The Associated Press has called the closely watched Congressional special election in New York’s CD-26 for the Democrat Kathy Hochul. The seat, in a long term conservative district, once held by Jack Kemp was llost due to voter concerns over Republican candidate Jane Corwin’s embrace of the controversial budget plans from Rep. Paul Ryan which called for turning Medicare into a voucher system.
From the New York Times story on the race: “Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.
Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
With 66 percent of the precincts reporting, Ms. Hochul led with 48 percent of the vote, to 43 percent for the Republican candidate, Jane L. Corwin.”
Before Republicans scoff at this election as a fluke, I will remind them of the upset in the Massachusetts’ Senate race where Republican Scott Brown tea-partied his way into a seat. With 18 months to go before the next election, it will be fun to see how many Republicans and Tea Party members start to withdraw support for Ryan’s plan (including those in OC).