Congratulations to Kathy Hochul, a Democrat who just won in heavily Republican New York Congressional District 26. She defeated Republican Jane Corwin almost exclusively on the issue of Medicare, which was wisely raised by Hochul first thing in her campaign.
The NY26 election is a referendum on the Ryan “Plan” (as much as you can call “eliminate medicare to pay for tax cuts to the rich” a PLAN) and on the GOP Tea Party movement. Already, politically astute Republicans like Peter King are taking note of the results and trying to steer their party away from the extremes offered by Paul Ryan’s immoral budget. (Even Newt Gingrich refers to the Ryan plan as extreme.)
Also, I think the parallels are striking when you compare NY26 to Scott Brown’s election to the US Senate. Hochul was outspent by her Republican opponent (and assorted conservative political groups from around the nation) but won due to grassroots effort and a better, clearer message. Democrats running in 2012 could learn a lot from Hochul’s successful campaign strategy.
Scott Brown, by the way, is also distancing himself from the lunacy of the Ryan plan. Any Republican official that wants to keep his/her job will follow suit.
NY26 is a bellweather as we gear up for the 2012 election season.