(H/T – Ed Morrissey)
The Club for Growth released a new 300-person poll conducted by Basswood Research that gives Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman a 4.3-percentage-point lead over Democrat Bill Owens and a 11.6-point lead over RepubicRAT Dede Scozzafava in the special election to be held next Tuesday to fill the House seat vacated by long-serving Republican John McHugh, recently confirmed as the Secretary of the Army. Before I continue, I do have to note a couple of things:
- New York politics is a unique animal; while the successful candidates (almost) always come from either the Republicans or the Democrats, their success depends on getting on the ballot lines of “minor” parties such as the Conservative Party and the ACORN-affiliated Working Families Party (which Scozzafava has used in the past).
- Despite both Scozzafava’s voting record of being to the left of the majority of Democrats in the New York Assembly and her repeated electoral ties to ACORN, the county “Republican” party chiefs made her the “Republican” nominee behind closed doors.
- As Ace points out, a 300-person sample isn’t exactly reliable. Worse, a cursory search of late-season Basswood Research polling data seems to indicate they consistently overstate the conservative candidate’s support by 4-5 percentage points.
With that stated, this has become a battle for the soul of the NotDemocrats. On one side, you have the the other half of the bipartisan Party-In-Government, represented by the RNC, the NRCC, and Newt Gingrich, endorsing the RepubicRAT for the sake of keeping the P-I-G intact. In fact, after spending over $500,000 for what is clearly going to be a third-place result, the NRCC will be reinforcing failure to the tune of $300,000 in the last 9 days of the election cycle.
On the other side, you have pretty much every right-of-center pundit, including former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, former Alaska governor/Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, and now Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty endorsing Hoffman.
I guess the GOP has chosen to become the 21-Century Whig Party. All I can say is, “Help them get there by giving to Doug Hoffman.“