Democrats to Squeak Out Special Election Victory

Posted: May 24, 2011 10:27 PM
Democrat Kathy Hochul looks like she'll pull an upset in NY-26 after a surprising, come-from-behind campaign. For a long time, it was a close three-way race between Hochul, Republican Jane Corwin and "Tea Party" candidate Jack Davis. The upstate New York district is considered red country in a blue state, but the GOP let this one slip away.

For a long time, it looked as if Jack Davis would be playing spoiler. You see, Jack Davis is a fake candidate. He's a lifelong Democrat who got passed over for the Democrat nomination and decided he was just going to try anyway.

The Democrats' narrative is that Paul Ryan lost this election for the GOP. Professional Dems point to the demagoguery that Hochul campaigned on and against Ryan's budget plan.

The emergence of Medicare reform as an issue in the New York special election "changed the climate," presenting Democrats with an opportunity to capture the heavily Republican district, according to Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

So, right now, Democrats are crowing with victory. They're salivating at the prospect of running against "the Ryan plan" next year. They think they'll be successful at spinning it as "ending Medicare."And they might be right. The GOP needs to do a better job uniting around Ryan's long-term plan for fiscal solvency. Because between Newt Gingrich, Scott Brown, establishment and "moderate" Senate GOP, the Republicans don't have a consistent message that they are the only ones with a plan to put the country on a path to fiscal solvency. And that's what they're going to need.