So, the Democrats played “The GOP wants you to die” card with seniors in NY-26 and, as expected, it worked like a charm. A district that was a +6 in favor of Republicans fell to a Democrat by a close, but still solid plurality 47-43.
For those Republicans believing that if only Tea Party candidate Jack Davis had stayed off the ballot they could have won, Nate Silver busts that balloon:
Suppose that Mr. Davis and Mr. Murphy were not running, and that this were a true two-way race between Ms. Hochul and Ms. Corwin. If Ms. Corwin had won all of Mr. Davis’s vote (and Ms. Hochul won all of Mr. Murphy’s vote), she would have won 51-49.
That would still qualify as a bad night for the Republicans, however. Based on the way that the district votes in presidential elections, it is 6 percentage points more Republican than the country as a whole. That means, roughly speaking, that in a neutral political environment with average candidates, Ms. Corwin would have won 56 percent of the vote and Ms. Hochul 44 percent — a 12-point victory. A 2-point win instead, therefore, would have spoken to a relatively poor political environment for the Republicans.
Nor is it likely that Ms. Corwin would in fact have won all of Mr. Davis’s votes. He ran in the district as a Democrat in 2006, and polls suggested that his voters leaned Republican by roughly a 2-1 margin, but not more than that. If you had split his vote 2-1 in favor of Ms. Corwin, the results would have been Ms. Hochul 51 percent, and Ms. Corwin 48 percent.
A much larger contributing factor was the minuscule turnout of 25%. If it had been a normal mid-term turnout of 35%, Corwin probably wins.
But there’s no use playing the “what if” game. The Democrats rolled into the district and demagogued the Medicare issue, spending a tidy sum on ads accusing Republicans of wanting to cut off Gramma and Grandpa’s Medicare. Fine - that’s politics. They saw an opening and they went for the jugular.
But, as George Custer said to his brother Tom as half the Indians on the prairie were charging up Last Stand Hill at the Little Big Horn, “Now what?”
The Democrats have a victory and have portrayed themselves successfully as the defenders of old folks, children, and 3-legged dogs. But garnering political victory by hammering your opponent over entitlement reform doesn’t make the problem go away. And since Democrats have been less than forthcoming - a lot less - in announcing their own plan to “save” Medicare, perhaps it’s time to let us all in on the secret and tell us their brilliant plan.
It’s not just Medicare, of course. One wonders if the Democrats are praying for some kind of miracle that will make the trillion dollar plus deficits magically disappear with no voters experiencing any pain, bear any additional cost for any service they get from government, or get mad at any politician for trying to bring fiscal sanity back to the country. We are borrowing 40% of what we spend. How long can we sustain that without buckling and collapsing in a heap?
I don’t give a sh*t whose fault it is, which party is to blame, whether George Bush was a poopey head, or Obama is a charlatan with a golden voice. If you want to have those arguments, you will find yourselves screaming at each other as our economic house collapses around you. Even then I doubt whether you’d have the smarts - or the courage - to grow up and act like we have a crisis on our hands.
So congratulations, Democrats on your great victory in NY-26. And I anxiously await your plan to fix the entitlement mess where no one will experience any pain, nothing will be cut, only millionaires will pay more taxes, and seniors will live forever.
Did I mention what happened to Custer at Little Big Horn?