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New York congressional race too close to call

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 at 10:44 am in Congressional District 10, Ellen Tauscher.

The New York Times reports this morning that Tuesday’s special election to replace Kirsten Gillibrand is too close to call.

“A mere 65 votes separated the two candidates late Tuesday in a Congressional contest in upstate New York that received national attention and was widely seen as a referendum on the Obama administration’s economic recovery efforts,” wrote the NYT.

Why do we care in California?

Both parties are closely watching the outcome in this race for signs of voter backlash against Democrats. A Republican win could nudge the GOP to target the upcoming special election to replace Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Alamo. Pending Senate confirmation, Tauscher will take an under secretary position in the U.S. State Department.

Granted, these are very different districts.

The New York district is heavily Republican while Democrats have an 18-point registration lead in Tauscher’s 10th congressional district. The math heavily favors a Democratic win in CD10 while the Republican candidate in New York, under typical circumstances, should have the advantage.

Upstate New York voters there elected Democrat Gillibrand (who left to take the U.S. Senate seat held by Hillary Clinton)  to Congress during the Democrats’ 2006 sweep across the country and it is widely viewed as a bellweather political district.

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  • Sertorius

    Lisa – your argument doesn’t make any sense.

    The GOP has a 16% voter registration advantage in NY-20. Even if Murphy were to lose, how would losing by less than 1% in a heavily Republican district constitute a “backlash against Democrats”? For that matter, how is a district with 180,000 Republicans and 115,000 Democrats a bellwether district?

    How could the GOP barely eking out a win in a +16% GOP district possibly influence a race in a +18% Dem district?