Reports: GOP gives up on Scozzafava? Update: Issa switches to Hoffman

posted at 6:50 pm on October 30, 2009 by Allahpundit

A Scozzafava spokesman denies it, but bloggers in the area and now Red State are hearing that it’s true. This doesn’t mean that the party’s unendorsing her, mind you, merely that they’re not going to blow any more dough on propping up a failed effort.

The NRCC tells me directly that they are only spending money on anti-Owens ads. The anti-Hoffman YouTube? Gone. The anti-Hoffman press releases? Gone. The anti-Hoffman everything else? Gone.

The pro-Dede Scozzafava stuff? Gone too.

The RNC ground crews? They are pulling out to New Jersey.

This smells more like a cosmetic concession to the base than some meaningful attempt to help Hoffman win. The election’s in four days; unless the GOP dumps her completely and swings fully behind him, she’s likely to retain a fair number of party-line Republican voters in the booth. But they can’t do that or else it’ll encourage every independent conservative candidate in America to mount third-party challenges next year, and then the curse of Gingrich will be fully upon us.

In fact, it might be upon us already:

With Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman running neck and neck with the Democrat in Tuesday’s special election in New York, some other disaffected Republicans are seeing the third-party route as more viable.

And it could hurt the Republicans in those races.

In Virginia’s 5th district, state Sen. Robert Hurt’s entry into the GOP primary has spurred little-known candidate Bradley Rees to switch to the Virginia Conservative Party. And in Ohio, another GOP primary contender said this week that he’ll run as a Constitution Party candidate.

Both will go at the GOP nominees from their right flanks and try to expose some unhappiness in conservative ranks. They might not be as well-funded as Hoffman or be filling quite as big a vacuum as the one left by Republican Dede Scozzafava’s left-leaning politcs, but they could steal valuable votes.

If the worst happens and the GOP is deluged with independent challenges next year (possibly spurred on by Glenn Beck?), then you know what the headline will be the day after the midterms, don’t you? “Dede’s Revenge.”

Update: Darrell Issa, trailblazer? “It will be interesting to see if other Scozzafava backers follow Issa’s example in the name of keeping the seat in GOP hands.”

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People seem to forget that the Republican Party was once a third party alternative to the Whig Party when the Whig Party lost their way. The Whigs began waning in their support of abolition of slavery because they feared it would break up the nation. This third party split gave us Lincoln and eventually caused the Whig party to fade away. The rest is history.

Do I think that a third party needs to be formed? No. I believe in Reagan when he said that we don’t need to form a third party but take back the GOP. But if it takes disenfranchised conservatives running as independents against RINOs and liberals masquerading as Republicans to send a message to the GOP, then so be it.

Even if Hoffman loses in NY-23, but comes in a close second, this should tell the GOP to get fully behind conservatives, at least Republicans who are fiscally conservative, strong on national defense, and strong on curbing illegal immigration; however, may have differing opinions on social issues. Social issues are not our top priority at this time.

Hoffman will definitely win in 2010 if fully backed by the GOP.

DoS_Conservative on October 31, 2009 at 1:00 AM

Your humble Babyler hopes a very tersely worded email from myself and other even far more important family to Reince Prebus about this might have helped.

babylonandon on October 31, 2009 at 1:40 AM

DoS_Conservative on October 31, 2009 at 1:00 AM

The result of the election in NY-23 is almost irrelevant now. One thing for sure is that the Democratic candidate will not come close to a majority. The lesson learned here is that the this is a safe Republican district. There is absolutely no reason to be nominating a “moderate”. In districts where Dems draw 60% they nominate people like Stark and Rangel. Why the hell is the NRCC pushing for a moderate in a Republican district? RINOs may be necessary but they sure aren’t required.

Rocks on October 31, 2009 at 1:47 AM

This is priceless:

In Key New York Race, Barracuda Chews Up Mitt

Romney ducks the leadership test

What do you find most often in the middle of the road? Road kill. Mitt Romney, who hopes to be the GOP’s next presidential nominee, couldn’t bring himself to endorse anyone in New York state’s contentious 23rd congressional district special election.

