Tuesday, March 24, 2009

NY 20th Congressional: An Early Referendum On Obama?

Our local Congressional election is getting nationwide attention.

After Hillary Clinton took the job as Secretary of State, NY Governor David Paterson elevated my local Congresswoman to fill the open position in the U.S. Senate. Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was very successful here in what is a largely Republican district. In fact, last November, it was the most expensive Congressional race in the country as they tried to knock her off. They felt she was vulnerable yet she won 2-1.

Now that NY's 20th Congressional is open, we vote next Tuesday for her replacement.

The Democrat Scott Murphy is a businessman who has little if any political experience. His Republican opponent is Jim Tedisco who has served in the Albany legislature for over 20 years.

The national party committees have launched wave after wave of negative television ads.

But, as the dust settles, it appears that this is going to become a referendum on President Obama's economic plans. Each has taken their party line: Murphy says we need the money to create jobs and keep taxes low; Tedisco says it is fiscally irresponsible and he has a better plan.

It is going to be a tight race. Initially, Tedisco led by ~25% points because he had the name recognition. After all the advertising, Murphy has closed the gap to 4%.

Demographically, I'd say our district is a good representation of the nation. Cities, town, and lots of farm land. Mostly white and black, though, with fewer Hispanics and Asians compared to some parts of the country.

I'll keep you posted.

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