The Times Knows Medicare 'Clearly Providing...Momentum' to Dem in Special NY State Election

The Times' pro-Democratic election enthusiasm is showing. Metro reporter Raymond Hernandez has written two stories in two days about House Speaker John Boehner coming to aid a Republican candidate in a special election May 24 in upstate New York. Monday's story previewed Boehner's visit in support of Jane Corwin, who is running a "struggling campaign...for a vacant seat in Congress": "Tight Race For Congress Prompts Visit By Boehner - Upstate Trip to Help Struggling Republican."

The personal interest shown in the race by Mr. Boehner - who will host a fund-raiser for Ms. Corwin and also make a public appearance with her - reflects the growing concern among Republicans about a race that they had not expected to be so competitive.

The visit also comes as national Democrats, who had all but written off the race a few weeks ago, now view an opportunity to turn it into a referendum on the House Republican agenda in advance of the battle for control of the House in the election next year.

With the Medicare debate clearly providing [Democrat Kathy] Hochul momentum, her campaign has signaled it has no intention to drop it. While Mr. Boehner meets with Ms. Corwin at Salvatore's Italian Gardens restaurant in Depew, Ms. Hochul plans to hold a news conference nearby with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

Hernandez followed up with a story on the front of Tuesday's metro section, datelined Depew, N.Y: "As Special House Race Intensifies, Washington Sends Backup."

This village of strip malls, car dealerships and working-class neighborhoods is an unlikely stage for a battle between the two major parties in Washington.

But the national political stakes became clear when the House speaker, John A. Boehner, arrived on Monday for a visit that drew a few hundred people, including residents, local dignitaries and television crews.

Hernandez rehashed "the unexpected traction that Ms. Hochul is gaining" on backlash to the House Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.

The race did not initially draw much attention outside of western New York, largely because leaders of both parties expected that Republicans would be able to keep the seat. But Ms. Hochul, after seizing on Medicare, has shown strength in polls. Her aides said she would pound away on the issue until Election Day.

The Times can't emphasize enough any trace of Democratic momentum in special elections as harbingers of better things to come for the party. Yet Times reporters, Adam Nagourney in particular, have encapsulated liberal conventional wisdom by dismissing actual Republican victories in special and off-year elections as meaningless.