Capitol Hill Democrats celebrated their victory in New York’s 26th Congressional District on Wednesday by clubbing the budget plan of Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, over the heads of the GOP. Other than the fact the western New York special election was a three way race, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, made no mention of the self-professed if not phony tea party candidate Jack Davis.
Instead, Democrats looked at the win for Kathy Hochul as a sign that their Party can take back the House in 2012. Not so fast. Measuring future election successes by New York’s special election is far from accurate.
While the Democrats like third party candidates like Mr. Davis to split votes and/or Democrats who camouflage themselves to fit into more conservative districts like they did in 2006 to pick up GOP CD’s, replicating such a formula on a mass scale is a little improbable.
New York’s special elections are unique, as GOP county party chairman ultimately decide who runs in the special elections, and usually, not everyone on the Republican side is satisfied with the candidate. In fact, the Conservative Party ends up running it’s own candidate if it does not believe the Republican in the race is sufficiently conservative.
New York special elections also show us what happens when ghost candidates run. That is, when a major party candidate officially pulls out of the race at the last minute, but their name remains on the ballot, like Dede Scozzafava did when she was almost out the Republican Party door during a three-way special election in New York’s 23rd District in 2009.
Republican Doug Hoffman discovered how this concept hurt as a major party candidate and works as last minute ghost candidate.
Democrats will continue to create political ads like the ad critical of the Ryan medicare reform that shows a granny being hurled over a cliff.
It may seem intimidating for conservatives and Republicans to unite around the Paul Ryan budget plan at first, but if nothing is done, the system will go bankrupt in the next ten years. Considering the sour response Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich received following his initial criticism of the Ryan plan, Senate GOP’ers like Collins, Snow, Brown, Murkowski and Paul may find the political consequences of their positions against the Ryan plan later down the road.