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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

210,000

That's the amount of money that Conservative party nominee Doug Hoffman raised online in the last seven days in support of his candidacy in the special election in New York's 23rd district, according to a source close to the campaign.

The source would not speculate on what Hoffman's total raised number would be when reports are filed with the Federal Election by midnight tonight. But, his Internet haul almost certainly means he will outdistance state Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, the Republican nominee, who, party strategists acknowledge, will post a very weak report. (Hoffman, Scozzafava nor Democrat Bill Owens had filed their reports at press time.)

Hoffman's startling success in raising cash on the web suggests -- as has been made clear in tea party protests and town halls over the spring and summer -- that the conservative base of the Republican party is energized and voting with their feet and their wallets (and often against the picks of the party establishment).

Hoffman's candidacy was born out of a belief that Scozzafava was insufficiently conservative and not entirely committed to the core principles of the party.

It's the same impetus behind Kentucky businessman Rand Paul's Senate bid against establishment pick Trey Grayson, the Secretary of State, and the same basic philosophical divide animating Republican candidates to run or consider primary challenges against nationally favored Senate candidates in New Hampshire, Florida and Colorado.

The challenge for candidates, strategist and party leaders presented by the uprising of conservatives was framed nicely by Politico's Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen in a piece this morning.

Wrote the duo:

"The challenge is to tap into the richest source of energy in the party -- the disgust of grass-roots conservative activists with President Barack Obama and their hunger for a full-throated attack on his agenda -- without coming off to the broader public as cranky and extreme."

The other major problem for the party is that some of the candidates being championed by conservatives do not necessarily represent Republicans' best chance of taking over seats. (Witness Hoffman's poorly reviewed performance in front of a local newspaper editorial board today.)

A disconnect between a party's base and its establishment is nothing new. The former is motivated by their collective heart, the latter their heads. But, Republican leaders have yet to figure out how harness the energy within the most conservative elements of the party while not allowing that segment of the GOP to grab the steering wheel.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 22, 2009; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

This is the only way the Republican party will survive. No-one wants a Dem. lite party. The RNC can't be trusted. Conservatives are supporting conservative candidates in the Republican party or an Independent candidate. They will not support a so-called conservative Dem. The votes are there.

Posted by: karlee8008 | October 23, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

It's just New York.

Posted by: newbeeboy | October 23, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

Nice here without the primary jerk. Now if only the secondary would go under the wheels of a bus too.

The loon has no self awareness. Even other libs have declared him ultimately stupid. And on this blog that is a certain statement.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

"Hoffman's startling success in raising cash on the web suggests -- as has been made clear in tea party protests and town halls over the spring and summer -- that the conservative base of the Republican party is energized and voting with their feet and their wallets (and often against the picks of the party establishment)."

I had a house fire years ago, nobody hurt but the layers of old vinyl wall paper in the kitchen smoked up the place something awful. Thanks to the insistance of my Mortgaga Company and my Insurance Company I was insured at 120% of replacement value. On the day the Insurance company and the rebuilding contractor arrived and did their inspection, I followed that around as, room after room the Insurance adjuster kept saying, no choice, new carpet, new paint new... . When he got to the last room and noted that the heat had bowed a pair of leaded glass windows and directed their complete replacement, I had to tell him that, if he gave me any more bad news I would be forced to take to champaign to deal with it.

The Rabid Right is hell bent on owning every candidate who tries to fill an elective slot vacated to supply talent in the Obama Administration, and has the money to pay for platinum plated snickersnees. They have them out and honed like flensing knives on the Pequod. Republican Hides will soon deecorate the finest men's dens in all of GOPdome.

Any more of this bad news and even harry Reid will be grinning from ear to ear.

Go Rabid Righters, skin them RINOs.

Keep a short sword sharp for Mr Steele to fall on when you have the success your tactics invite.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 22, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Nice here without the primary jerk. Now if only the secondary would go under the wheels of a bus too.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

stupid

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

I see it's looniest poster ever hour. How is that
conversation with yourself going?

As more and more liberal failures stack up, they are desperate to find someone, anyone, to blame it on. Watch the ridiculous spin they try to put on the electoral losses.

Dingy Harry can't even get over 50 with 60 votes. Lib math.

Posted by: snowbama | October 22, 2009 8:14 PM | Report abuse

We've gone the "big tent" way and THAT does not work.

==

And when was that? I must have blinked and missed it.

The GOP "tent" has been shrinking as long as I've been following politics. It's been a steady purge of increasingly immoderate voices .. the real moderates have been gone for decades, now the barely-sane are being forced out by the wholly-insane.

You go ahead and thump your chest in pride at being the party that "doesn't care about being popular" and we'll enjoy the sight of your oily alcoholic noses pressed against the glass.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Who(except the silly chattering class that gave us Obama)gives a damn what that dunce E.J.dionne says?He never says anything remotely wise or insightful.The GOP will change(and run candidates that actually stand for what the platform says) or go the way of the Whigs....We've gone the "big tent" way and THAT does not work.Oh, and btw, why are the democrats never lectured about running more "moderate"candidates?The current character in the White House is hardly "moderate"...except to someone with Maoist tendencies....

