By Peter J. Smith

WATERTOWN, New York, October 30, 2009 ( – NARAL Pro-Choice New York has now thrown itself into the three-way battle going on for the New York 23rd with a heavy endorsement for the embattled Republican pro-abortion candidate Dede Scozzafava.

NARAL, sensing that Scozzafava's political fortunes are in serious trouble, has decided to pour in their resources to prop up her failing bid to fill the seat vacated by Rep. John M. McHugh, who resigned in September to become Secretary of the Army.

Elizabeth Benjamin of the New York Daily reports that the abortion-advocacy group blanketed 10,000 mailboxes in New York's 23rd on Thursday and Friday to get out the vote for Scozzafava. The mass-mailing costs something to the tune of $10,000-15,000 and tells readers that Scozzafava is a “no brainer choice” because the GOP Assemblywoman has “a 100% pro-choice record and a clear record of commitment to reproductive and women's health care issues.”

Some pro-abortion advocates, however, are appalled that NARAL has decided to get involved now, arguing that the move essentially amounts to friendly-fire on a candidate who is already hemorrhaging GOP voters over her very liberal stances.

Markos Moulitsas of the left-wing blog Daily Kos says that NARAL is “working for a right wing victory” and that if the pro-abortion organization does not want the pro-life Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman to win, their public effort “is beyond stupid.”

“Her role now is that of spoiler—can she take enough votes away from Hoffman to give the Democrat, Bill Owens, a plurality victory?” wrote Mousilitas, adding that their efforts were indistinguishable from a conservative ad that praised the “progressive” Scozzafava for positions that would offend conservative/GOP voters.

 ”When your messaging and tactics are indistinguishable from the right-wing dirty tricksters, you know you've screwed up,” lamented Moulitsas.

new poll commissioned by DailyKos and Research2000 confirms what two smaller previous polls (see coverage) indicated: that Hoffman has surged past Scozzafava into a neck-and-neck race with the Democrat. That poll shows Owens leading Hoffman by one point, 33 to 32 percent, and well within the 4 percentage point margin of error. Republican Scozzafava has crumbled to 21 percent and 14 percent remain undecided. The poll was conducted October 26 to 28.

The poll also shows Hoffman increasing his hold on Republican and Independent voters – both crucial to his campaign – but also garnering more GOP votes than the GOP nominee. The Conservative candidate's surge also means that in little over one week he statistically swapped places with the liberal Scozzafava, who had the blessing of GOP party bosses and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

In fact, it looks like more Republicans are beginning to jump onboard Hoffman's insurgent campaign and abandon Scozzafava in order to deny a seat held by the GOP since 1871 to the Democrats. Former NY Gov. George Pataki – a liberal GOP leader – endorsed Hoffman as the GOP's best hope for NY23, and the NRCC has tacitly backed away from airing ads attacking Hoffman to attacking Owens instead.

The election has enormous consequences for both the GOP as a Hoffman victory would embolden conservatives to demand the GOP select candidates that would embrace a conservative mandate. But for the conservative movement itself, a Hoffman victory would send shockwaves through the conservative establishment as well. It would see the eclipse of conservative Newt Gingrich who endorsed Scozzafava as a pragmatic vs. principled decision, and the rise of Sarah Palin, who acted on her pledge to support conservatives of any party and endorsed Hoffman. Palin's endorsement raised $116,000 for the Hoffman campaign in just 24 hours, furthering adding to his campaign's momentum.

Pro-life organizations are playing a critical role in Hoffman's election effort. The Susan B. Anthony List, which endorsed Hoffman, has recruited over 300 pro-life volunteers to actively assist in the Hoffman campaign. As last reported, 102 pro-life volunteers were recruited by SBA to distribute yard signs, 95 volunteers are in charge of literature distribution at their local churches, and 108 volunteers have pledged to work at polling stations on Election Day. The pro-life group also has 40 homeschoolers and their parents volunteering to man the polls.

Read previous coverage by

New Polls Show Pro-Life Conservative Upstart Hoffman Taking Lead in Battle for NY 23 

Conservative Rebellion Explodes in New York over Extreme Liberal GOP Candidate