The GOP Loss In New York Was About New York, Not Paul Ryan

Republicans suck in New York. Period. End of Story.

The GOP lost the special election in NY-26 and the media and Democrats are heralding it as proof that the GOP is getting punished for wanting to reform medicare.


Back when the GOP lost the 2009 special election in New York featuring Dede Scozzafava, et al, the Democrats heralded the GOP defeat as proof that Republican opposition to Obamacare and being the “Party of No” was a clear sign that the Democrats were right on the agenda and the GOP’s obstruction of Barack Obama would be punished by the voters.

That was before the GOP went on to win the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races and pick up Ted Kennedy’s (!!!!) seat in Massachusetts.

To say that this special election defeat of the GOP is a repudiation of the GOP’s efforts on Medicare is laughable on its face.

The truth of the matter is that the Republican Party of New York sucks and has sucked for a while. It is especially terrible at special elections where the out of touch party leaders pick state legislators who everyone hates and runs them.

Jane Corwin is a sitting member of the NY State Legislature, just like Jim Tedisco, just like Dede Scozzafava, and she was handpicked by the party elders. Notice a trend?

When the GOP made major gains in New York State in 2010 they did so by avoiding like the plague Republican members of the state legislature, including a “retired FBI agent, retired colonel, eye doctor, businessman, small town mayor, and an attorney.”

The public is furious at the New York state legislature — both parties — for refusing to pass Governor Andrew Cuomo’s property tax cap, ethics reform and other Christie/Walker/Daniels-style reforms. (The tax cap may finally have broken through just today). Cuomo’s been barnstorming the state for his agenda.


Cuomo cut an ad for Hochul. Hochul’s been blasting Corwin for not supporting Cuomo’s agenda, which amounts to running to Corwin’s right on spending. See here, here, here, and here.

Jane Corwin was not a good candidate, in terms of coming off as too country club for a blue-collar district hit hard by the perennial collapse of the upstate economy. She was not helped by the tea party candidate in the race who had been decisively repudiated by tea party activists. Her baggage was made worse by her legislative career.

Certainly the Democrats made Paul Ryan‘s medicare plan an issue, and certainly it was not hugely popular. But to say that is why Corwin was defeated is spin devoid of fact. Ultimately, for those who think this was a rejection of the GOP’s medicare reform efforts, they’ll have to explain who the GOP candidate and the Tea Party candidate combined got more votes than the Democrat.


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