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Republicans are hoping to make major inroads in the midterm elections, and an obscure House race may offer an enlightening preview.
There's usually a greater focus on elections following a presidential contest, as the party out of power seeks to make them a referendum on the new man in the White House. Who can forget the elections that followed Bill Clinton's 1992 victory, when Republicans in quick succession won a late-November '92 run-off in the Georgia Senate race, followed in '93 by wins in governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia and topped off the streak in the mayoral election in New York City (first GOPer in three decades).
These wins sent a signal that there seemed to be a new political mood arising in the country. That was borne out when Republicans swept the 1994 midterms -- House, Senate, governor's races, etc.
This year, the New Jersey and Virginia state houses are once again up for grabs (the GOP candidate looks good in the latter, while New Jersey is too close to call). However, there is remarkably much attention being devoted to one special House election in upstate New York. The 23rd district race opened up when President Obama appointed Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) secretary of the Army.
McHugh's district is traditionally strongly Republican, so the GOP's insistence that a Republican be elected to McHugh's seat seems a little strange. Then again, in this very blue state of New York, Obama did carry the 23rd district by 5 percentage points. Still, that a Democrat would be leading in one poll barely a fortnight before Election Day is even weirder. But that's exactly what is happening here.
The reason the race is so close, however, is that the right has split in two. National Republicans organizations -- and most of the local establishment -- rallied around the official nominee of the party, Assemblywoman Dierdre ("Dede") Scozzafava. She, however, comes with certain baggage that is unacceptable to a core block of conservative voters:
In the state Assembly, Scozzafava...has broken with the Republican conference only 5 percent of the time, but on high-profile issues such as same-sex marriage, greenhouse gas emissions, sex education in schools and gender identity discrimination. In the past she's won the Working Families Line — a liberal minority party closely associated with the Democratic Party. It endorsed Owens this time.
Scozzafava's alliance with the Working Families Party is one of the major issues that the conservative base has against her. The WFP is an offshoot of the controversial ACORN community organizing group. As a result, the right is running a more traditionally-minded candidate on the Conservative Party line, businessman Doug Hoffman; this appears to be giving Democrat Bill Owens a more than puncher's shot at winning the seat:
Originally posted by grover
Mind you I am not trying to smear either the hard right or the GOP with this thread...it is relevant simply because this potential fracturing of the party is playing out nationally as seen in the campaign the article is about.
Originally posted by jefwane
In my opinion the Blue Dogs, Southern Dems, and moderate Republicans could, if they had the balls and the financing, could form the nucleus of a third centrist/populist/moderate party. Let the Dems have Pelosi, Boxer, Rangel and others as a Hard Left party and let the GOP have Limbaugh and the other loonies on the Hard Right.
Originally posted by mikerussellus
reply to post by grover
The way I see it, being one of those that feel the need to have the GOP return to a more conservative approach, is that most Americans ARE conservative at heart.
They don't want a bigger government.
They are tired of earmarks.
They are tired of the spending practices of the government.
They do want more control over their lives.
Currently, the GOP faces some tough choices. Become democrat-lite and keep spending and growing and lying.
Put real limits on government. Limit; their pay, term-lengths, taxes, mandates that interfere with business, . . . . basically limit the invasive quality that has been D.C. for way too long.
Until they do make these changes, I'm not voting for them. I plan to vote out as many incumbents on the GOP side as I can. They have been nothing more than liars and hypocrites. And until we get some people in THAT ACTUALLY REPRESENT the values and concerns of conservatives, they have no place in American politics.
They can get a job at Denny's. I hear they're hiring.