Conservative Doug Hoffman conceded the race in the 23rd Congressional District last week after receiving two pieces of grim news for his campaign: He was down 5,335 votes with 93 percent of the vote counted on election night, and he had barely won his stronghold in Oswego County.
As it turns out, neither was true.
But Hoffman’s concession -- based on snafus in Oswego County and elsewhere that left his vote undercounted -- set off a chain of events that echoed all the way to Washington, D.C., and helped secure passage of a historic health care reform bill.
Democratic Rep. Bill Owens was quickly sworn into office on Friday, a day before the rare weekend vote in the House of Representatives. His support sealed his party’s narrow victory on the health care legislation.
In a recanvass, Owens's lead has narrowed to just over 3,000 votes. Now they will count the absentee ballots, but they were distributed before Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race, leaving it to the carpetbagging teabagger and the Dem, a fact which might benefit the teabagger.
"I don’t know if we would have conceded on election night," Rob Ryan, Hoffman’s campaign spokesman, said Wednesday while discussing the latest results of the recanvassing. "I’m someone who doesn’t like to look back. But would we have taken longer to make a decision on election night? Probably, if we knew it was only 3,000 votes making the difference."
. . .
"When people look back at this race, it was a remote possibility that Doug Hoffman would be a contender," Ryan said. "But miracles do happen.
So of course the teabaggers are screeching that Owens was improperly sworn in by the She-Devil Pelosi. That they wuz robbed. That the Dems rigged the election. And so on and on and on.
More fun to come.
Background here, here, and here.