Threeway in NY's 23rd: Independents in the Breach

On Wednesday, Rep. John McHugh was confirmed by the Senate as Secretary of the Army, which will likely lead to a special election to fill his congressional seat on November 3rd. As noted here on numerous occasions, the election is shaping up to be a close three-way race between Republican Dede Scozzafava, Democrat Bill Owens and Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. At The Hill, Reid Wilson writes:
The first public poll in the race, taken for Hoffman's campaign, showed Scozzafava earning 30 percent of the vote to Owens's 20 percent; Hoffman was statistically tied for second place, with 19 percent, a surprisingly high number for an unknown third-party candidate. [Emphasis added.]
Of course, there is nothing surprising about relatively broad support for a third party candidate in today's political climate, unless, that is, you are incapable of seeing the duopoly charade for what it is. Unfortunately, this is often the case at The Hill. Despite his surprise, Wilson's piece has little to offer in the way of explanation for the apparent strength of Hoffman's campaign. He continues:
There are 46,000 more registered Republicans in New York's 23rd District, which stretches from the Vermont and Canadian borders to Lake Ontario. But President Barack Obama won 52 percent of the vote in the district.
There are indeed upwards of 46,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the district, at least as of April. According to New York's Board of Elections, there are 160,138 registered Republicans in NY's 23rd, to the Democrats' 115,117. However, there are over 371,000 registered voters in the district overall, thus leaving 96,073 who are not affiliated with either the Democratic or the Republican Party. Independents will decide this election, it could go any way.

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