Party favors

Splits Threaten GOP 'Renaissance'

Divisions within the Republican Party threaten chances of a "Republican renaissance," the term party chief Michael Steele used Wednesday to describe gubernatorial victories in New Jersey and Virginia. As both parties now turn their attention to the 2010 midterms, tensions between moderates and conservatives in the GOP are heating up in important races from Florida to Illinois to California. One moderate, Rep. Mark Kirk, has contacted Sarah Palin's camp, hoping an early endorsement could head off potential trouble. It's the kind of move that's been repeating even in seats of Yankee moderatism like Connecticut. In Washington, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas warned of self-immolation. "We need to temper our conservative approach with pragmatism," the senator told The Washington Post.