NY-26: Victory Laps and Recriminations

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 25 2011 12:47 AM

NY-26: Victory Laps and Recriminations

Here's Jane Corwin's concession speech .

The reactions, from Sal Russo of Tea Party Express:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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We are disappointed in the results. The distraction and confusion created by Jack Davis was not helpful and kept Corwin on the defensive. It allowed Hochul to seem more reasonable than she is. Special elections are often determined by the turn-out mix, and the Democrats were more motivated to get out and vote. They are a poor barometer of the future, witness the two NY Congressional specials that we lost in 2009 before the big sweep of 2010. You can’t read too much into them, but you would rather win than lose.

The goal in politics is to unite your friends and divide your enemies. So the Medicare issue isn’t helpful when Republicans are divided and Democrats are united. Medicare isn’t sustainable. That has to be the central focus.  It is like going to the dentist.  No one wants to have a cavity filled if you think about it that way; you don’t mind the filling when your tooth aches and you can’t think straight. It can be a winning issue if framed correctly.

DCCC Chairman Steve Israel:

Today, the Republican plan to end Medicare cost Republicans $3.4 million and a seat in Congress. And this is only the first seat.

Congratulations to Congresswoman-elect Kathy Hochul on her upset victory. Kathy is committed to strengthening Medicare and she will be a wonderful Representative for New York’s 26 th district.

We served notice to the Republicans that we will fight them anywhere in America when it comes to defending and strengthening Medicare.

Even in one of the most Republican districts, seniors and independent voters rejected the Republican plan to end Medicare. The American people will continue to hold House Republicans accountable for their plan to end Medicare from now until election day 2012.

Nancy Pelosi:

Kathy Hochul’s victory tonight is a tribute to Democrats’ commitment to preserve and strengthen Medicare, create jobs, and grow our economy.  And it sends a clear message that will echo nationwide: Republicans will be held accountable for their vote to end Medicare.

Congresswoman-elect Hochul will add an independent, strong, passionate voice to the House Democratic Caucus as she works to build a better future for her constituents and for all Americans, bolster our middle class, support small businesses, and restore our economic prosperity. 

We look forward to welcoming her to the House of Representatives.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus:

Jane Corwin ran a strong campaign in spite of facing a Democrat and a Democrat posed as a Tea Party candidate, both of whom sought to distract from the central issues in the minds of voters: restoring our economy and creating jobs. If we have learned anything from these results it is that Democrats will stop at nothing to preserve the status quo in Washington which is propelling our country towards bankruptcy. Kathy Hochul’s reckless disregard for the looming insolvency of critical government programs and our crushing debt will allow her to feel right at home in Nancy Pelosi’s Democrat caucus. There is no question Kathy Hochul will have a tough time holding onto this seat in 2012 with Barack Obama and his failed economic leadership weighing heavily on the minds of western New York voters when they return to the polls.

The House Majority PAC's Ali Lapp, speaking for the Democratic Super PAC.

House Majority PAC was proud to have invested nearly $400,000 in educating voters in NY-26 about Corwin’s support for House Republicans' radical budget that not only ends Medicare as we know it, but also increases the national debt by providing giveaways to millionaires and big oil companies. With this upset victory in one of the most Republican districts, the House Majority PAC made clear we will aggressively go after House Republicans’ extreme agenda, we will fight back against the powerful voices on the Extreme Right, and we will win.

American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio:

Republican Jane Corwin gave it her all in a very tough special election today.The debate over whether Medicare mattered more than a third-party candidate who split the Republican vote is mostly a partisan Rorschach Test.  What is clear is that this election is a wake-up call for anyone who thinks that 2012 will be just like 2010.  It’s going to be a tougher environment, Democrats will be more competitive, and we need to play at the top of our game to win big next year.

ddd

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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