ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM

Moderate Republicans Face Dozen Primaries

Election day is in full swing, but with moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava's withdrawal from Tuesday’s special congressional election energizing the conservative wing of the Republican Party, GOP strategists are already facing the possibility that the party's right wing will challenge about a dozen of their top candidates in 2010 primaries, Politico reports. Florida Governor Charlie Crist, Connecticut Representative Rob Simmons and Illinois Representative Mark Kirk—all candidates for highly contested Senate seats—are in the crosshairs for conservative activists who find their politics too liberal. In what might be the most high-profile of these battles, Crist, a moderate Republican and popular Florida governor, is being challenged for the Republican senate nomination by Marco Rubio a favorite of the right-wing tea party movement who's received an endorsement from Jim DeMint (R-SC).