GOPers are looking at a tremendous upset and will have to rethink their support for what was initially hailed as a courageous proposal by Ryan that has now turned into a disaster for those who support it.
From the ChiTrib:
"Democrat Kathy Hochul has won a special congressional election in a conservative pocket of western New York, a race dominated by the national debate over House Republicans’ proposal to overhaul Medicare, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
Hochul, the Erie County Clerk, beat Republican state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin and Jack Davis, a wealthy businessman who ran on the “Tea Party” ticket. Early returns showed Hochul with a solid lead over Corwin, with Davis trailing far behind.
The AP called the race shortly after 10 pm ET"
From the NYTimes:
"The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether the party should rethink its commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability as 2012 elections loom.
Two months ago, the Democrat, Kathy Hochul, was considered an all-but-certain loser in the race against Jane Corwin. But Ms. Hochul seized on her Republican rival’s embrace of the proposal from Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, to overhaul Medicare, and she never let up.
Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.
“I have almost always voted the party line,” said Gloria Bolender, a Republican from Clarence who is caring for her 80-year-old mother. “This is the second time in my life I’ve voted against my party.”
Pat Gillick, a Republican from East Amherst, who also cast a ballot for Ms. Hochul, said, “The privatization of Medicare scares me.”
The district, which stretches from Buffalo to Rochester, has been in Republican hands for four decades, producing influential Republican figures like Representative Jack Kemp. The campaign drew intense interest, with both major parties in Washington and their allies flooding the district with radio and television advertising. Total spending exceeded $6 million."