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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jury Still Out on Obama's First Electoral Test of His Performance as NY-20's Election Goes Into OT

New York Congressional Election Tied as Officials Prepare for Absentee Count

Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco have 77,225 votes each, according to the New York Board of Elections. Friday, April 03, 2009

The special U.S. House election in an upstate New York congressional district is now exactly tied.

Democrat Scott Murphy and Republican Jim Tedisco have 77,225 votes each, according to the New York Board of Elections.

Murphy previously was leading Tedisco by 25 votes, but that lead narrowed as officials conducted a mandatory check of voting machine results.

John Conklin, spokesman for the state elections board, told the outcome of the race will not be known for "several weeks at least."

"The lawyers are now involved, so everything will get much slower," he said.

Conklin said officials probably will begin Tuesday counting the absentee ballots, more than 10,000 of which were sent out.

He said a recount, though not mandatory under New York law, is a possibility.

The election in the 20th Congressional District was held to select a replacement for Kirsten Gillibrand, who replaced Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate when Clinton took over as secretary of state.


My Thoughts

No matter how much Ashley was trying to belittle what Tedisco's achievement in the election so far, it was a good showing for Jim Tedisco, GOP, and to a certain extant Michael Steele.

It is true that more people in the district does have more registered Republicans than Democrats, but it is also a district that has voted for Democrats more often in the last few elections. They voted for Kirsten Gillibrand and Barack Obama. In addition, the district voted for Democrats in federal senate elections for Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton since 2000.

Given the momentum the Democrats have had in the district and Obama's deflating but still strong popularity, Murphy should have been able to ride Obama's coattails and win pretty comfortably. He shouldn't have tied and possibly lose in overtime.

It isn't good news for Obama to be having so much trouble holding onto his party's popularity so early in his term. This could be another example of a possible shift back to Republicans. The very heavily Democratic New Orleans district also went red in December. Obama's policies have consistently not seen the approval of voters in recent polls. Eventually the disapproval of his individual policies will catch up to his overall job performance numbers. His overall numbers are gradually starting to reflect that.

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