Posted by: Robo14 | October 22, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne's great take on this NY race in the Post. Wait, this blog is in the Post, too. As EJ explains, this race IS a referendum, one on the future of the GOP:
Informed Moderation v. Bigoted, war-mongering, Palinite insanity.

An excerpt from EJ's piece:

"Is there room in the Republican Party for genuine moderates? Truth to tell, the GOP can't decide. More precisely, it's deeply divided over whether it should allow any divisions in the party at all.

That's why the brawl in a single congressional district in far Upstate New York is drawing the eyes of the nation. Conservatives are determined to use the race to prove that there is no place in the party for heretics, dissidents or independents.

***

It demonstrates just how right-wing some Republicans have become that former House speaker Newt Gingrich is on the moderate side of this civil war against his old nemesis Dick Armey, who served under Gingrich as majority leader.

***

In fact, "us" is getting to be a small, comfy group. The Post-ABC News poll this week found that only 20 percent of adults identify themselves as Republicans, the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983. Only 19 percent had confidence in congressional Republicans "to make the right decisions for the country's future." Even congressional Democrats got 34 percent on that question, and Obama scored 49 percent.

With the moderate Scozzafava's support in apparent collapse, Hoffman has a chance to win next month. Right-wingers will cheer, but the result would be bad news for the Republican Party. It will keep them on a path that Newt Gingrich knows is unsustainable, even if Dick Armey doesn't."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/21/AR2009102102849.html

"20" is still the most important number outside this space, its mothership (Drudge), and BroderWorld. That's the percentage of Americans who self-identify as GOPers.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | October 22, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

But, Republican leaders have yet to figure out how harness the energy within the most conservative elements of the party while not allowing that segment of the GOP to grab the steering wheel.

==

As we on the other side have been saying since well before the 2008 election got started, this is an impossible task.

The GOP base and the moderate middle are irreconcilable. Any candidate who appeals to the GOP base is unelectable.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

The tail wagged the dog croaked.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

But it seems Berger didn't actually read the surveys before wheeling them in during a press conference in which he attacked Perdue's tax policies, among other things. When Perdue's staff skimmed 1,000 or so of the surveys, they found comments that may have given Berger second thoughts.

==

Isn't that just typical.

Kinda like the GOP trolls who triumphantly post hastily googled links that don't actually support them at all.

Sort of like the "GOP Resurgence" polls that get posted here.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

well, i'm a woman, but whatever. You might also appreciate the humor in this:

"When North Carolina state senator Phil Berger (R) trucked a wheelbarrow stacked with Republican surveys into the governor's office, he thought he was delivering a neat blow to Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue.

According to The News & Observer, the 3,000 or so surveys, filled out by prospective Republican voters, included questions such as "Do you think death panels made up of government bureaucrats should decide if your loved ones live or die?"

But it seems Berger didn't actually read the surveys before wheeling them in during a press conference in which he attacked Perdue's tax policies, among other things. When Perdue's staff skimmed 1,000 or so of the surveys, they found comments that may have given Berger second thoughts.

"I am embarrassed to be associated with this organization. Your tactics are disgusting and you're going to lose a generation of voters," was one, Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson told the News.

"Stop wording questions so geared up to get the answers you want and start wording them to actually find out the people's opinion, not just confirm your own," read another.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

"How the Right Got it Wrong" will be the book to publish after they lose the next election in a big way.

==

I like the cut of your jib sir

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

How much does 'Mikematt' sounds like he is actually Doug Hoffman?

==

If he was any more obvious a plant he'd be in a ceramic pot

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

How much does 'Mikematt' sounds like he is actually Doug Hoffman?

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Chis is just starting to realize how the Republican Rising! lost its way."

Yep. "How Republcans Lost the Middle,' is not a bad idea shrink, although I think "How the Right Got it Wrong" will be the book to publish after they lose the next election in a big way.

Posted by: drindl | October 22, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Ergo Hoffman is the only candidate that represents mainstream Republicans.

==

No, that would mean he represents teabagger Republicans, who are not the mainstream, however much they scream they are.

Face it: the Base is marginal.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Nivbri21 states that Hoffman knows little about his district, which is absolutely false.

Doug Hoffman is a product of upstate New York. The second of four children, he was raised by a single mother in Saranac Lake in the heart of the Adirondack Park.

Though he graduated near the top of his class at Saranac Regional High, his future looked bleak. He simply could not afford the cost of a college education, but local business and civic leaders believed in him and soon raised the scholarship money he needed. Over the course of his undergraduate career Doug attended North Country Community College, SUNY Canton and graduated in 1973 from SUNY Plattsburgh with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting.

