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. Simmy

    They (Republicans) have sown to the wind; they are now reaping the whirlwind. They have used Palin, now Steele. They continue to use tactics (via Rove/Limbaugh) that mirror those of Hitler when he conquered Germany. "Repeat, repeat, repeat; day and night, until the public begin to believe your "words." This has become the Republican's mantra, and it straight from Hitler. I don't know if it's by intent, or coincident, but they are on a slippery slope to defeat, because of their dangerous strategies.

    March 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Simmy

    They (Republicans) have sown to the wind; they are now reaping the whirlwind. They have used Palin, now Steele. They continue to use tactics (via Rove/Limbaugh) that mirror those of Hitler when he conquered Germany. "Repeat, repeat, repeat; day and night, until the public begin to believe your "words." This has become the Republican's mantra, and it straight from Hitler. I don't know if it's by intent, or coincident, but they are on a slippery slope to defeat, because of their dangerous strategies.

    March 12, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  3. demwit

    Michael Steele 's mask is just not as charismatic and elegant as Obama's. And we all know an ounce of perceptions is worth a pound of substance.., progressively speaking of course.

    March 12, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. Had It

    Oh Lord – get this guy out of that position.

    Put the wealthy white bible-thumping guy in his place. STOP THE CIRCUS.

    March 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Caribbeing

    I live in the NY-20 and am amazed at the ads we are already seeing in this campaign. What surprises me more is how out of touch the Republicans are and more importantly how wishy-washy and non-specific Jim Tedisco has been in this campaign. His first ads were all negative and mudslinging. In his first debate with Murphy, he offered not one concrete answer to any questions while Murphy was thoughtful and specific. The Republican's and Tedisco's problems in this race are that we are tired of meaningless rhetoric and candidates who offer only negativity with no solutions, it has nothing to do with money only a lack of vision and solutions to our very major national issues. Tedisco is losing because he is more of the same old guard Republicans and has nothing constructive to offer, even in a heavily Republican district.

    March 12, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Mark

    Trouble for gop? This is NY we are talking about. The socialist state that wants as many gov't hand outs as they can get.

    March 12, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. republicans hate america

    Is it me or isnt it the Rush Limbaugh Party that says you cant spend your way out of problems?

    March 12, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Roy

    Investment in our state party? Proud? If support wasn't FLEEING from the GOP they would not spend ANY money in N.Y.!
    And now to insinuate Steele is a closet Democrat because of the party's current idiotic stances?
    This is the death throes of a dying GOP!!

    March 12, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  9. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    To the people of the 20th congressional district, there is a third choice on the Libertarian line, do not let these big political machines decide who will represent you, vote for the Home town Man who has lived his entire life in your community Eric Sundwall.
    The Democrat is from Missouri, and the GOP man is from outside the district as well.

    March 12, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Come on CNN allow my comments in my own State.

    March 12, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Franky

    Is New York, what you expect. Only that state has a Mayor who is an Independent...(?????)...or who knows, maybe others have it as well, LOL!!

    March 12, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Fred the Moderate

    Well Steele, you can't buy it, lie your way into it, smear your way through it or fabricate it. Guess the old GOP tatics are dead and gone. Good ridance. I for one am sick of the GOP's methods for winning an election. It now comes down to facts, ideas and willingness to work together. Working together, isn't that novel and so anti-GOP.

    March 12, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. Ed from Wisconsin

    This GOP is the thing of the past, thank God!

    March 12, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Minnesotan

    Crooks giving money to Crooks. Typical Republicans. Can't wait for you inept, outdated, corrupt cretins to die out like the dinosaurs and religious nuts.

    March 12, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. Dave in Arizona

    Kind of like pumping more money into AIG isn't it?

    March 12, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  16. Beverly, NYC

    $100,000 in NY buy swhat 2 seconds of commerical time? save the money Steele.

    And Mark March 12th, 2009 11:41 am ET : Don't hate the player, baby, hate the game. NY RULES!!!

    March 12, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. I Am The Great And Powerful Rush Of Oz

    Murphy is a class act. He needs our support.

    March 12, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  18. Mari

    Well no duh....... the GOP still has not SEEN the TRUTH...... we, the People REJECTED their vile politics of .............

    HATE.......LIES...........FEAR ...........AND DIVISION!

    In the campaign on 2008, we heard people shouting "KILL HIM" at Palin rallies! We were "fed" lies each time a McCain ad was on TV.

    Ignorant people believed that Obama was a terrorist; believed the LIE that he was Muslim! THESE were just a couple of the MANY GOP LIES!

    I thank GOD each day, that we, the People, were able to SEE through the hate....lies...... fear and division spewed by the GOPers!

    Americans are sick and tired of .............

    our patriotism being questioned!

    Of being spied upon, and having our Constitution ignored!

    Of having our government torture & ignore the Geneva Convention!

    We are sick & tired of being LIED to by the GOP; the rumors of Obama not being a citizen! HOW STUPID does the GOP think we are???

    I watched as the GOP (I was one of them, once) did all they could to destroy Barack Obama! While crying foul as we, the People, rejected Palin!

    We, the People, refuse to embrace a party who kisses-up to haters like Coulter, Hannity, Bill-O-the-clown, and worse....... Limbaugh!

    THE GOP "claims" to be Christian, but for all their "talk" they have become .......... total HYPOCRITES!

    March 12, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. mike ny

    Lonely in Liverpool,
    I live in the 20th, my friend interviewed Eric Sundwall and followed him around for a day for a piece in the college paper. He said the people Sundwall talked to are sick of Dems vs. GOP, as you state. I will be hard for him to win since Tedisco has been around here forever (and done nothing) and people know alot about him. It should be interested.

    March 12, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  20. BusyMom

    Glad the people of NY-20 are intelligent enought to the see that the GOP has turned into the party of NEGATIVITY, HYPOCRISY and OLD IDEAS.

    To the person who said that NY is a blue state anyway - well, so is MN but we do have certain areas that are republican enclaves (that is how people like crazy Michele Bachmann get elected).

    March 12, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. ANGIE IN PA

    The GOP Refuse to see the Country has CHANGED It Has Moved to the Left, why Else Did the Republicans get the Life beat out of them in 2 Elections? people Have had Enough of the GOP Policies

    March 12, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. Get Well Soon GOP

    Well Mark, at least you took a stand. Steele is a clown and he needs to be shut down.

    March 12, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Baze

    I wonder how much longer it'll be before the G.O.P. publicly drops the N bomb on Steele

    March 12, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  24. Gracie

    Both the GOP and RNC continue to live back in the "Reagan Golden Years" while the rest of the world has MOVED FORWARD. Its ironic that they continue to flush millions of dollars down the toilets and IGNORE fixing the problem. How silly is that?

    Michael Steele is incompetent beyond words. He's parading around like a confused clown instead of focusing on rebuilding his crumbling party. I just don't understand how daft can a party be?

    The mere fact both the GOP and the RNC are addicted to the STUPID DRUGS, tells me they are setting themselves up for another BIG LOSS in 2010 and 2012. By the time Sarah Palin comes around there won't be anything left to salvage. Even Sarah Palin's comeback can't save the GOP.

    March 12, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. John from Upstate NY

    The republicans have given upstate NY the cold shoulder for the past 60 years, why should we believe them now?

    Look at all the closed factories, paper and steel mills and ask yourself, how did the republicans help us over the past decades?

    The republican party has forsaken Upstate NY and it's high time we told them where to go – back South where all our jobs went.

    March 12, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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