07 September, 2006

NYPols Endorsement In GOP Senate Race -- We'll Pass!

This is a tough one.

It's a hold-your-nose-and-pick kind of choice for Republicans planning to vote in the U.S. Senate primary on Tuesday.

The race between John Spencer and KT McFarland has been short on substance and long on name-calling and boorish behavior.

And the polls show a large number of New York Republicans either don't intend to vote or can't decide who to vote for in this race. Some 46% of Republicans were undecided about this race in the most-recent WNBC/Marist poll taken less than a month ago.

In the latest Quinnipiac Poll taken in late August, 42% of GOP voters said they were udecided, and 65% of those who did pick a candidate said they could change their mind before election day.

The most telling numbers of all are found in the Quinnipiac poll. Seventy-two percent of GOP voters said they really hadn't heard enough about McFarland to make up their mind about her. That number was at 80% for Spencer. Clearly, whatever message these two have to offer is not clearing the haze of smoke they've been blowing at each other for the past several months.

Both candidates have been dogged by personal issues in their past and each seems more intent on capitalizing on the personal lives of the other than on putting forth meaningful solutions to the country's many problems.

Spencer has backed the Bush administration's policies on the war and national security to the hilt, and has tried to create an image of cowboy Republican with a good bit of hard-assed New Yorker mixed in. He has succeeded, but we don't find that appealing at all.

McFarland has crafted herself as more moderate on social issues and an expert on national security. But her role as Pentagon spokeswoman in the 1980s is hardly weighty enough to support the type of image she has hoped to carve.

Yes, New York Republicans do indeed have a tough choice to make.

We not-so-respectfully opt not to make a choice.


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