If you wondered whether President Obama would shirk from the rabid advocacy for the election of Democrats he exhibited throughout the campaign once elected, we now have our answer. Not only has the president endorsed Scott Murphy and the DNC cut a TV ad highlighting that endorsement and not only has Joe Biden cut a radio ad for Murphy, but today the president blasted his list to get out the vote for the Democrat, complete with online polling place look-up tool.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the day to vote in New York's 20th Congressional District special election, and I need you to go vote.
I wrote to you last week to announce my endorsement of Scott Murphy because we need his kind of leadership and experience in Washington. It's going to be a very close race, and your vote could make all the difference.
Our movement for change has come this far because supporters like you stood up and made your voices heard every time it mattered.
With Scott in Congress, we'll work together to bring about solutions to our economic challenges and create new jobs in Upstate New York and across the country.
Having created over 1,000 jobs by starting successful businesses in clean energy and high-tech industries, Scott understands the potential we have to rebuild our economy and create a new foundation for prosperity.
That's the kind of partner I need in Washington. Please look up your polling place and vote tomorrow:
On the radio with Fred Dicker this morning, GOP consultant Roger Stone insisted Tedisco can "squeak this out," but also suggested it won't be his fault if he doesn't.
One GOP source said internal polling showedTedisco down by two to three percentage points as of Friday, which is about what the last Siena NY poll found, too. That means this could still be anyone's race.
In Stone's eyes, the NRCC will be to blame for pressing on Tedisco a "terrible strategy," adding: "Voters are looking for a fiscal conservative. That's what Tedisco is. He just needed to let the voters know that."
Most observers agree Tedisco's biggest mistake was, as Stone put it, "his attempt to finesse the stimulus bill." (Or, as I like to call it, the Jimmy Vielkind moment).
That put Tedisco on the defensive, and he never recovered - even though he tried, mightily, to tie Murphy to everything that was bad about the stimulus, including the AIG bonuses.
In addition, instead of running positive TV ads to remind voters of who he is, Tedisco opted to go on the attack against Murphy, which only helped raise the name recognition of a man who was a nearly complete unknown at the outset of this race.
This should be the mantra for any Democrat running in a swing district in 2010, especially the northeast where Republicans in congress are a dying breed. I grew up in the northeast and so feel as though I have a sense of what appeals to or repels the sort of moderate Republican or Independent voter that I grew up around and indeed was raised by. And let me tell you, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh make up the holy trinity of toxic Republicans. Bush caused many of them to begin to question the Republican Party, Sarah Palin helped push them over to vote for Barack Obama in November and Rush Limbaugh is doing his darnedest to make sure they stay with us.
NY-20 is unique in that despite Republicans having an impressive voter reg advantage, voters have voted for president just a few points more Republican than the nation as a whole (in 2008, whereas Obama won 53% nationally, he won this district with 51%, hence the R+2 PVI.) As Nate points out, these voters are used to crossing over and voting for Democrats for president and congress and this mailer is precisely the message to make sure they do so again tomorrow.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the state's two U.S. Senators were in the district for Scott Murphy over the weekend and that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has really been a strong advocate for Scott to replace her in the House, has recorded a robocall on his behalf. You can listen to it over at The Albany Project.
As Todd mentioned yesterday, MyDDer Adam Conner and myself are in Upstate NY this weekend volunteering for Scott Murphy, who is running to fill Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's seat in the NY-20 Congressional District, which starts in Dutchess County, a short drive north from New York City, stretches North well into the Adirondacks - bypassing Democratic Albany - and also stretches South and West towards the Catskill Mountains. It's gerrymandering at its finest.
All that cartological contortion extists to the keep the district Republican, but Kirsten Gillibrand's victory over John "the Sweenster" Sweeney has ushered in a new era in this former GOP stronghold, and now Democrat Scott Murphy is tied or ahead in the polls with the New York State Assembly Minority Leader, Republican James Tedisco.
Adam and I knocked a lot of doors in Saratoga yesterday and, although Adam had to fly back home this morning, I managed to walk two packets by myself today in beautiful Philmont, NY in the heart of Columbia County.
This is a very exciting race and I challenge the whole MyDD community to get involved. Here's why:
1. It's close. Margin of error close. I cannot leave you with a more important message than my conviction that this election is going to come down to a few hundred votes. Republicans owned this seat for a long, long time and they want it back. They will do whatever it takes to win. We can stop them.
2. Scott Murphy is a really good guy. He's also a progressive business leader who has made a career out of building innovative American businesses that create jobs and grow our economy. He gets what a successful American economy looks like and will be a valuable voice in Congress.
3. James Tedisco is best described with a word that rhymes with bassclown. He's the caricature of a hack Albany politician, with the least important job in the legislature. Assembly Majority Leader Shelly Silver rules with an iron fist inside an iron glove. He barely consults with other Democrats, let alone the minority party. A wax dummy of Tedisco could do his job just as effectively, and would have a more impressive legislative record.
Tedisco also claims to be a big labor guy, because his Dad was in a union. Of course he's opposed to EFCA (and Obama's budget, and healthcare reform, and puppies, etc) and doesn't have any union endorsements. Nice try, Jimmy.
A couple of MyDDers are up in NY-20 today knocking on doors to urge people to vote for Scott Murphy on Tuesday but for those of us who can't make it to the district, there is something we can do. Rep. Eric Massa has a diary up at dailykos promoting the DCCC's new phonebank from home tool. Watch Eric's video below practicing what he preaches.
Go HERE to help Eric turn out the vote for Scott in NY-20 on Tuesday.
A new Siena Research Poll released today shows Democrat Scott Murphy with the momentum going into Tuesday's special election. Since Siena's first poll of the race in late February, Scott Murphy has gained a net 16 points and is now in the lead for the first time.
"While the percentage of likely voters supporting Murphy has risen about three points per week for the last four weeks, the percentage supporting Tedisco has dropped three points. In the last four weeks, Murphy turned a 12-point deficit into a four-point lead," said Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena New York Poll.
The poll results also reflect a solidifying of support for Murphy among Democrats, which was no doubt aided by the recent endorsements by the president and vice president:
"Murphy has sealed the deal with Democrats, leading 84-11 percent, while Tedisco has the support of less than two-thirds of Republicans, leading 64-27 percent. Independents are virtually tied, with Tedisco leading 45-44 percent, after trailing with independents by six points two weeks ago and leading by 14 points four weeks ago," Greenberg said.
Yesterday, the DNC went up on the air touting the president's endorsement:
Update [2009-3-27 14:18:47 by Todd Beeton]:While Siena did include Libertarian candidate Eric Sundwall in their polling, he has been kicked off the ballot by a legal challenge. Interestingly, today, Sundwall endorsed Scott Murphy. Via The Albany Project:
I will be voting for Scott Murphy on Tuesday. While we disagree on some important issues, I find him to be a man of honor, a good family man and successful businessman. Unlike Tedisco, he actually lives in the District. And, unlike Mr. Tedisco, I view Scott's business success as a virtue, not a vice.
I urge my supporters and all those who believe in open and free elections to show their disgust at the tactics of the Republican political machine to win at all costs. Please join me in voting for Scott Murphy on Tuesday.