Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Democrats win upstate New York seat after all

My last post looks somewhat misplaced, since contrary to PPP's usually accurate polling, the White House has reason to cruise around and celebrate the result for NY-23 (not so much for the Governor races). In hindsight, the Republican bowing out in NY-23 and throwing her endorsement to the Democrat was probably big enough that once it sunk in a lot of voters concluded that the Conservative Party insurgent, Doug Hoffman, was too ideological and not enough of a native son (more than 95% of Hoffman's financial contributions came from out of state). There is a good chance that the Democrat will be ejected in 12 months as the Republican party puts some more deliberation into its candidate selection for 2010 House elections. In the background is the fact that that Obama's net favourability is running at 80% in the northeast, as per DailyKos' polling (below), versus -40% in the south:

The real prize was not this House seat anyway but is the Florida Senate seat that opens in 2010. Marco Rubio's conservative insurgency has a number of differences from NY-23, uppermost of these being that the 38-year old Rubio has considerably more charisma and connection to his jurisdiction than Hoffman. The conservatives might well have won in upstate NY had they had a better vehicle than the novice Doug Hoffman. In conservative poster boy Marco Rubio they may have that vehicle.

On another note, I have to give a shout-out to my alma mater(s): The Times Higher Education supplement has ranked the U of Alberta at #59, one of the biggest gainers over 2008, and Lund University, where I did a Masters in European Affairs, tied with the London School of Economics for #67 and claim to Sweden's best university. Hosting an outstanding graduate school in the province of Alberta is not something that just benefits students but is something that benefits all Albertans. I'll be writing more about Paul Romer and his views on education and innovation in the coming weeks, but first I will discuss the investment climate in Alberta and how bold policy moves could help a province that has been sitting on its heels in recent years regain its competitiveness.

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