Mutiny on the GOP

 

Since Republican Representative John McHugh was confirmed as Secretary of the Army, New York’s 23rd Congressional District has been sick with election fever. Republicans nominated moderate NY Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, and Democrats wanted Attorney Bill Owens. But conservative GOP members found Scozzafava’s centrist stances on social issues offensive. The result was what the L.A. Times called a “mutiny” from more conservative members of the Republican Party, who responded by nominating Doug Hoffman and splitting the party vote!

GOP heavyweights of all stripes have spoken out on this race, which some see as a referendum on the Republican Party’s future. Will they continue to nominate moderate candidates like Charlie Crist, or move to the center to gain broader appeal? After coming under fire for his decision to support Scozzafava, Newt Gingrich fired back. “We have to decide which business we are in … If we are in the business of feeling good about ourselves while our country gets crushed, then I probably made the wrong decision.” Sarah Palin announced her support for Doug Hoffman over her Facebook page. To Palin, “there was no real difference” between Democrat and Republican nominees in the race.

Yesterday a DailyKos poll on the district found Scozzafava trailing behind Owens and Hoffman, who were locked in an almost dead heat. Now Republicans are jumping the Scozzafava ship in droves to keep a district that has not left their hands since 1980. A Republican consultant told New York political insider journalist Liz Benjamin,”I think it’s now to a point where we’ve got to win the Republican seat; it’s not about liberal or conservative … if we don’t help (Hoffman) over the finish line, Owens is going to win … Dede’s out of it … bottom has dropped out on her. She can’t win it. Looks like Sessions and the national Republicans are seeing that. It was a poor choice on Sessions’ part to go with her in the first place.”

President Obama won this region with 52% of the vote in the fall of 2008 but local politicians in the northern New York often to lean towards the right. This will not be an easy race for either party, but it will definitely be partisan. Whether this mutiny will have served the Republicans remains to be seen.

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  1. 1 Short division « (pressed)

    […] more conservative faction of the GOP is howling at the moon over its candidate Doug Hoffman’s successful coup over the moderate, GOP establishment nominee Dede Scozzafava. Now conservative groups promise to make the same thing happen to moderate Republicans in 2012 […]




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