Yes, the tea party doomed Matt Doheny.

We all know by now that Conservative candidate — and tea party favorite — Doug Hoffman siphoned away more than 9,000 votes on election day.

That was more than enough to capsize Republican Matt Doheny, who lost to Democrat Bill Owens in the NY-23 House race by roughly 3,700 votes.

But Hoffman wasn’t the only tea party factor in this mid-term race.

The other big player was Carl Paladino, a tea party champion who ran at the top of the ticket for Republicans (baseball bat firmly in hand) and got walloped by Andrew Cuomo.

I’ve been digging through the unofficial county-by-county returns, compiled by Jimmy Vielkind at the Albany Times-Union.

It’s shocking how poorly Paladino performed in the supposedly-conservative 23rd district, garnering only 31% of the vote in Clinton County, 32% in St. Lawrence County, 34% in Essex County, and 36% in Jefferson County.

(In all, Paladino won 12 counties, mostly in western New York.)

Does that kind of poor showing have a depressive effect on other, down-ticket candidates such as Doheny?

State GOP chairman Ed Cox thinks so.  Speaking with the T-U, he argued that Paladino created an “unhelpful” climate for Republicans.

One interesting contrast here is that Paladino performed significantly better in New York’s 20th district, where Chris Gibson prevailed in the House race against Democrat Scott Murphy.

He garnered 41% of the vote in Warren County, 40% in Saratoga County, 47% in Green and Delaware Counties.

These numbers raise one other question:  Is the Far North Country now more liberal than the Hudson River Valley?

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11 Comments on “Yes, the tea party doomed Matt Doheny.”

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  1. Paul says:

    I think analyzing vote counts for a candidate like Palidino is a waste of time.

    There was no point in the republicans putting up a “real’ candidate this year.

    So analyze away, but I don’t think it tells you much about what would happen if there was a genuine candidate on the ticket.

    “These numbers raise one other question: Is the Far North Country now more liberal than the Hudson River Valley?”

    No, but maybe smarter!

  2. Bret4207 says:

    I think Paul makes a good point, in this case Cuomo was a shoe in. I don;t know that he did any real campaigning. Of course Palidino was a little too rough around the edges for a lot of people, not the best candidate even though I did like a few of his ideas.

    If there comes the time a candidate with TP type values emerges and gets a fair shake I think he or she will be better accepted than Carl.

  3. DBW says:

    I wouldn’t call the North Country liberal, but it is more moderate, which may be too liberal the tp folks. I still think most Hoffman voters would have sat out the NY-23 race if he hadn’t been on the ballot. Paladino is an unknown factor. More likely,when given a choice between two very similar conservatives, enough moderate Republicans and independents went for the more moderate, Bill Owens. His focus on economic issues may have helped too.

  4. Mervel says:

    “Is the Far North Country now more liberal than the Hudson River Valley?”


  5. phahn50 says:

    “Is the Far North Country now more liberal than the Hudson River Valley?”
    I hope so. It seems pretty “moderate”, so maybe a more accurate version would be “is the Far North Country now more moderate than the Hudson River Valley?”

  6. phahn50 says:

    ie. I agree with DBW

  7. maryjane 52 says:

    The only people responsible for Matt Doheny not making it, was the Republican Party leaders. They pick the person who THEY want, not the person the people want. They wouldn’t back Doug Hoffman 2 years ago. They wanted Dee Dee Scozafazzia. She is not a Republican, except in name only. We got Dee Dee, because the party leaders wanted her. They wouldn’t help Doug Hoffman until about 2 weeks before the election.

    I don’t really think that the Hoffman voters would have sat out the NY 23rd if he hadn’t been on the ballot. I would have voted for Doug Hoffman if he had gotten the support of the leaders of the Repulican party, but I voted for Matt Doheny. The TP didn’t lose the election. The leaders of the Rep. Party did.

  8. Brian says:

    “If there comes the time a candidate with TP type values emerges and gets a fair shake”

    That’ll never happen. Whenever a TP candidate loses, it will always be the “media’s fault.” Then again, if you repeat a myth often enough, people will start to believe it.

    Not sure how Chris Gibson was able to win convincingly in the face of the “liberal media bias.”

  9. JDM says:

    Wonder what will happen to NY23 in the redistricting.

  10. scratchy says:


    Hopefully it will include all of the north country. They should drop Madison and maybe Oswego counties from the district and instead have it include all of Essex county, Northern Herkimer, and the Glens Falls area.

  11. Bret4207 says:

    Brian, that’s not true. Hoffman was supposed to be a TP guy. He blew the whole thing on his own. And your beloved Green Party is in the same boat. You complain about it all the time. Lack of media overage, lack of what you perceive as “proper media coverage”, lack of a chance for your party to attend debates or get the true party message out. You’ve said as much here in the past over a number of posts. THink on that and maybe you’ll understand what I mean. And consider this, your Greens have a coherent message and platform. The TP is far less organized than even the Greens and there are hundreds of disparate groups with differing concerns. How do you get a “fair shake” when your candidate gets lumped in with Republicans, as though they were one and same?

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