I just left a comment on my BlogHer.com post that said essentially the exact same thing as Chris Cillizza this morning re: how it is that Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate, won in a district that is so far +R:
* Candidates matter: Ask anyone who spent any time in the 26th district over the last few months, and they will tell you that Hochul was the superior candidate. It’s easy to lose sight of that fact amid the roiling debate over how much Medicare mattered in the race, but that’s a mistake. Candidates always matter — particularly in special elections where there is far more media coverage than in a typical, regularly scheduled House race. Corwin’s profile — she is extremely wealthy — didn’t fit in a district where the economy continues to struggle and even some of the Republicans who helped recruit her into the race acknowledged that she struggled to connect with voters.
Also, I listened to Jane Corwin’s concession speech – one after another, she was thanking all the men in the party structure and in her campaign. Ladies, ladies, ladies. If you want to see gender parity in politics, even just because we make up half the brain trust of this country, you gotta be willing to bring them alone, embrace them, educate them, make it reciprocal.
Watch Hochul’s victory speech and note the incredible difference in who she thanks and how.