Thursday, October 12, 2006


Hillary Versus Rudy in NY

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner poses the question to fellow blogger John Podhoretz:

In a presidential contest between Giuliani and Hillary who do you think would carry New York State?

Podhoretz responds:

Hillary wins New York. But Rudy makes it a race. A costly race. And maybe he wins California.

As an upstate New Yorker, I have to disagree with JPOD, at least on Hillary winning NY. I think by ’08, the luster will have faded from a Sen. Clinton, substantially among the many erstwhile RINOs, certainly upstate NYers, and Rudy I think outruns her in his NYC home turf.

New York politics will always be upstate versus downstate. State-wide or nationwide candidates succeed either because they don’t play against or within that dynamic, or find a way to win both camps. In other words, in typical Dem versus GOP, the state goes blue unless there’s some really G*d-awful Dem candidate. (Yes, worse than Kerry, readers can discern.)

Hillary won over enough upstate Republicans (who were really clueless and wary of the overly youthful and “out-on-the-Island” Lazio), and has aggressively courted the Red-tinted upstaters with her National Security stands and plenty of pork. That wins her a landslide for ’06 Senate seat. Many actually like her upstate, but actually turn against her on suggestions she leave Congress and try for the Presidency. That was a big part of her message in ’04, one she absolutely needed to make, “I’m not running in ’04.”

This dynamic all changes from ’06 to ’08. Rudy pulls majorities in NYC, Hillary loses a good deal of her support upstate. Upstaters, while they would normally resist the appeal of a city pol, love Rudy for NYC cleanup and of course, 9/11.

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