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Tea-Party Activists Complicate Republican Comeback Strategy – WSJ.com

October 15, 2009

tea_party_protest_033OCTOBER 16, 2009

Tea-Party Activists Complicate Republican Comeback Strategy

By NAFTALI BENDAVID

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. — The rise of conservative “tea party” activists around the country has created a dilemma for Republicans. They are breathing life into the party’s quest to regain power. But they’re also waging war on some candidates hand-picked by GOP leaders as the most likely to win.

In upstate New York, Dede Scozzafava, 49 years old, is the choice of local party leaders to defend a Republican seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, an abortion-rights candidate who could appeal to independents. Doug Hoffman, 59, is a local accountant backed by tea-party activists who has jumped into the race declaring himself the real conservative.

Conservative politics has been given a boost with the rise of “tea party” activists. But WSJ’s Naftali Bendavid says the support could backfire on the Republican Party, as opposition mounts to a number of the party’s midterm election candidates.

Mr. Hoffman has siphoned so much support from Ms. Scozzafava that their Democratic rival has vaulted into the lead, according to a poll released Thursday. The election is Nov. 3.

“I am not your run-of-the-mill politician, and maybe that’s why the Republican bosses didn’t like me,” Mr. Hoffman told a recent health-care forum sponsored by the Upstate New York Tea Party. In an interview, Ms. Scozzafava acknowledged her discomfort at the event. “I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy audience for me,” she said.

Republicans are poised to pick up a number of seats in next year’s congressional elections, pollsters estimate, on the back of a deep recession, public unease about the growth of government and the size of the nation’s deficit. Anti-Obama activism manifested in rallies and town-hall meetings has galvanized conservatives, injecting enthusiasm into the Republican base.

via Tea-Party Activists Complicate Republican Comeback Strategy – WSJ.com.

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2 Comments
  1. Teri permalink
    October 16, 2009 5:24 AM

    So how did the national “hand picked to have the best chance of winning” candidate – John mcCain do ? I held my nose and voted for mccain, but he did not represent me at all. No more voting for non-republican republicans. If we lose at least we will lose honestly.

  2. polipath permalink
    October 16, 2009 12:15 PM

    The GOP is a schizoid party and has been for decades. It’s an oil+ water blend of mid-America conservatives and mostly east-west coast RINO’$. To be a viable and politically effective party the GOP needs to purge the latter who play both sides of the political street in the service of their global business enterprises. Too often they support the Left on key issues. Let them run as Independents or Dem’s but get them off the RNC payroll.

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