Why New York's Tea Party Win Matters
Carl Paladino may be even more trouble for GOP than O'Donnell
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2010 1:58 PM CDT
Carl Paladino on stage after winning the New York State Republican Gubernatorial primary in Buffalo, N.Y. on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010.   (AP Photo/Don Heupel)

(Newser) – Christine O'Donnell got the most press (click here to see) but tea party favorite Carl Paladino's win in New York might have been an even bigger upset. Here's what the pundits are saying:

  • “The Republican Party of New York is now officially dead,” writes Dan Collins of the Huffington Post. “Replace it with something better. Greens, Libertarians, Socialists, Whigs—they can't be any worse.” Paladino's "racist emails" make him the most offensive tea partier yet.
  • “Paladino's brand of ill-informed Tea Party rage” will destroy the Republicans’ credibility in New York—“or what’s left of it anyway,” agrees Bill Hammond of the New York Daily News. His proposals are all dumb, unworkable, or outright illegal. “Maybe this train wreck will wake Republicans to the danger of self-financed candidates.”

  • Paladino’s win won’t hurt Republican chances directly, because Rick Lazio would have lost to Andrew Cuomo by a huge margin, writes Nate Silver of the New York Times. But he will hurt Republicans down the ballot, if he motivates Democrats—or discourages Republicans.
  • Last night also had major national implications. “If the tea party can make it in New York, it can make it anywhere,” observes Michael Muskal of the LA Times. The keys to Paladino’s success—anger at existing institutions, grass-roots shock troops, and gobs of money—are readily available elsewhere.