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Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Republican Protest Votes fail to deny Owens a seat in Congress

Well, Doug Hoffman failed to take the victory in the Special Election to fill a vacancy Barack Obama created in the 23rd NY district of the US House. Democrat Bill Owens appears to have won without even getting a majority of the votes cast--most appear to have been split between the Republican and Conservative candidates. This despite the fact that he was actually endorsed by the Republican candidate!

Here's how things broke down:
Republican Candidate: Endorsed by Republican Party. Got just enough protest votes (5.6%) to deny the Conservative Candidate a majority.
Conservative Candidate: Endorsed by Conservative Party and Republican heavyweights. Came in a close second (45%).
Democratic Candidate: Endorsed by Democratic Party, Democratic heavyweights, and Republican Candidate. Picked up enough Republican-endorsed votes to win, but without a majority (49.4%).

There are at least a couple of lessons here. One, for the Democrats: don't expect to win the 23rd district unless you can get the Republican candidate to endorse you. Then for the Republicans: Don't be so stupid, ever again, as to run a candidate who will bow out of the race and endorse her opponent at the last minute. Finally, for the Conservatives: Keep trying; every time your candidate denies the Republican party's liberal candidate a win, it's a good thing for your cause. But remember the rule: a Conservative never wins a recount effort, and a liberal never loses one--unless the Courts step in to stop it in time.

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