In 1977 Doug and his family returned to the North Country for a new job as Assistant Controller for the Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Organizing Committee. On his first day on the job his boss quit and at 27 years old Doug assumed the position of Corporate Controller, overseeing a budget of $150 million and eventually 2,500 employees and 6000 volunteers. After the completion of the Olympics, Doug managed to negotiate the purchase of a local accounting firm and thus launch his career as CPA, entrepreneur and civic leader.

Today, 29 years later, Doug is a Managing Partner of Dragon Benware Crowley & Co.
( www.dragonbenware.com ) with five offices across the North Country and oversees Hoffman Family Enterprise ( www.hoffmanfamilyenterprises.com ) a diverse group of companies involved in Investments, Real Estate, Construction, Hospitality and Tourism in and around the Lake Placid/Saranac Lake area.

Over the years Doug has played an active leadership role in his community donating time, energy, and wisdom to such organizations as the: Adirondack Medical Center, Adirondack Medical Center Foundation, Olympic Regional Development Authority, North Country Community College, Adirondack Economic Development Corporation, Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, Lake Placid Fire Department, North Elba/Essex County Republican Committee, Lake Placid Lions Club and the Adirondack Community Methodist Church.

Posted by: Mikekarnat | October 22, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Scozzafava is toast and if GOP party leaders had any guts or principles they should call on her to suspend her campaign.

As for national attention and national money, last time I checked a member of Congress votes on national issues. Where the candidates stand on national issues is the the differentiator. Owens the Dem and Scozzafava the Rep have similar liberal social views. They differ only in degree on economic matters, generally both being pro-Obama (stimulus, card-check, taxes, etc.) Ergo Hoffman is the only candidate that represents mainstream Republicans.

Posted by: TooMuchSoccer | October 22, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Hoffman knows nothing about the district he wants to represent but he is focused on national issues. He wasn't picked by the Republicans because he didn't know anything about the district. People vote on local issues a lot of the time even though representative is a national job not a local one.

Posted by: nivbri21 | October 22, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

" . . .how [to] harness the energy within the most conservative elements of the party while not allowing that segment of the GOP to grab the steering wheel."

Horse & buggy vs. automobile. Make up your mind. Since we are discussing the reactionaries, I would go for buggy:

harness the energy vs. drop the reins?

That's the sort of mixed metaphor that makes me cheerful for the rest of the day.

Posted by: ffoulks | October 22, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

What Picking Palin Did

==

Why Picking Palin Pickled 'Publican Prospects Permanently

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How is this for a penetrating glimpse at the obvious:

"The other major problem for the party is that some of the candidates being championed by conservatives do not necessarily represent Republicans' best chance of taking over seats."

Chis is just starting to realize how the Republican Rising! lost its way.

I still think it is a really cool book idea.

Title?

What Picking Palin Did

The Year Moderate Republicans Opened Pandora's Box

How Republicans Lost the Middle, the Revolutionary Road to Nowhere.

I'll bet an ad copy writer could do this list better.

Posted by: shrink2 | October 22, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Question is where the cash is coming from. If he is getting money from a true grassroots energy, that portends electoral success a lot more than if he is getting all that cash from CFG bundlers. Money is money, but the ability to get people to give you money is an important indicator as well.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 22, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

There was no primary for this race; the Republican nominee was chosen by local committee chairmen. Hoffman tried for the nomination, didn't get it, and decided to run as a Conservative instead.

It seems to me that Hoffman might have been able to win a Republican primary. If so, he would have been in a much better position against Owens, since he wouldn't be competing with Scozzafava. It looks like the local Republican committees may have lost themselves the race.

Posted by: Blarg | October 22, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

DEAD MAN'S CURVE?

"Grab the steering wheel"? The extreme right pitchfork people have run the Republican party hot-rod into the ditch with a hard-right lurch. And musings about the prospects of Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann are helping to keep their beater stuck in the dirt. And this from the party of Eisenhower (see "Farewell Address") and Lincoln...

So please, CC: More Sarah-Bachmann Overdrive!

***

ATTENTION A.G. HOLDER/POTUS/VPOTUS:

Where is the DOJ Civil Rights Division investigation into the covert use of silent, harmful microwave and laser directed energy weapons systems on unjustly targeted Americans and their families by a Bush-legacy federal-local "multi-agency coordinated action program" that continues to commit civil and human rights violations under Team Obama...

...including government-enabled, warrantless GPS-activated, covert "community stalking" harassment, surreptitious home entries, and domestic terrorism?

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

So where do these trog more-conservative-than-thou Republicans expect to pick up the votes? They're not doing the math.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 22, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the uber-right-wing fringe ranting-heads just start the "God-R-Us" party and get it over with.

Posted by: hayden1 | October 22, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh, sweet music. The split of the 20% hard-right from the other 10% republicans and right-leaning independents means that in a 3-way split, democrats win.

Can we duplicate this in the rest of the country? Please??

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 22, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

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