With polls clearly showing liberal Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava in meltdown mode, the Democratic Party is now focusing its campaign efforts directly at Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the crucial upstate New York special election.
Democrats have reportedly bought $1 million in TV ads attacking Hoffman and supporting Democratic candidate Bill Owens. Hoffman campaign sources expect Owens to bring in hundreds of professional party operatives and labor-union campaigners to work in the 23rd District this weekend and continuing through Election Day, now just four days away.
The offices of the Clinton County Democratic Party here in Plattsburgh -- Owens' hometown -- were busy this afternoon, as young Democratic staffers were ready to begin a weekend of door-to-door canvassing operations. Staffers were preparing to distribute stacks of door-hanger GOTV cards that tout President Obama's endorsement of Owens, telling voters: "Those standing in the way of Change want you to say home on Tuesday -- don't let them win."
Meanwhile, a crew of reporters showed up at Duke's Diner on Tom Miller Road here in Plattsburgh where Hoffman had lunch with the city's Republican mayor, Don Kasprzak, who endorsed the Conservative Party candidate yesterday -- as did former New York Gov. George Pataki.
Asked about evidence of his campaign's gathering momentum, Hoffman replied with a smile: "We're ignoring that. We're still running like the underdog."
One indicator of how the 23rd District contest is increasingly viewed as a make-or-break referendum on the Obama administration's agenda is that Hoffman's lunch today at Duke's Diner was covered by two television crews and a correspondent for the London Times.
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