The race to replace Kirsten Gillibrand in the NY-20 district received quite a fair amount of scrutiny, given that it was the first big race to be held since Obama won the election. Arguably, it was a referendum on the first 70 days of the Obama Presidency.
That it’s a conservative-leaning district, previously held by a moderate Democrat made it a perfect proxy or bellwether.
Anyway, it ended in a tie. Well, not a tie technically. The Democrat Scott Murphy leads by 50 votes out of about 150,000, so it’ll be up to absentee ballots to determine the winner.
So what does that say about voter attitudes towards the Obama Presidency? Unfortunately not much.
Says Nate Silver:
Of 58 Congressional Districts with PVI’s of between R+1 and R+4, the vote was almost an even split; Democrats were elected to the House in 30 of these districts on November 4th, and Republicans in the other 28. So our default expectation is that a district like NY-20 should indeed be a toss-up — which is exactly what we wound up getting. The contest turned out about the same yesterday as we might have expected it to had it been held on November 4th.
The status quo, in other words, was more or less preserved. But the status quo, of course, is a much happier place if you’re a Democrat than if you’re a Republican…
There you go. 70 days of bailouts and assorted fires to put out, and so far no change to the political seas — not just yet.