PLATTSBURGH — Republican Matt Doheny won the Upstate New York Tea Party's straw poll Friday night, suggesting that some conservatives are wiling to back his candidacy for Congress but others are still wary.
Mr. Doheny won 64 percent of the vote, while Tim Stampfler won 18 percent and Kellie Greene won 18 percent.
A win will hearten the Doheny campaign, but will also make them realize they've got some work left, considering that 36 percent of the vote went to two opponents who have run less than perfect campaigns. Mr. Stampfler's eligibility to get on the ballot is in question because he's a state employee, possibly running afoul of the Hatch Act. Not only that, but he chastised me last night for reporting that he hasn't filed a campaign committee — he said he might not have to, because he may not raise or spend more than $5,000. Ms. Greene didn't even show up to the event — she had a prior commitment and didn't know this week that the event was even taking place. That angered tea party leaders, but apparently not 18 percent of voters.
You may argue that this analysis subjects Mr. Doheny to too high of a standard. Mitt Romney has faced the same perception hurdles in the GOP presidential primary; if he doesn't win everything, people ask why he can't put his opponents away. Good point, hypothetical objector. So let me repeat that the results were good news for the Doheny camp, and that last night's results are a glass 64 percent full.
I'll have a full story tomorrow on the small-c and big-C conservatives and where they're aligning in this race.