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News Roundup: Voters Reject Republicans’ Plan to End Medicare

Tuesday's special election in New York’s 26th Congressional District wasn’t an ordinary election – it was a referendum on the Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it. In one of the most conservative districts in New York, voters rejected the centerpiece of the Republican plan for our country.

The election outcome sent a stinging message, and the news coverage below tells the story:

New York Times. “Democrat Wins G.O.P. Seat; Rebuke Seen to Medicare Plan.” Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare. The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections. Voters, who turned out in strikingly large numbers for a special election, said they trusted Ms. Hochul, the county clerk of Erie County, to protect Medicare.

CNN. “Democrat Kathy Hochul wins House seat in New York special election.” Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said, "Tonight's result has far-reaching consequences beyond New York." Schultz said "it demonstrates that Republicans and Independent voters, along with Democrats, will reject extreme policies like ending Medicare that even Newt Gingrich called radical."

Washington Post. “Democrat Hochul wins N.Y. special House election.” Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul won a House special election in western New York on Tuesday night, a Democratic triumph in a conservative district that many regarded a referendum on House Republicans’ efforts to reform Medicare.

New York Times. “G.O.P. on the Defensive as Voters Resist Medicare Plan.” Even before the Republican loss Tuesday night in the race for a vacant House seat from New York — a contest fought in large part over the Medicare proposal — Democrats were clinging to the developments like koalas to eucalyptus trees, hoping that plan’s toxicity among many voters would give them a shot at retaining control of the Senate..."

MSNBC First Read. “First Thoughts: The GOP's wake-up call.” There was a reason why Republican strategists convinced their House candidates last year not to support Paul Ryan’s budget “roadmap” (which included an overhaul of both Medicare and Social Security): Touching popular entitlement programs doesn’t make good politics. So it was striking that, just weeks after taking control of the House (in part by accusing Democrats of raiding Medicare), all but four Republicans voted for Ryan’s budget that phases out Medicare for all Americans under 55. And last night, Republicans received a wake-up call about Medicare’s potency with a Democratic victory in the NY-26 special congressional election, which Kathy Hochul (D) won by four points over Jane Corwin (R), 47%-43%, with independent Jack Davis getting 9%.