The NY-23 special election has led to a very interesting development: A whole lot of prominent Republicans are openly calling for the defeat of the moderate Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, opting instead to back the Conservative Party's Doug Hoffman, while just a few are sticking by the actual GOP candidate.
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This race has put two former House GOP leaders on different sides, the NRA against the Club For Growth, and the House GOP leadership against its own back-benches.
The message being sent here is loud and clear: Republicans are not allowed to nominate moderate candidates. If they do, it won't just be the grassroots activists and conservative bloggers who will complain -- the big names will do it, too, and will set out to defeat that candidate, even if means the Democrats wins. As a prominent pro-life activist told me about the prospect of a Democratic victory, "It's a shame that the Republican Party didn't do a better job of selecting a candidate."
Let's look at the list of Republicans who are supporting Hoffman, and the ones supporting Scozzafava. Let's start with Scozzafava's backers -- it's a much shorter list.