Doug Hoffman Smokes Challengers in Poll But Local Party Leaders Refuse Support

A new poll shows that Doug Hoffman smokes his GOP rivals in the bid to run against Bill Owens in NY 23. But the same GOP officials who gave the voters Dede Scozzafava are refusing to support Hoffman.

Republican Party chairs in the counties with the district’s largest GOP enrollment say the poll released by Hoffman this week will have little influence on their choice for a candidate to take on U.S. Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, in November.

Hoffman, who ran on the Conservative Party line and lost a special election to Owens two months ago, has been trying to build support for a rematch — but this time as the Republican nominee. The poll Hoffman commissioned showed he would easily beat three potential Republican primary opponents, including State Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, 56 percent to 24 percent in a head-to-head race.

But George Williams, chairman of the Oswego County Republican Committee, said his support is solidly behind Barclay, if the assemblyman decides to seek the nomination. “If Will wants to go, I’m going to support Will,” Williams said. “He has always been there for us. He’s an Oswego County resident and has been a good friend for the county.”

I haven’t researched Barklay’s voting record in the Assembly, so I have nothing against the guy. But you’d think the party would get behind the popular candidate with grass roots support and a decent fund raising operation. But then again, this is New York. The Republican Party in this state remains clueless.