Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New York's Special Election Is Today!

Today is Tuesday and because it happens to be February 26th, it is also the day for voters in Senate district 48 to go out and vote for their new state Senator. Will Barclay should have had this in the bag. The district has been in Republican hands since 1898 and for a time it was his father's seat. Unfortunately for Will, Darrel Aubertine has run a fantastic race and the latest poll showed this contest as neck and neck. As Philip over at TAP points out, the media coverage reflects the tension of the race.

From The Albany Project:

Here's a sampling of fresh coverage of the SD-48 special election. Polls open in about 20 minutes...

Watertown Daily Times
Senate hopefuls in campaign blitz finales

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Darrel J. Aubertine, Mr. Barclay's opponent, was across town at Shorty's Diner, asking patrons there to vote. The Democratic candidate said he hadn't gotten enough sleep, but the race was too important to stop now.

"You always feel that you want to make sure you left nothing undone," he said. Mr. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, had planned stops at a ham dinner, a bingo game and another of his "One of Us" rallies in St. Lawrence County.

"There is a camp that thought we had no chance. They said it was a Republican seat," he said. "I don't think there's too many people saying that now."

A Republican has represented Jefferson County in the state Senate for at least the last 110 years, a dominance that includes Mr. Barclay's father, H. Douglas, who served from 1965 to 1984.

Mr. Aubertine is no stranger to rewriting history, however. In 2002, he became the first Democratic state assemblyman from Jefferson County elected since Lewis W. Day of Sackets Harbor in 1910.

Albany Times Union
Big implications in single Senate seat
Outcome could signal end to decades-old balance of power

"This is the first real, competitive race where a Democrat has really challenged the status quo," said Travis Proulx, an aide to Democratic Sen. Liz Kruger, who has been working as part of Aubertine's press team since January. "It gives me hope -- if we can win here, we can win anywhere."


But the tide may be turning for Republicans in the 48th, as a higher proportion of the electorate has turned Democratic, a trend seen statewide. A recent Zogby International/ Watertown Daily Times poll found the 48th race in a dead heat, despite a 30,000-voter enrollment advantage for Republicans. More than 22 percent of those polled were undecided.

The uncertainty of the poll findings has inspired optimism in some and despair in others.


For Republicans, the competitiveness of the race has caused great concern for staffers and has taken its toll on those running the campaign.

"My boss says that he hasn't seen anything like it," said a staffer for a Republican senator, referring to the low morale in the Barclay campaign. "At first I wasn't that concerned, then as things have gone on, people are worried."

The staffer added that gallows humor about losing the majority is the running joke in the office.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Special election could be key for Bruno

Spitzer has "used every device he can to take me out," Bruno told reporters Monday. "Not going to happen. Not with me personally, and not with our conference. So they can keep having their pipe dreams."

Ithaca Journal
Battle for critical senate seat goes down to wire

"We started this race as underdogs," said Aubertine spokesman Cort Ruddy. "We have the better candidate, he's run a good campaign and we feel like we're going into tomorrow will a real good chance at this."

I like our chances today, folks. I really do.

Go, Darrel!

First to Philip, damn man you got up early this morning. How'd you do it?

Second of all, I'd like to second your "Go, Darrel!"

And lastly, beautiful news round up. It is going to be a great, snowy, GOTV day in upstate NY today!