In what could be seen as an omen of things to come ahead of tonight’s NY-26 special election Republican Jane Corwin has been granted a court order barring the certification of the results.
According to The Buffalo News, State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia granted an order barring certification of the election until court proceedings on Thursday. The Justice’s order “impounded all voting equipment and enjoined the canvass of paper ballots “except as directed by this court” and “temporarily enjoined and restrained from certifying” the winner pending that court hearing.”
The Corwin campaign argued that these kinds of orders are typical in close elections, but the fact that the Corwin campaign felt the need to even get the order speaks volumes about the kind of trouble they are in. Districts don’t get much redder than NY-26. Carl Paladino, who may have been one of the ten worst candidates of the past 20 years, won the district by 20 points over Andrew Cuomo in 2010.
Since 1957, the district’s House seat has been only been occupied by one Democrat. Maurice Hinchey held the seat from 1993-2003. Outside of his decade long tenure, Republicans have owned NY-26. John McCain beat Obama here in 2008, and you would have a hard time finding a redder district in a blue state anywhere else in America.
The results of NY-26 matter because of Medicare. This race has been all about Paul Ryan’s Medicare privatization scheme. Although the results tonight won’t have an impact on the numbers game in the House, they matter because NY-26 is the first test case for Medicare as an electoral issue. Should Republicans turn against Corwin tonight, expect Democrats to press the Medicare issue in Republican districts all over the country.
How could Republican House incumbents not know that by voting to privatize Medicare, they would be enraging their own base which relies heavily upon the program? Corwin is preparing to lose a close special election in a district that should have been an afterthought, not because she voted for the Ryan plan, but because she said that if elected, she would support it.
What is happening in NY-26 should be terrifying every House Republican who voted to privatize Medicare. If Corwin is being pushed to the limit for suggesting that she would support the Ryan plan, what is going to happen to the dozens of Republicans in districts that Obama carried in 2008, who actually voted to kill Medicare?
The news here isn’t that the Corwin campaign got the order blocking the certification of the election. It is that they had to get the order at all.