Watertown, N.Y. On Monday night at the agricultural society exhibition hall in town, former Senator Fred Thompson and conservative congressional candidate Doug Hoffman held a rally that appeared to be at least 50 percent larger than Joe Biden's and Democratic candidate Bill Owens's rally this morning (the New York Times notes the Thompson-Hoffman crowd was "significantly larger" than Biden's). To be fair, Thompson and Hoffman did have the advantage of having popular country singer John Rich at their rally. The race remains tight according to the latest poll, and the mood among supporters was hopeful. Fred Thompson even got a little cocky at one point. "You know, the vice president's job is to attend funerals," Thompson said of Biden's visit this morning. "Maybe he came a day early." Hoffman kept his remarks brief, focusing on his message of reining in spending and taxes, supporting the troops and the local Ft. Drum, and stopping Nancy Pelosi's agenda. Hoffman told a local TV channel after the event finished that he's "cautiously optimistic" about his chances of winning. If you're looking for a reason to be pessimistic, remember that it's very difficult to predict turnout, so the polls might not be all that reliable. And ballot placement won't exactly help the conservative who gets one of the five party lines (see a sample here).
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