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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Get Well Soon GOP

    J how can you be behind Steele when Rush is already back there. Didn't rush say something about grabbing ankles.

    March 12, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Otto

    Send that money to SC or another Rad State; New York does not need it and that little cash will be wasted.

    GOP in New York is dead; more dead than a Mummy. We are not bible thumping, right wing cooks; we believe in freedom, free choice and we are a mixing bowl of people from every nation on Earth.

    March 12, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  3. just today

    how will this money help, they spent more than that on palins' clothes, NO MORE REPUBLICANS.

    March 12, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Nell, NY

    Let's see what other black guy can pucker up for the GOP, oh there's Bob Johnson, Clarence Thomas, Alan Keys and J.C. Watts. They're aren't that many, so they had better keep Michael Steele. At least they know he'll apologize in a minute to Rush, when they tell him to do so. Fools, all of them.

    March 12, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  5. Wanda, PA

    Just goes to show you, you can always find an idiot to do your bidding. Michael Steele wants to be Barack Obama so bad, he doesn't know what to do. Only, he doesn't have morals, he doesn't have character, he is egotistical and self serving. Other than that, he'd make a great Barack. LOL

    March 12, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Jamie, KY


    You BE the man, you BE the man. LOL.

    He's an idiot for allowing people to talk to him that way. What a fool.

    March 12, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. John resident of 20th district

    I am a fiscal conservative but there is not a chance in the world I will vote for Tedisco or a Republican until they give the stiff arm to the religious right in fiscal conservatism but not at the price of my freedom. Vote Libertarian!!!! Vote Sundwall!!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. GOP hates you and me

    They need to same their money – it will do them no good.

    Poor little Mack Daddy Steele, all dressed up and no where to go but down, down, down.

    You think y'all got a thumpin' last November – just wait.

    March 12, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. What A Jokester

    I'm ebarrassased for this guy. He won't quit until he is publically flogged and removed from office. What a moron.

    The Dems are having a field day laughing at this clown. He is not ready, he is not ready, he is not ready for prime time. Oh, and someone tell him he's not Barack Obama. Also tell him to go somewhere and sit down.

    March 12, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. constantgardner

    The GOP is funding on NY & other northeastern states that have votes, power & influence . Thats because they lost a lot of seats & power recently; due in largepart to their blank check support for president Bush. Their argumentative frame work will be focused mainly on the taxes issue: i.e. that the government will punish you if you are successfull and reward you if you are lazy. There will also be talk that the govt wants to take your guns, and in the South there will be talk of curbing illegal immigration. It will be received in the public as "us vs them" (u decide which is which) especially on the taxes issue. Thses will be their talking points. However we need to remember that the last admin: conducted class warfare on the middle class & poor.!!!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  11. What?!!!

    Looks like the party of Reagan has taken a little detour. Sad.

    March 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Get Well Soon GOP

    Nell how can you say something as racist as that. Just because Steele is black does not mean he cannot be a GOP. I get so sick of you people.

    March 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Ding Dong the GOP is Dead

    The great state of NY is not interested in anything the GOP has to offer. Not TODAY or TOMORROW. Not in this life or the life to come.

    Thanks a Million . . . . . however, we will be on our merry way voting for the winning ticket . . .! It's the OBAMA way . . . ALL THE WAY!

    March 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Anna, MI

    So let the sideshow begin, hurry hurry, step right on in....

    March 12, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Gracie

    Stupid is what stupid does. Pouring money in NY is just like pouring gasoline on a burning house!!! Steele is a moron!

    March 12, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    Republicans have no new ideas: President Obama advocated tax vuts for 95% Americans. Now the House GOP is working on "tax cuts for the middle class."

    President Obama is black. The GOP placed its hopes in Steele and Bobby J. – although it did take 8 ballots to elect Steele as chair of the RNC.

    Dean and the Democrats won the local "grassroots" voters. Now Steele is spending money on the "grassroots"

    The GOP is even trying technology – just like President Obama!

    The whole GOP problem is that they have no new ideas: 2000-2008 the GOP had their opportunity to make it work: unable or unwilling to lead ... its all about ideas and leadership!

    March 12, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. I Robot

    Steele says that abortion is a choice and gets criticized for it.
    I could have sworn we still had free will.

    March 12, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Ray Fisher

    The fact that just yesterday the GOP was asking Steele about his abortion stance was a clear signal that they are lost beyond redemption. With all the issues, pain and challenges for our nation the damn whiney abortion foes always manage to halt progress on everything so they can destroy our nation over a silly issue only to push their goody two shoes agendas while sinning like the rest of humans. My lord, they never stop!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Glennis

    As a Republican I haven't been happy with where my party was heading in quite some time. That said, I find the Democrats so far beyond the pale they're not worth considering. I'd give anything for a viable, practical, pragmatic third party.

    March 12, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Rush Limbaugh

    I'm Rush Limbaugh and I approve this message.

    March 12, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Simmy

    The poll being run on MSNBC was flooded by Republicans, who continue to listen to their gurus, Limbaugh, Ingrhham (or whatever), and others, to cast a vote of failure against President Obama. I pray you people secede ASAP!

    March 12, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Jim Hahn

    The Republicans are an interesting story in futility. They seem to think that bringing on more of what the country voted against will bring their party back. Very strange.

    As for Steele, he's as close as you can get to a "Marion-ette" without the strings.

    March 12, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  23. sick n tired of being a victim of cowardly CNN moderators

    We be da " off da hook" Republican "posse"! R to da N to da C! Word to you're motha!!!!!! YO!!!!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  24. sick n tired of being a victim of cowardly CNN moderators

    We be da " off da hook" Republican "posse"! R to da N to da C! Word to you're motha!!!!!! YO!!!!!!

    March 12, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |

    Save your money GOP in these times of financial woes! You all have done quite enough money spending especially with the last administration!!!!! Steele is a fool. It's unfortunate that he can't see the writing on the wall. He's being used and he's too slow to pick that up because he's suffering from the illusion of inclusion! Wake up foolio!

    March 12, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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