Six months ago, NY's 26th CD was viewed as a reliably red district. The incumbent had won comfortably. It wasn't on anyone's radar. Then, he decided to take "constituent service" to a whole new level, and was forced to resign. The GOP nominee, Corwin, was expected to win easily, until a Dem faux Tea Party wannabe threw himself, and several of his millions, into the race, and right now it's a toss up.
Both sides are throwing big $$$ into the race, leading figures from both parties are stopping by to campaign, and the MSM is attempting to spin this as a referendum on Ryan's budget proposal.
In reality, whatever the outcome, it doesn't mean much either way. If the Dems manage to win, it will only be because the third man in managed to snooker enough conservative voters. It's a one-off, unique event. The Dems will run riot with the victory for a week or so, claiming that it presages their return to control of the House in 2012. Remember, they made the same claims about the impact of their win in the 2009 Special election for the NY 23rd. That really worked out well for them. Maybe we should actually hope they win this week, their delusion might carry over until 2012. "Dede 2", anyone?
If Corwin wins, they'll say that she was expected to do so, and claim that her reduced margin is an omen. However, if she wins, and it says here that she will win, it's really no big deal, because she will be a one-term wonder.
Everyone's forgetting that NY has lost two CDs. We're waiting for Albany to get out the computers and the crayons and start redistricting. Most likely, because the GOP has a small majority in the State Senate, they'll be able to force a split..each party gives up one district. And which one do you think is gonna go?
The 26th will disappear. Usually the most junior draws the short straw. The Republicans have already done this in Louisiana, and will probably do it in Ohio. And the Dems will be happy with this. They lost several districts to the GOP in 2010, and they probably feel that with some tweaking of the district boundaries, they can position themselves to retake a few of them.
But the 26th district is HUGE, geographically, and has a population density akin to the Dakotas. Thus it actually makes sense to cannabalize it, and it would disappear very nicely into the adjacent 27th and 28th CDs, both of which are comfortably Democrat. Done properly, Dem control in those two districts would not be threatened.
Corwin's stay in DC, assuming she wins, will be a short one. But her campaign can have a great value to the GOP as it prepares for 2012. Specifically:
1. The GOP has to anticipate that the Dems will make other attempts to field false Tea Party candidates. They did it in Nevada last year, now in the NY 26th, and we have yet to learn how to effectively defend against this tactic.
2. Corwin has been incredibly weak in her defense of the Ryan budget, and making the case for the need to reform entitlements. IF Republican candidates are unable to make the case forthrightly and convincingly, they will be on defense from day one. We have to do better.