The contest, which features a liberal Republican, Dede Scozzafava, and a conservative one, Doug Hoffman, has been a flashpoint for a party in search of its identity. An all-star lineup of national party leaders has weighed in, allowing themselves to be defined by whose side they’re on. But not Romney. The former Massachusetts governor passed, and this could have serious ramifications down the road.

The cliche about the two parties and their presidential selection process is that Democrats “want to fall in love” — and the GOP “falls in line.” The donkeys have emotion-filled knock-down-drag-out affairs involving passionate characters who — win or lose — leave a dramatic mark for decades. The GOP dutifully takes note of who came in second the last time and, well, the odds are that he’ll be the candidate in the next go-round.

Based on that tradition, Romney should be the favorite for the 2012 nomination. But signs are that the Republican grassroots are in a rebellious mood and may not want to fall in line this time. Over the last year, as the Tea Party movement has gathered steam, it’s been clear that its disgust with the nation’s outrageous spending is aimed at George W. Bush as much as Barack Obama.

The conservative grassroots have rejected Scozzava, the party’s official candidate in New York’s 23rd. It started out with the base in the district as conservatives gathered around businessman Doug Hoffman and that rebellion has now gone national. Sarah Palin, using her unique sense of timing, one week ago became the biggest name of in-prime party leaders to endorse Hoffman. Had she stayed on the sidelines, this contest could have played out in predictable fashion: Republicans stayed split and Democrat Bill Owens would have cruised to victory. Instead, by all appearances, the conservative revolt has succeeded. Even the national GOP — which had endorsed Scozzafava and was slamming outsider Hoffman as much as Democrat Owens — is now recognizing that district voters seem to flocking to Hoffman.

Outside observers who want to dismiss Palin do so at their peril. But, there appears to be a reason that her basketball-playing nickname was “Barracuda.” Recall she was the one who coined (or at least made viral) the phrase “death panel” during the health care fight during the summer — forcing Democrats and the White House onto the defensive. Whether Palin is doing all this for PR purposes (her book comes out in three weeks) or being reckless in her political rhetoric, the fact is she is having an impact on the broader debate — and continuing to resonate with her party’s base.

Mitt Romney? Not so much. His voice hasn’t been heard during the battle over health care. And then, Thursday he gave the vaguest statement on the race:

“I have chosen not to endorse the Republican candidate in New York’s 23rd District,” Romney told reporters while campaigning in Virginia for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. “That should speak a certain amount of volume. I can’t endorse our candidate in that race.”

Yeah, Mitt, that does speak “a certain amount of volume.” It says that you’re willing to campaign for a gubernatorial candidate who has had the Virginia race in the bag for months — but not make a controversial, yet, dynamic decision in a race that would have significant ripples across the country. Palin (and Tim Pawlenty quickly following the former Alaska governor) recognized where the base’s train was going and quickly got on board. Romney missed the train — and missed the opportunity to take a significant role in a tough internal ideological debate that his party is undergoing. Even if Romney endorsed Scozzafava (as former Speaker Newt Gingrich did), at least he would have made a principled decision and could have articulated his reasons for it.

Instead, he looks completely wishy-washy.

It’s a long three years before the GOP selects its next presidential nominee. But the guy who wants it ducked a key leadership test real early.

gary4205 on October 31, 2009 at 1:58 AM

In most of that district, the closest major city is Ottawa. Ask them how well a divided right-wing worked for them.


How did non-divided Dem-lite work out for us?

xblade on October 31, 2009 at 3:23 AM

If the voters of NY23 cannot see the writing on the wall, put there by the left running Pelosi and chose to vote for a Dem or for Dede, then that is what it is. What Newt thinks, what the vaunted Republican establishment thinks is of no consequence. Why is it they back a liberal in sheep’s clothing in a day and time like this? Why are they fighting the same failed “last war” strategy like most old generals always do?

What happened to the Republican party? Why is it that the old guard, who have failed is time and again, get to chose? In Florida, a solid young conservative (Doesn’t Newt remember when he was that man?) is going against a Obama hugging professional compromised “old guard” Republican. He could win and be the next Newt. But no, Crist’s people are pulling stunts like they were liberal, corrupt democrats and possibly violating the law. Why?

