Wednesday, April 01, 2009

What NY-20 Result Means: Status Quo Ante

Last night I participated in a live blog over at BSB of the results from the New York 20th Congressional District special election. The special election was necessitated by New York Gov. David Patterson's choice of its former representative, Kirsten Gillibrand, to fill the Senate vacancy left when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State.

The district's PVI rating is R+3, so it is GOP leaning. And, as Nate Silver points out in this excellent post , a GOP leaning district in a Democratic leaning moment in the political cycle equals tossup. And that's exactly what we got. Democratic candidate Scott Murphy finished the evening with a 65 vote lead over the GOP's candidate, state assemblyman Jim Tedisco. Over 10,000 absentee ballots were issued in this race and so far according to an AP wire story last night over 6,000 have been received, and overseas absentee ballots will continue to be accepted until April 13th. In other words, this race will not be decided soon.

What does that mean? Well, both parties were ready and willing to spin a victory by their candidate in this race. The GOP was especially hopeful, as they had already started to pre-spin that a win by their candidate would be "evidence" that the country was "rejecting" the Obama stimulus package. Dems would have done some further tap dancing on the "grave" of the GOP.

What does the essential tie mean? It means status quo ante. Nobody gets to spin anything, and the race is an anti-climax that won't be decided for months. In other words, I should have gone to the bar last night :)

No comments: