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A Victory in NY 23 for Conservatives

11:10 AM, Nov 4, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Even if you're not generally a fan of the winning-by-losing theory, Republicans and conservatives really should be glad that conservative Doug Hoffman chased liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava from the field in New York's 23rd congressional district. Why's that?

First, Scozzafava couldn't have won in a two-way race anyway. She was a terrible candidate and more liberal than the Democrat. She would have depressed Republican turnout, and Owens would have won.

Second, Doug Hoffman's getting 45 percent of the vote while buried on the conservative party line of the ballot shows that Republicans could have won this race had the county chairs selected anyone--Hoffman included--who's acceptable to the Republican mainstream. Hoffman and the independent conservative groups backing him ran a good campaign to go from nothing to nearly winning. Hoffman still could have won this race on the conservative line had Scozzafava not endorsed Owens.

Third, ignore my first point and just imagine some crazy scenario in which Scozzafava had won this seat. What would have happened then? Her liberal record would have certainly prompted a bitter 2010 GOP primary that would have crippled the NRCC's and the RNC's ability to raise money. When it became apparent that she would lose, Scozzafava would almost certainly have pulled a Specter, as we had predicted a few weeks ago. A candidate willing to endorse a Democrat is more than capable of becoming a Democrat.

So thank Doug Hoffman for showing the GOP establishment that a conservative can win in upstate New York and for saving us from the disaster of Dede Scozzafava.