The Republican Party leadership nominated state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava as the Republican candidate to replace McHugh; meanwhile, the state Conservative Party nominated Douglas Hoffman, who is far to right of the Republican candidate.
Hoffman's been getting support from out-of-state Republicans like Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, who both have aspirations to higher office. Scozzafava, you see, is an old-fashioned, northeast Republican: socially liberal (pro-abortion rights, pro-gay marriage), fiscally conservative, pro-business. That's just not acceptable to the "Republican base;" i.e. the farthest-right wing. Today, Scozzafava withdrew from the race, because she's losing support, not raising enough money, and she and Hoffman are in a dead draw.
Of all people. Newt Gingrich is troubled by this dynamic. Here's how he's quoted in today's Times:
“This makes life more complicated from the standpoint of this: If we get into a cycle where every time one side loses, they run a third-party candidate, we’ll make Pelosi speaker for life and guarantee Obama’s re-election.”I can see how that prospect might bother a few Republicans. Will they push themselves even further from the center, or split entirely? Read the whole story in today's Times.