The AP writes, "President Barack Obama's decision in June to appoint a Republican congressman to a Pentagon post has paid dividends in November now that Democrats have gained the House seat by capitalizing on a split between moderates and conservatives in the GOP. Lawyer and retired Air Force Capt. Bill Owens won the special election Tuesday in northern New York in which the Republican candidate withdrew over the weekend under pressure from the party's right wing and GOP heavyweights endorsed the Conservative Party nominee."
"Hoffman's far-flung supporters cast the election as a referendum on a perceived leftward lurch by political leaders of both parties," The New York Post writes. "Facing desertion from the right, Scozzafava abruptly suspended her campaign over the weekend and endorsed Owens. The move freed up labor unions, which had previously split their support, to rally behind Owens."
Conservatives "won a nasty battle to carry the GOP banner" but lost the war, the New York Daily News writes.
Democrat Bill Owens' win in upstate New York last night was a "setback for national conservatives," the New York Times adds. The election was "perhaps most notable for the fissures it opened in the Republican Party," as many "leading conservative voices," like the Wall Street Journal editorial page, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, supported Hoffman. The Owens win was also a "welcome boost" to national Democrats, who "threw muscle behind the race, eager to avoid a potentially embarrassing defeat as President Obama's approval ratings have softened."
After spending more than $100 million of his own money on his re-election campaign, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg won a much closer than expected election there, 51%-46%. Polls had shown him comfortably up by double-digits heading into Election Day, leaving many to wonder why Bloomberg was spending so much money. Now, maybe we know why.
The New York Post: "Bloomberg sweats out third term."
And the New York Daily News asks this question: "What if President Obama -- instead of delivering a squishy, nonendorsement-endorsement of Thompson, after his press secretary couldn't even come up with Thompson's name -- had stumped for the man?"