worst in the home county of the Democrat who won – Kathy Hochul. Hochul took 48% of the vote as it is; the idea that over 80% of Davis’ votes would have gone to Republican Jane Corwin is nonsense. The Republicans lost. Full stop.
That said, Hochul and the Democrats revealed their strategy – scare everyone over 50 to death on entitlements – with more than a year to go until Election Day 2012. That gives the GOP time to make adjustments, and as any NBA or NFL fan will tell you, adjustments decide the game. Whether the Republicans will make the correct adjustments is another issue. We shall see.
Moreover, we’ve already been down this road with upstate New York. Lest we forget, the Democrats took New York’s 23rd from the GOP in 2009. In fact, the Dems kept NY-20 in 2010, and we saw what that meant to the rest of the country.
Finally, it should be noted that this district in western New York had been electing pro-life Republicans to Congress for over 40 years (Jack Kemp, Bill Paxon, Tom Reynolds, and Chris Lee). Corwin, by contrast, was not a pro-lifer. In this district, that almost certainly hurt her.
Cross-posted to Virginia Virtucon