March 12th, 2009
09:40 AM ET
11 years ago

New RNC spending in NY-20 as poll shows warning signs for GOP

RNC chairman Michael Steele is hoping for a win in NY-20.

RNC chairman Michael Steele is hoping for a win in NY-20.

(CNN) - The Republican National Committee said Thursday it is pumping more cash into the March 31 special election contest in New York’s 20th congressional district, transferring $100,000 to the New York State Republican Committee, as a new poll shows sliding support for the GOP candidate in that race.

“The RNC is proud to make an investment in our state parties and hard working grassroots," RNC Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "These funds will be used to show our commitment to re-establishing a strong GOP presence in the Northeast. Our party is devoting the energy and resources necessary to win the special election in New York’s 20th Congressional district.”

The new spending comes as a Siena poll released Thursday suggests GOP New York assemblyman Jim Tedisco's lead over Democratic venture capitalist Scott Murphy has plummeted by two-thirds over the past two weeks, to just 4 points, despite the district's traditionally Republican bent.

The poll of 712 voters, conducted March 9-10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Murphy recently won the backing of the Independence Party - the first time a Democrat in that district has won the right to run on that party's line as well - and his new gains stem from a surge in support among independent voters. Two weeks ago, Tedisco was leading 45-31 among unaffiliated voters. Now the edge belongs to Murphy, 43-37 percent. Another worrying sign for Tedisco: his rival has the support of 72 percent of the district's Democrats, while he has the backing of just 65 percent of NY-20's Republicans.

The RNC started the national party money chase in NY-20 nearly a month ago with an $80,000 ad buy supporting Jim Tedisco, the New York assemblyman hoping to take back the seat for the GOP after Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to the U.S. Senate. Former Republican presidential candidate and New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani also hit the trail with Tedisco in upstate New York.

Steele has attached serious symbolic importance the race's result. After traveling to New York to meet with state party officials in January, he called the race a “battle royale” and named the March 31 special election as a top priority for the party before the focus turns to this fall’s gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has also paid for ads backing Scott Murphy, the venture capitalist fighting Tedisco, though they have not revealed the size oftheir expenditures.

The national parties aren't the only outside groups weighing in on the first congressional race since the inauguration: The conservative Our Country Deserves Better Committee - which released ads last year supporting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and attacking President Obama’s policies - said earlier this month it would be funding hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of television and radio airtime in Albany and in the expensive New York City market in the race's final weeks, attacking Murphy over his support for the president's stimulus plan.


Filed under: NY-20 • RNC
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. ran

    This time money will not be the answer. The issues and how to work with all will be. The Republicans better learn this fast or they will lose even more in 2010-2012.

    March 12, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Laverne

    Michael Steele was once a democrat and a lot of his views are very moderate for a republican and they knew this when they voted him in for the RNC Chair. It was a set up from the beginning to know the facts about his views and then say represent the party. It was another ploy just like with picking Sarah Palin and when it does not work out they throw you to the wolves. Michael Steele it is not worth it, drop the RNC like a bad transmission and come back home!

    March 12, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. demwit

    See! Liberals are making head way in New York too!!

    oh wait..

    March 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Enlightened

    The GOP is lost, they are pathetic and as a proud liberal democrat I actually feel sorry for them. But they deserve this, it's called KARMA. They should look it up.

    March 12, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. Anonymous

    Is this the GOP version of an economic stimulus act?

    March 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. jaye

    People are sick of the republican party....and all their rhetoric...and all their innuendo....and of the fact that they're weak and spineless and nothing but attack dogs that want our President to fail.
    Add to that the Limbaugh factor, and you have a bunch of LOSERS!

    March 12, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    NY is a blue state and it doesn't make a difference how much money they pump into their candidate, it's just a waste.

    March 12, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. John M.

    Support is sliding? How about free-falling?

    March 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. John M.

    Support is sliding? How about free-falling?

    March 12, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. carlo

    To Micheal Steele:

    SPEND BABY SPEND!

    That No Confidence vote is fast approaching. I almost feel sorry for you, but you really should have seen this coming. You'll probably be replaced by the "whites only" candidate that almost beat you in the first place. We welcome you into the Democratic Party. Don't be shy.

    March 12, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. thomas

    Money, money, money. We have to stop buying our political leaders. We're not getting our money's worth.

    March 12, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  12. al in memphis

    All credibility was lost by the Republicians during the last elections as they tried to define their canidates. People were expecting point of views on the issues while all the Republicans offered were negative labels and name calling. This is what you get when the loudest voices in the party are talk show host and not the people with real ideas.

    Both parties need to stop promoting parties ideas and show us that you are able to run a government. That will get you more votes than spending money.

    March 12, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. George James

    Michael Steele lacks the charisma and intelligence of Obama.He can lead the Republican Party further to the wrong end.

    March 12, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Chris, Albany NY

    I live just outside of the NY-20 and have seen lots of the comercials that the RNC is spending $$$ on. Personally I vote Dem, but I just don't unserstand the message that these commercials are sending out. I see them as typical of where the republican party is as a whole...without a message and confused!

    March 12, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. J

    The Repubs. still don`t "get it". You can fool some of the people, some of the time(8 yrs.), but not all the people, all the time. No one is interested in their worn out, disastrous ways.

    March 12, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  16. concerned Dem

    It's so funny how Mr. Steele supposed to be so smart but allowed these racist GOPs to use him. Just because they allowed Condi and Powell in the Big House doesn't mean they will allow you (Mr Steele)to lead them. I cannot even feel sorry for you. You thought you were going to change their racists idealogy and lead other black folk to the GOP...BOY PLEASE! You'd better wake the hell up. They still don't like your kind.

    March 12, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  17. J

    I`m behind Steele all the way ------- to the bitter end.

    March 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Get Well Soon GOP

    If you guys loose in NY-20 you should use that as a reason to dump this guy. Never let a good thumping go to waste.

    March 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. J

    I`m behind Steele all the way ------- to the bitter end.

    March 12, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  20. Get Well Soon GOP

    I hate to break it to you GOP but Steele is a Democrat plant desigend to infultrate you from the 3rd ranks. You have been had if you think he has your best interest at hand. Seal the deal, dump Steele!

    March 12, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. R in Maine

    Do you really think that you can buy an election?

    March 12, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Bob the Observer

    Money? Money?!!! So Republicans are Democrats, too, and think you solve problems by throwing money at them. How about values and ideology? When I was a Republican that's what I voted for. Now it's just like "Sirius" or "XM," "Dish" or "Direct TV. Either way, you get the same thing.

    March 12, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. Richard

    Could never be a Democrat. They never fix their own party, they just whine about Republicans. If you want my vote, clean up your own party and quit worrying about other people.

    March 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Kwesoe

    Chairman Steele is about to lose his first election as leader of the GOP (Group Of Prisoners). Radiance!

    March 12, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. chuck tulsa

    Looks like the Got nO Plan party is shining through with its message of "NOTHING".

    March 12, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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