http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/04/ny...strict.html?hpSARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — Democrats won a special election in New York State’s northernmost Congressional district Tuesday, a setback for national conservatives who heavily promoted a third candidate in what became an intense debate over the direction of the Republican Party.
The Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, led with 49 percent of the vote, while the Conservative Party candidate, Douglas L. Hoffman, had 46 percent. The district has been a Republican stronghold for generations, and the party has represented parts of it since the 19th century.
The battle became one of the most closely followed races in the nation, drawing in some of the biggest forces in politics in both parties. Republicans who viewed the race as a test of the party’s most deeply held conservative principles — including Sarah Palin, the former governor of Alaska; Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, a presidential hopeful; and grass-roots groups that have forcefully opposed Democratic economic and health care policies — rallied behind Mr. Hoffman.
Well what do you know, even a district that is historically Republican couldn't stomach the new conservative agenda.