Friday, August 21, 2009

Can GOP take the 21st Congressional District in 2010?

I have written a guest column for the Upstreamzine blog, located in Montgomery County, about the chances of the Republican party winning the 21st congressional district from far-left liberal, Paul Tonko.

"A sleeping political giant is about to be awakened in an Upstate New York congressional district. While the district has a +6 Democrat leaning, the district is a fairly Conservative one, with a good number of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. This district has been represented by Democrats for decades, mainly somewhat Conservative Democrats, however following the previous election, it is now represented by a far-left radical liberal.

Welcome to the 21st congressional district in Upstate New York.
While the Democratic party has a hefty advantage over the Republican party in terms of political registration, the district tends to lean rightward, especially with a large makeup of Independents who also make up a good chunk of voters. The district is an oddity among the 435 around the Nation, as this district has the potential to be represented by a Republican, however it appears Republicans have no will to even try to win.

Take for example, the Republican bedrock that is Schoharie County– they voted for Tonko by nearly 500 votes over Republican Jim Burhmaster, when they voted against Barack Obama by over 2,000 votes, and almost 1,500 fewer voters did not even pay attention to the congressional election. Now it was touted in the local paper, the Times Journal, that Tonko once represented Schoharie County in the Assembly, that he knows the County, blah,blah,blah. My response was, “and?”.

This county has not only a political difference from Congressman Tonko, but they also have a ideology difference from Congressman Tonko. For some unknown reason they overlooked both, and voted for a man who agrees with Obama 100% of the time, but this county would never vote for Obama, so why vote for Tonko?

However, I believe all of that is about to change. Considering Tonko has voted 100% of the time with the Democrat party, has supported every big government program which citizens in this district are against, was forced to hold a Town Hall meeting in Delmar New York, August 25th, because of hundreds of citizens in the 21st congressional district who called up his offices with complaints, and demands for a Town Hall meeting.

Lets also consider a few other factors :

1. Tonko ran the campaign with just over 700,000 dollars in hand, the Independent candidate had 550,000 dollars in hand, and Burhmaster has just under 500,000 dollars in hand. If Republican donors step up fundraising for the GOP candidate in 2010, we could raise just as much as Tonko, and could actually put a commercial on the air.

2. Considering this district is a fairly Conservative one, Tonko’s far left radical stances will shock many, even though it was told to us constantly via his campaign website, commercials, and debates that he was always a far left radical, perhaps even more so than Barack Obama himself.

3. Before and during the 2008 election cycle, especially in terms of the congressional election, the Republican party had no grassroots in this entire district, and thus led to pretty much no attention paid to the congressional election altogether. This has changed with the formation of Young Republican groups, and anger across all of America over big government policy, especially health care.

One final note – Burhmaster gained nearly 36% of the vote, more then any other Republican candidate in decades in this district, and that is with most voters ignoring the congressional election. Sandy Treadwill in a more historic GOP leaning district only received 38% of the vote, and he had millions more then Burhmaster could have dreamed of having on hand.

The potential is there, the sleeping giant is awakening.

Can the GOP pull it off in 2010? I hope so.

- Tim K."


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