Extreme Measures

Centrist Republicans Splitting From Party

Are the extreme right's tactics to push out moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava backfiring? After being the target a vicious smear campaign by various right-wing groups for her arguably moderate stances on abortion and gay marriage, Scozzafava dropped out, ostensibly opening the door for Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to take the historically red 23rd District in upstate New York. But something unexpected is happening, writes Robert Zimmerman at CNN. Scozzafava turned against her party and publicly endorsed Democrat Bill Owens. Then the Watertown Daily Times, which covers multiple counties in the district, shifted its support from Scozzafava to Owens as well. "Although New York's 23rd Congressional District is tough for a Democrat, the real story of this election is how this rural region in upstate New York launched a national movement," Zimmerman writes. "They have put aside their partisan labels and are standing up to the tactics and message of the extreme right wing.