There has been much huffing and puffing over Kathy Hochul's surprise victory in the NY-26 special election Tuesday. Here's the top-linked Google result. How does it start?

The results from Tuesday’s special election in New York demonstrated the popularity of Medicare and unpopularity of Republican plans to dismantle it. But neither fact should be surprising.

Medicare is a universal program for retirees: Everybody has an obvious, direct stake in its future. And the Republican plans for Medicare amount to privatization. Everybody understands what that means and most find it scary.

If you read the whole story you might be convinced, but you'll be missing a key piece of information.

Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated GOP nominee Jane Corwin 48 percent to 42 percent in New York's 26th District on Tuesday, with tea party candidate Jack Davis, a former Democrat, taking 8 percent of the vote.

That's right! None of the top news stories about the special election results include the name "Jack Davis", a phony "tea party" candidate who received 8% of the vote. If Jack Davis had not been in the race, who do you think most of those 8% would have voted for? The Republican or the Democrat? The results would have certainly been much closer, and would have been a likely win for the Republican.

Calling this special election a referendum on Medicare reform is lie. Now, Republicans do need to aggressively market their Medicare vision and make the sale to the American people, but this special election isn't an omen that the debate has already been lost.

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