Scozzafava quietly encourages supporters to vote for Owens

Throughout the weekend so many stories about Scozzafava in NY23 have come up it has been hard to keep a handle on the situation. There were many rumors of Hoffman already running away with the election even before Scozzafava’s decision to suspend her campaign.

So this morning around 10 AM I started up our NY-23 poll and after a few hundred interviews it appeared that Doug Hoffman was now running away with it-unweighted numbers showed him at 45% to 26% for Bill Owens and 17% for Dede Scozzafava.

Then came the news that Scozzafava was suspending her campaign. My first inclination was to just keep running the poll as is, but I stopped it and thought about it, and now for the rest of the weekend the first question will still provide Scozzafava as an option but also note that she’s suspended her campaign, although her name will still be on the ballot.How would the race play out now that is essentially (Scozzafava’s name will still appear on the ballot) a two-person race? Nate Silver has a discussion of some poll numbers.

Consider the Siena poll out this morning, which has all sorts of useful cross-tabs. Scozzafava’s supporters in this poll:

— Have a favorable view of Barack Obama by a 64-31 margin.
— Have an unfavorable view of Hoffman 15-57.
— Have an unfavorable view of Democrat Bill Owens, 19-50.Silver’s analysis is interesting–follow the link above to read it. My takeaway, however, is to wonder how Scozzafava ever got the Republican nomination in the first place? New York Times columnist Frank Rich tries to push the meme that Scozzafava is a stock Republican that happened to differ in a few social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

And Scozzafava is a mainstream conservative by New York standards; one statistical measure found her voting record slightly to the right of her fellow Republicans in the Assembly. But she has occasionally strayed from orthodoxy on social issues (abortion, same-sex marriage) and endorsed the Obama stimulus package.

Michelle Malkin isn’t buying it. I’d say Rich would have a more convincing argument if Scozzafava wasn’t now quietly supporting the Democrat. (Hat tip: Gateway Pundit.)

In her statement Saturday morning, the assemblywoman explained the reasons behind her decision: “It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so.”

During the day Saturday, she began to quietly and thoughtfully encourage her supporters to vote for Democrat William L. Owens.Is NY23 is a bellwether for the resurgence of a national conservative movement? Conservatives seem more than willing to lose with Hoffman than win with Scozzafava. Whether or not such an approach forms the basis for a strong national strategy remains to be seen.

Edit: Her support for Owens is no longer quiet. From an Instapundit reader:

Reader Erik Fortune writes: “Scozzafava hasn’t just proven her critics right, she’s also made fools of the GOP establishment that backed her. The establishment argument for supporting Scozzafava boiled down to an appeal to party loyalty, and Scozzafava just demonstrated that she has none. Gingrich et al asked voters to compromise their values on behalf of a candidate who turned on them the first chance she got. The voters won’t forget that.” Ouch.

Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners
Obama Administration throws Palestinians under the bus