[Doug] Hoffman and his [national] supporters misjudged the district. When Scozzafava endorsed Owens, many of those who would have voted for her backed Owens, and he won the race. Upstate New York, which used to be solidly Republican, now boasts a single conservative congressman. New York, like New England, has become solidly Democratic.
If the results of New York’s 23rd are placed alongside those of New Jersey and Virginia, there is a clear lesson for the Republicans. In New Jersey and Virginia, the gubernatorial candidates ran to the center. Christie is a moderate, and McDonnell at least pretended to be. And as a result, they got the swing vote of independents and moderates. In New York-23, a diehard conservative backed by rightwing groups repudiated the center and lost to a neophyte Democratic candidate who probably could not have beaten Scozzafava in a one-to-one contest.