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The Democratic victory in NY-23 provides an interesting bookend to what was unquestionably a disappointing night for Democrats. As I noted a few days ago, for the right-wingers behind the Hoffman candidacy, knocking out Scozzafava was the big prize. Actually winning the race outright would have been icing on the cake, but hardly necessary.

They have shown they can topple any moderate Republicans who don’t defer to right-wing dominance of the party. On the other hand, the upshot of the Hoffman campaign was a Democratic victory.

What does that suggest about Charlie Crist down in Florida? He’s the next target of the Tea Party crew. Push him aside in favor of right-wing darling Marco Rubio. The big winner of the night was McDonnell, who’s very right-wing but also ran an intentionally non-polarizing campaign.

Will Republicans do Obama a big favor by nominating a crop of Hoffmans for 2010?

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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