The Corner

The Exception Proves the Rule

Isn’t it a little strange to argue that the NY-23 result should take the wind of N.J. and Va. out of Republican sails? It seems to me that that result makes exactly the same point as the two governor’s races: A Republican running as a conservative alternative to the party in power at the moment, reasonably attuned to the tone and mood of his constituents, and reasonably unafraid to embrace his party and its conservative identity, can win. It seems pretty obvious that if the GOP had run such a candidate in NY-23 (for instance, if they had run Doug Hoffman rather than forcing him to run as an independent), that candidate would have won handily.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.

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