It isn’t over until the votes are counted, and miracles can happen, but it isn’t looking good for Martha Robertson, the Democratic challenger to Rep. Tom Reed in my home NY-23 district.

Once up a time, Robertson was a lead Democratic prospect to turn a seat from Red to Blue.

But now Robertson is being written off by every non-partisan analyst following the race.

We asked whether it was time for the DCCC to abandon Robertson, and pull its reserved television advertising.

This NY Daily News analysis, showing Democrats struggling in upstate NY, cannot be good news for Robertson:

One year ago, Republicans had just shut down the government, and Democrats declared they might win back the House, in part by picking up Republican-held seats in New York.

A year later, Democratic hopes of gaining up to three seats in New York are gone. They are more likely to lose three, and hope simply to break even.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. of Long Island calls New York a “microcosm” for the rest of the country.

New York is proving Steve Israel right, as Democrats’ defensive posture in the Empire State mirrors a national political landscape where President Obama’s unpopularity leaves his party hoping to simply limit Republican gains.

“If Democrats are ever going to win back the House, they need to pick up seats in upstate New York,” said David Wasserman, who analyzes House races for the Cook Political Report.

That isn’t happening this year.

As to NY-23, The Daily News says Robertson’s chances have collapsed:

Democratic hopes of challenging Republican incumbents like Reps. Chris Gibson or Tom Reed in districts Obama won or nearly won have collapsed, while Democratic incumbents have been unable to shrug off GOP challengers.

While it’s a tough national environment, Robertson deserves much of the blame.

Literally nothing has gone right with Robertson’s campaign. Everything Robertson does backfires.

Robertson’s campaign got the bright idea of soliciting funds by falsely claiming that GOP operatives tried to take down her website. Backfire.

Robertson tried to appear as a healthcare moderate, then old videos surfaced in which Robertson advocated Obamacare as a stepping stone to single payer. Backfire.

Robertson decided that making fun of the fact that Tom Reed used to be very overweight was a good advertising tactic. Backfire.

The latest backfire is that Robertson’s her much coveted Sierra Club endorsement became problematic after the Sierra Club sued to close a local power plant and kill jobs in the district.

Robertson has played right into the hands of Reed, who portrays Robertson as an out-of-touch “extreme Ithaca liberal,” a position Robertson attempts to portray as “anti-Ithaca” when in reality everyone recognizes that an “extreme Ithaca liberal” is a type of voter, not a geographic location (I’m an Ithaca voter!).

Martha Robertson Extreme Ithaca Liberal

This isn’t the old district, where Maurice “Red” Hinchey was kept in office by a gerrymandered map which snaked its way from college town to college town to capture as many liberal voters as possible.

The district now is mostly rural, and leans Republican by a few percentage points.

Will the DCCC continue to throw good money after bad?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Update: This is about the best confirmation there is that Robertson’s campaign is a goner, the DCCC is pulling advertising air time reserved for the last two weeks of the campaign according to Roll Call, DCCC Cuts Airtime in 8 TV Markets:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started to pull back their advertising buys in several congressional districts around the country, according to an aide.

At this point in the cycle, the cancellations — also known as “triage” — serve as a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has already pulled some of its buys in the same districts…..

The cancellations include:

  • New York’s 23rd District: House Democrats are canceling reservations for the campaign’s last two weeks in their effort to oust Republican Rep. Tom Reed.

Looks like the DCCC is cutting Robertson’s lifeline:


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