NY Election Seen as Early Referendum
Vote to fill Gillibrand's seat as much over stimulus, bonuses
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 31, 2009 9:11 AM CDT
In this Jan. 30, 2009, file photo, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele speaks in Washington.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Today’s special congressional election in upstate New York is seen as a key early test of President Obama’s agenda, reports CQ Politics. The race, a tight one between Republican Jim Tedisco and Democrat Scott Murphy, has become a battle over Obama’s stimulus bill, bonuses for AIG, and other national issues. Obama himself has chipped in an email supporting Murphy.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who called this election a “battle royale” and has himself campaigned with Tedisco, moved $200,000 to New York to try to win. Congressional Republicans have spent $818,000, and GOP-allied groups another $1 million. All told, Republican aid to Tedisco is nearly double what Democrats have offered Murphy in his bid for the seat vacated by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.