Democrats, Republicans claim gains in “Obama referendum”

April 1, 2009

pointDemocrats and Republicans each claim bragging rights in a U.S. congressional race billed as a referendum on President Barack Obama.
But political analysts said the special election to fill a vacant seat from New York in the House of Representatives was so close — and yet to be decided — no one has much cause to celebrate.
“It’s basically a tie. It’s like kissing your sister,” said Charlie Cook of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which tracks congressional and presidential races.
As of Wednesday, a day after the election, Democrat Scott Murphy, a venture capitalist, held a lead of fewer than 70 votes over Republican New York Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.
The race likely will be decided by absentee ballots.
“Regardless the final outcome, the fact that we closed a 21-point margin (in the polls) in eight weeks is a testament to the fact that the economic message that Scott Murphy carried resonated with voters and his message was support the president’s economic recovery plan,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen, head of the House Democratic campaign committee.
Republicans said the congressional district, though long Republican, went Democrat in recent years, including last November when Obama won it by 3 percentage points.
“Jim Tedisco has closed the gap in a district that has come to exemplify Democratic dominance,” said Pete Sessions, chairman of the House Republican campaign committee.
“That is a testament to the strength of Jim’s campaign and the effectiveness of the Republican message of fiscal responsibility and accountability,” Sessions said.
Nathan Gonzales of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, said, “Both sides have reasons to be happy, but also reason to be a little disappointed.”
The seat has been open since January, when New York Governor David Paterson appointed Kirsten Gillibrand to the U.S. Senate.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts (Obama points after signing the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 30 )


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Game’s not over and the GOP is already claiming a win. Just like Florida 2000. Wonder if the consequences will be as bad too?

Posted by borisjimbo | Report as abusive

In a peculiar legal move, the NY Republican Party filed a legal motion, long before the polls were even closed, including this pre-emptive election challenge:

Ordering the respondent New York State Board of Elections and the Commissioners thereof to certify the name of James Tedisco as elected to the public office of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, 20th Congressional District, in Dutchess, New York, at the Special Election held therefor on the 31st Day of March, 2009, or alternatively enjoining the improper issuance of a certificate of election for the said public office.

That motion was struck out by the court on the spot. They didn’t buy the old “heads I win, tails you lose” routine from the GOP, apparently.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

In Florida after the 2000 election. Gore did, in fact, lose the vote. It had nothing to do with anything else. The recounts done later, confirmed that.

As for consequences. Better watch out Boris. If you think we had it bad then, then you haven’t seen anything yet.

Haven’t you heard the cries throughout the world to stop the spending?

Quit living in the past. But, those were the good years.

Posted by TC | Report as abusive

When people are hurting they look for that magic way out of the problem, pixy dust if you will, but in the end they will see the king has no clothing and good sense will prevail, as will good morals, and most of all the people will see that socialisum never works. I just hope it’s not to late. God Bless America.

Posted by D.Winchell | Report as abusive

one year ago if barney and chris dodd had know that they might have a colleague who was a venture capitalist they would have been licking their lips,but times have changed.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive