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In NY-23, Anti-Immigrant Groups Proved They’re Out of Touch With the Mainstream…Yet Again

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Before Tuesday’s special election in New York’s 23rd Congressional district, we reported that the nativist extremist Minuteman PAC had predicted third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman was “positioned to win a landslide victory.”

The Minutemen — and the rest of the right-wing fringe groups that endorsed Hoffman over moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava — grew even more confident about their chances when Scozzafava dropped out of the race the weekend before the election.

As usual, however, immigration restrictionists turned out to be out of touch with reality. Not only was the election not a “landslide,” but Hoffman’s opponent, Bill Owens, beat Hoffman 49% to 45%. Owens is the first Democrat to hold the seat in over a century — a sign of just how badly the right wing has alienated mainstream Americans.

Immigration wasn’t a major issue in the campaign, but that didn’t stop the Minutemen from using it to try to scare up support for Hoffman. Unsurprisingly, the PAC’s claim that Hoffman was the “only candidate for Congress opposed to amnesty and government handouts for illegal aliens” failed to turn out voters — Hoffman did worse than expected even in the parts of the district considered his “base.”