With Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava suddenly dropping out of the 23rd Congressional District race in upstate New York yesterday, Election Day will see a battle between Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens. But Politico points out that people shouldn't have been shocked, "Over the past decade or so the New York Republican Party has emerged as the political gang that couldn't shoot straight, an operation so inept that it's sometimes hard to believe it exists in the nation's third-largest state," calling her campainn's collapse "an illustration of the utter ruin into which the state party has fallen. In just a few short years, the party's presence in state politics has dwindled to the point of extinction-or irrelevance."
Scozzafava was a moderate Republican who supports same-sex marriage and is pro-choice on abortion and was considered too liberal on fiscal matters; eventually the Republican party abandoned her. The NY Times reports, "As such, the contest on Tuesday could offer a test of the debate that Republican leaders are having: whether it needs to adjust itself ideologically to expand its appeal to places like New York." The Times adds that the 23rd District has been Republican since the 19th century.
PolitickerNY's Jimmy Vielkind also looks at Scozzafava's meltdown, especially how the National Republican Congressional Committee abandoned her. Bill Nojay, a conservative Republican talk show host in Central New York, said, "She was out of sync with a new evolving direction for the Republican Party both nationally and in New York State. When you have George Pataki endorsing the Conservative, that tells you that the most experienced Republicans recognize that there's been a sea change in Republican politics."