A word on NY 23

My friend Jon Lerner has been doing the polling for the Club for Growth in the New York 23rd Congressional District special election. The Club for Growth is one of Doug Hoffman’s major supporters in the race. I passed on Jon’s analysis of the state of play last week in “Scozzafava sinking, Hoffman rising, Newt erring.” Jon now writes to update us on the race in the light of Dede Scozzafava’s suspension of her campaign yesterday:

In case your readers are wondering, Scozzafava’s departure from the race clearly helps Hoffman. In our last poll for the Club for Growth (the one over last weekend, which was the first to identify the Hoffman surge), the partisan composition of Scozzafava voters was: 63 percent Republican; 29 percent Democrat; 8 percent Independent. I think Hoffman would have won the race anyway, but now he is strongly favored.

Chris Cillizza’s take on the race following Scozzafava’s withdrawal resembles Jon’s, although Cillizza contends that “Scozzafava’s decision comes as Democratic strategists believed they had stopped Hoffman’s momentum and begun to turn the race in Owens favor.”
In my post last week I pleaded with Newt Gingrich to swallow his pride, abandon Scozzafava, and get behind Hoffman. He stuck with Scozzafava until she announced the suspension of her campaign yesterday. Following Scozzafava’s announcement, however, Newt endorsed Hoffman via Twitter: “Scozzafava dropping out leaves hoffman as only anti-tax anti-pelosi vote in ny 23 Every voter opposed to tax increases support doug hoffman.”
UPDATE: A reader close to the Hoffman campaign writes to inject a cautionary note:

Regarding Jon’s comments about Dede dropping out: we definitely shouldn’t get too confident about this race. Though she was a Republican, many of her supporters by the end were hanging on because of her Lefty tendencies, not in spite of them (evidence: 2/3 of her supporters in the Siena poll had a favorable impression of Obama). Now the unions (including the AFL-CIO and teachers unions) are fully behind Owens.
We can’t relax yet. Owens is getting fresh, organized GOTV support. The numbers are in flux, and this is a special election after all, so GOTV is crucial. People on the ground in Hoffman’s campaign have been saying for days that the biggest need is volunteers.

It’s obviously important that conservatives not let up until the votes are cast and counted.

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