Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Owens The Victor, Conservative Surprise At New York Polls

I was recently out of town unexpectedly and up in New York for the weekend , where I was experiencing the election madness first hand, even meeting New York City Council candidate Janine Materna outside the Costco off Richmond Avenue in Staten Island (very nice candidate and I hope she wins). Unfortunately I could not stay till the end of election day, but on my drive back to Florida, I stopped in a rest stop where they were playing the news, and I was lucky to notice that on the television, Bill Owens beat out the Republican Party and Conservative Party candidates, Dede Scozzafava and Doug Hoffman, even though Scozzafava dropped out of the race to endorse Owens.

Owens beat Hoffman by a 49 percent to 45 percent margin, with Scozzafava relegated to spoiler, still raking in 6 percent regardless of her departure from the race. Had Scozzafava remained in the race, the results may have been different, but it may be unsure to gauge how many of her voters shifted over to the Hoffman camp and how many followed her endorsement. What I find interesting is the division in the Republican party which caused immense focus on this race. I have no doubt that if only one conservative candidate, and I include moderate Republicans in this category, were to run, the Democrats would have lost, considering it is a conservative leaning district to begin with.

The Conservative Party had the backing of some prominent figures on the ultra right, which would obviously be a boost in ratings, but in my opinion, the Republican party is divided into various camps. Some are more conservative then others, but the most conservative groups are the most vocal, and have drowned out any other voice. They have redefined what it means to be conservative to fit their agenda and have developed a with us or against us mentality within their own party, and have remphasized social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.  A certain number of voters most likely blindly voted for the conservative candidate because they were told to by their trusted "news" sources, and by the end of the day, the Republicans sitting on the fence, waiting to see which candidate came out ahead, backed Hoffman.

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