It's really hard to know what the folks out there are thinking, especially when you are trying to assess the mood of seven hundred thousand of them spread over 11 counties.
The fact that party "leaders" profess their allegiance to someone used to mean a lot more in the days when the leaders actually led. So the fact the a bunch of endorsements are streaming out may or may not be important.
However, it's hard to believe Doug Hoffman spokesman Rob Ryan when he keep's talking about the nascent surge that is bubbling beneath the surface in the "grass roots" of the district.
While missing a meeting in Hamilton County is not the end of life as we know it, it is important to note that GOP hopeful Matt Doheny is demonstrating crusade-like fervor in pursuing the prize. Constant travel and meetings with endless small groups is how you build grass roots and Doheny is doing that.
Doug Hoffman recently said he hadn't been out as much as his foe because tax season (he's an accountant) kept him busy. I am sure it did, but these days running for office is a full time job. Full time because you have to meet people and raise money.
While Mr.Hoffman surely does have supporters and they likely are not the leaders reporters can easily call to ask their opinion, I agree that Doheny is like the tortoise of yore building the relationships needed to win a primary and a general election.
In fact, I have been seeing more of Congressman Owens doing campaign-like stuff and he has no primary. For instance, the Congressman has made courtesy calls to local Indy Party leaders.....Now no organization is as small or thin as the Independence Party, but Owens and Doheny have found the time to at reach out....I assume they are doing the same to many other groups across the district.
A few years back, I entered a race I had lost four years earlier. I worked hard over the summer and my principle opponent said he was giving the voters the summer off...By primary day the results were dramatic and there was no time to recover.
That's why I think Mr. Doheny is building the blocks needed to win in the Fall and Mr. Owens knows that and is trying to do the same. We haven't seen a lot of that from Mr. Hoffman and a paid spokesperson always willing to be quoted is not enough.
Last year was a perfect storm for Doug Hoffman. That national attention will not happen again, so those grass roots are important. Doug Hoffman need to demonstrate viability soon as the deadline is nearing for Conservative Party chair Mike Long to issue him an out-of-party authorization which would lock up line D......At this point, I don't even know who is going to be gathering petitions for Hoffman. In a special election, you don't have to do that. In a regular election, you do. That still takes some grass roots support, because the party leaders will not help him out if they have cast their lot for Doheny.
There's lots of spicy phrases to describe this moment...I will opt for "fish or cut bait."
NY-23 GOP Official: Whither Hoffman?