Republican Dede Scozzafava announced Saturday that she is suspending her campaign in the Nov. 3 House special election in New York, a dramatic development that increases the GOP's chances of winning the contentious and closely-watched race.
"In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I've come to accept is that in today's political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money—and as I've been outspent on both sides, I've been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record,” she said in a statement.
“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. I am and have always been a proud Republican.”This comes after many prominent conservatives, including Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, and Fred Thompson, endorsed Conservative candidate Hoffman. It is clearly a blow to Scozzafava supporters, including Newt Gingrich and the Republican National Committee (RNC). To Michael Steele's credit, the RNC shifted its endorsement to Hoffman this morning. This could be a big boost to Hoffman, but John Hinderaker at Powerlineblog.com is not sure:
Recent polling has shown Scozzafava's support collapsing, while the race between Hoffman and Democrat Bill Owens is too close to call. It is not clear that that Scozzafava's withdrawal will help Hoffman, as by this point most of her support may well be coming from voters who are more closely aligned, ideologically, with Owens. Still, if Hoffman can win on Tuesday, it will be viewed as a watershed movement in the resurgence of conservatism.A conservative congressional win in upstate New York would be a huge vote of no confidence for the President and the liberal controlled Congress. Keep your fingers crossed.
Update: Today Dede Scozzafava announced her support for Democrat candidate Bill Owens. This seems to validate her critics' position that she was a Republican in name only.