After Losing NY-23, Conservatives Declare War On GOP
If anything, the election of Bill Owens at the expense of the right-wing teabaggers should be a warning sign; instead, they’re going full steam ahead and gearing up to challenge a dozen House and Senate Republicans in 2010.
Conservatives and tea party activists had already set their sights on some of the GOP’s top Senate recruits — a list that includes Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida, former Rep. Rob Simmons in Connecticut and Rep. Mark Kirk in Illinois, among others.
But their success in Tuesday’s upstate New York special election, where grass-roots efforts pushed GOP nominee Dede Scozzafava to drop out of the race and helped Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman surge into the lead on the eve of Election Day, has generated more money and enthusiasm than organizers ever imagined.
Except, what actually happened is that they jettisoned a Republican candidate who voted in the 58th percentile of her party, making her more conservative than most Republicans in New York State.
Party strategists worry that well-funded, well-organized challenges from the right could force Republicans to exhaust precious resources on messy primary fights — or force moderate candidates to adopt more strident positions early on that could haunt them during the final months of the campaign.
Looking to New York-23 as a model for races to come is like looking to the Titanic as a model for how to steer a ship.Click here for reuse options!
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