After participating in the conference call tonight hosted by the American Conservative Union's PAC to discuss NY-23 it seems to me that the biggest concern for Doug Hoffman now might be getting a fair election. Hoffman's campaign feels the momentum of the past couple of days but this election is by no means in the bag.
Rob Ryan, spokesman for the Hoffman campaign, said that what they need more than anything "is bodies." He expressed concern about "the amount of people coming in" for the Owens campaign, specifically ACORN and the WFP. The WFP is already under investigation in New York for forging absentee ballots and this is something that the Hoffman campaign wants to be sure doesn't happen in NY-23. As Ryan said tonight, "We want a clean, legal election because if that's the case, we win."
To that end, they need volunteers. Ryan asks that if you're in the area and able to help, get in touch with the Hoffman campaign and do what you can. Here is the list of campaign offices (in pdf). Stacy McCain described the 23rd district as "huge; it's the largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River." It's a gerrymandered district and covers a large, oddly shaped territory, mostly suburban. Watertown is probably the largest city in the district with about 40,000 people.
What Stacy McCain hears from voters in the district are concerns about out of control spending and the cost of Obamacare. He says "Hoffman is widely respected by those who know him" despite the fact that he's not an affable or charismatic kind of guy. He's not your typical Washington politician. He's honest and hard working and has genuine concern for the district and the country.
I asked Stacy what the expected turnout for this election is likely to be. As a special election in an off year, you would normally expect turnout to be low. In a sense, this may work to Hoffman's advantage because those that do get out to vote will be those hard-core people that follow the issues. Those moderate, indifferent voters may not turn out. The Democrats have been advertising very heavily in the district, however, and their on-the-ground canvassing is very strong.
This is why volunteers are needed. Even though the RNC and the NRCC are sending resources Hoffman's way, the election is only two days out. If you live anywhere near the area, or know someone who does, the Hoffman campaign needs you.
Matt Burns, former spokesman for Dede Scozzafava, now supporting Hoffman, says that the main thing at this point is to elect someone who will stand up to the aggressive agenda of Nancy Pelosi, and Doug Hoffman is that candidate.
Jimmie Bise was in on the call and his impressions are here.
Ed Morressey's thoughts are here.
(Cross posted at And So it Goes in Shreveport)