Jonah Goldberg from NRO absolutely nails the significance of NY-23.
I wish talking heads could keep it straight. NY-23 is definitely a historically Republican district, that doesn’t mean it’s a historically conservative one. More and more I hear analysts and pundits talk about what a conservative district it is (Bill Hemmer on Fox just said that it’s been “conservative” for more than a century). It voted for Obama by a wide margin. The seat is empty precisely because Obama thought he could flip if he got the incumbent out. The point is important because a lot folks (though probably not Hemmer) want to write off the importance of a Hoffman victory by saying “Well, the district’s always been conservative.” No, it’s always been Republican, but it threw aside the liberal Republican and supported (if he wins) the avowed conservative. That’s significant.