In truth, if it takes this cycle to send a message to the old guard for next cycle that enough is enough, then so be it. They picked poorly the candidates who do not represent our views. They did it with a failed theory and a failed strategy. Now they are caught and are whining.

Too bad. Suck it up and learn. The radical left took over the Dems and see what they did. We need to take over the Republicans and make it our party. Send the message.

archer52 on October 31, 2009 at 7:18 AM

The great neutralizer to third party opportunists? Sarah Palin. A tag team of Sarah and Fred would be perfect, perhaps a little Dick Armey as well.

If a Consevative wins the primary, then you don’t have to worry about a third party candidate. Hoffman never had a primary, this is the problem. If a fiscal Conservative wins a primary, there still won’t be much room for a third party, especially if the tag team of Sarah and Fred endorse the Republican.

If a Rino wins a Republican primary, then most likely said Rino won’t win against the Democrat anyway. If Republican voters are electing Rinos themselves, then that whole district is blue.

3rd party candidates are a double edged sword for sure, but the whole reason for the Hoffman movement was to send a message to the Republican party not to ignore conservative voters and fiscal conservatism in particular. Back the most conservative candidate who has a chance of winning.

If Christie were smart and daring, he would have Palin campaign for him in areas where Daggett is polling well and hurting him most.

Daemonocracy on October 31, 2009 at 7:43 AM

Don’t know why Issa manages to escape the scrutiny of the likes of HotAir, Hannity and Beck regarding these things …. Hmmm, could it be that it is because Issa is a … Republican?

sanantonian on October 31, 2009 at 1:00 AM

It’s not like Republicans are EVER criticized on Hot Air…nahhhh….

ddrintn on October 31, 2009 at 9:15 AM

I’m not worried about Hoffman starting a “third party” trend. Don’t forget that if Scozzafava were a legitimate option for conservatives, Hoffman would never have gained traction. I like Doug a lot, but realistically, his big boost was due in large part to Dede being a complete joke of a Republican.

Tea party conservatives can launch 3rd party runs elsewhere if they want, but if they are running against Republicans who are at the very least moderate (let’s stop the joke, Dede’s no moderate) to center-right or outright conservative, they’ll go nowhere.

Red Cloud on October 31, 2009 at 9:32 AM

The first question to all prospective candidates prior to going on the Repub ticket should be – are you pro-life or pro-death? Few want to show their hand as it’s a sticky issue but it separates the real from the pretenders.

Annie on October 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM

As suggested by many others, if the GOP pulls it’s head out of it’s a$$ and slates conservative candidates, there will be no need for third party challenges. The only question is whether their head is so far up the anal orifice as to be unmoveable.

SKYFOX on October 31, 2009 at 10:56 AM

If the worst happens and the GOP is deluged with independent challenges next year (possibly spurred on by Glenn Beck?), then you know what the headline will be the day after the midterms, don’t you? “Dede’s Revenge.”

What these beltway idiots don’t get is that third party challenges only work when the major party candidate is untenably bad. Ross Perot got 19% because Bush 41 was an awful candidate. Bill Clinton got elected, but it helped teach the GOP the value of respecting Conservative ideals. Sure enough, Newt & friends in the house grew a spine and engineered a takeover of the Congress for the first time since the Depression.

I suspect the result will be a severe reluctance on the part of the GOP to nominate and try to run RINO candidates outside of extremely liberal districts where a real Republican wouldn’t stand a chance of winning. And you know what? I’m perfectly happy with that.

Outlander on October 31, 2009 at 1:39 PM

If the worst happens and the GOP is deluged with independent challenges next year (possibly spurred on by Glenn Beck?), then you know what the headline will be the day after the midterms, don’t you? “Dede’s Revenge.”

No doubt the MSM will print those headlines, but the truth is that the Republican Party kicked Conservatives to the curb and now they’ve picked themselves up and are moving on without the Republican Party when necessary.

RJL on October 31, 2009 at 2:27 PM

What is real deal with Issa…Debbie Schullsel contends that he is a hezbollah supporter and a gangster…she has facts on her website to backupthese allegations. Politics these days are very dark indeed……

nondhimmie on October 31, 2009 at 5:26 PM