Dede drops out – and the national Republican Party was no real help
While GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava’s abrupt withdrawal Saturday from the Nov. 3 House election in upstate New York came as a surprise, it shouldn’t have — over the past decade or so the New York Republican Party has emerged as the political gang that couldn’t shoot straight, an operation so inept that it’s sometimes hard to believe it exists in the nation’s third-largest state.
The collapse of Scozzafava’s campaign—and the quick rise of the national conservative revolt sparked by her nomination—is simply the latest calamity to befall the New York GOP and an illustration of the utter ruin into which the state party has fallen. In just a few short years, the party’s presence in state politics has dwindled to the point of extinction-or irrelevance.
Little more than a decade ago, Republicans controlled the governor’s mansion, the state Senate, one of two U.S. Senate seats, 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and the New York City mayor’s office.
Since then, though, the GOP has declined at a steady and accelerating pace. Today, the party has virtually no presence in the congressional delegation-it controls just two of the state’s 29 House seats at the moment. It lacks a single statewide elected officer and represents only a minority in both chambers of the state Legislature-the first time since the New Deal that New York has had a Democratic governor and legislature. In 2006, in an open governor’s race, the Republican nominee failed to win even 30 percent of the vote…
Former Rep. Sherry Boehlert, an upstate centrist who saw his seat flip to the Democratic column after he retired in 2006, sounded a bleak note earlier this week when asked about the special election.
“It probably says to a lot of people who are registered Republicans, maybe I should reconsider my registration,” Boehlert said. “I think, from a Republican standpoint, it would provide further evidence for some that there doesn’t appear to be any room in the Republican Party for people who are moderate in their thinking.”
No surprise to me. New Mexican Republicans retained exactly NO seats in our Congressional delegation during the Obama election. The only moderate Republican trying to stay incumbent was beaten in a primary by a right-winger – who proceeded to lose to a Democrat.
The sole important seat acquired since has been mayor of Albuquerque a few weeks ago – with a moderate Republican candidate in an election with the turnout at 25% of registered voters – who got 44% of the vote in a 3-way race against an incumbent trying for a 4th term.
Republican candidates for the next governor’s race have included the former overseer of Guantanamo Bay prison.
UPDATE: Dede endorses the Democrat, Bill Owens, and Newt indulges his hindsight.