Another quick scan of Tedisco-Murphy

Tedisco-MurphyWhat, you haven't been closely following every exciting turn in the special election to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's former House seat?

Worry not. We've been paying attention so you don't have to.

Here's the quick rundown on where things are at in the race between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy for the 20th Congressional District.

(Our first quick scan of this race.)

The horse race

+ A Siena poll from this week reports that Tedisco lead over Murphy is down to 45-41 -- that's almost within the margin of error. A Siena poll from two weeks ago had Tedisco up 46-34.

+ According to the geographical breakouts from the most recent Siena poll, Tedisco is strong in Rensselaer and Saratoga counties while Murphy is starting to pull ahead in the northern parts of the district. That means it could come down to whoever can convince people in Columbia/Delaware/Dutchess/Greene/Otsego counties.

+ The Rothenberg Report says the race is "a pure toss-up."

The TU backgrounders

+ The TU's backgrounder on Tedisco, condensed: a "hard-charging little guy" from a working class Schenectady family.

+ The TU's backgrounder on Murphy, condensed: Harvard-educated, middle class Midwesterner technocrat.

On the issues

+ The TU has posted answers the candidates provided to a questionnaire about various issues.

+ The Poughkeepsie Journal sponsored a debate this week (supposedly there was video, if you can find it, please post a link). Bob at Planet Albany has a recap.

+ CCScoop, a Columbia County news site, has posted video of the candidates talking about the issues.

Party games

+ The National Review reports that national Republicans are starting to get nervous about this race, which they initially viewed an easy win.

+ FiveThirtyEight's Sean Quinn reports that national Republicans have told him GOP national chair Michael Steele will get axed if Tedisco loses.

+ There's been some chatter about whether Republican state Senator Betty Little (Glens Falls) is really supporting Tedisco. Little was passed over for the nomination in this race and she's said she wasn't happy about the way the party made its pick. [PolitickerNY] [TU]

+ Murphy is getting not just endorsements, but also campaign support from labor unions. SEIU sent out about $90,000 worth of mailers this week for Murphy. [The Hill]

+ Liz Benjamin reports that David Paterson is "quietly stepping up his efforts to assist" Murphy. And his wife appeared at a fundraiser for Murphy last night with Bill Clinton in NYC.

The other guy

+ Eric Sundwald, the Libertarian candidate, says he's submitted enough signatures to get on the ballot. His campaign coordinator says Sundwald's positions on the issues are "significantly different than the two other candidates." [TU] [Daily Gazette]

The TV ads

For the Tedisco campaign:

Take home: Jim is a badass superhero who who cares about us.

Take home: Scott Murphy's one of those evil Wall Street people! And he probably likes curry, too!

Take home: Murphy's one of those military-hating liberals!

Take home: We're going to keep yelling that Murphy is a tax dodger! (This claim has been refuted by outside observers.)

For the Murphy campaign:

Take home: You know you love Kirsten Gillibrand -- and you'll love Murphy, too.

Take home: Why won't you answer that question!?

Take home: Tedisco's a weasly politician. And he doesn't read quickly.

Take home: Tedisco's one of those awful "Albany politicians."

(Tedisco has strongly disputed the claims in this ad and called Murphy "spitzeresque" because of it.)

+ The non-partisan Fact Check says the ads in the race have contained "some false and misleading claims."

Funniest headline

+ From the Swing State Project: "NY-20: Panic! At Tedisco" - [via @JRathman] (What? It's a play on a band name.)


The Gillibrand ad for Murphy will be the difference in this race. She's got a 75% approval rating in the district, and with it as tight as it is right now, an ad with her promoting Murphy will push him over the top.

"Jim Tedisco single handedly saved that health clinic". When? How? From what? Man, turns out the easiest job in the world is writing campaign ads. Ready? Here goes. "Pantaloons rescued that family from that thing at that place". Wow, who knew I could be so inspirational? Sojourner Truth is applauding me right now from heaven.

It's true!
I saw her!

Pssst... leave the envelope in the usual place.

In that last commercial I half expected Tedisco to jump out behind the sad lady, twirling his handlebar mustache and cackling into the air.

Well, it's obvious both of these guys suck. Good thing there is actually a third option in this race. Vote Sundwall. He sounds like an actual person whose soul hasn't been sold to one of the parties.

Tedisco wants to be rewarded for years of fighting for us. He's fighting for jobs, fighting to keep our taxes down. I'm not sure what color the sky is over there in Jim's world but NYS has been losing for 10 years and my overall taxes have gone up so much they have impacted my spending elsewhere. I have voted republican for the last 30 years, but no more, I demand results, Tedisco should go becuase he doesn't get the importance of his job. If Scott doesn't get it, I'll knock on doors to get him out. Our children deserve a better system and representation then we have allowed to exist. There isn't a more important job in the world, let's stop putting people in there who can't get things done. We need legislation that controls government spending or we are doomed.

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