ABC News’ David Chalian Reports: The voters have not yet gone to the polls and not a single vote has yet been counted, but Democrats are eager to use the special House race up in New York’s 23rd congressional district as evidence that the Republican Party has become a party of extremists.
Clearly, the ideal result for Democrats on Tuesday night in the special House race in upstate New York is to have the right split its votes between the Republican and Conservative Party candidates and emerge victorious, flipping a Republican seat and putting the GOP 41 seats away from the majority.
Barring that ideal, Democrats are beginning to lay the groundwork by painting a potential victory by Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate, as confirmation that the Republican Party is a party of extreme ideological purists .
“I think you are seeing play out this fight that’s going on within the Republican Party nationally between those who believe that the Republican Party is not ideologically pure enough yet, that they’re not holding to their ideals, and those who believe there should be greater pragmatism and breadth of opinion within the Republican Party,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen said at a Thursday breakfast with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
“And it’s pretty clear in NY-23, those who support the more extreme right wing agenda of the Republican Party are winning because the Republican candidate has fallen dramatically in the polls, DeDe Scozzafava, the non-Republican party candidate, the Conservative Party candidate has surged ahead,” he added.
The chairman of the House Democratic campaign arm also said that the Republican leadership in Washington has been “hijacked” by the right wing of their party.
“I do think it is a sign that – this civil war within the Republican Party -- and so far it seems that the extreme voices are prevailing in that debate within the party -- certainly that’s true in Washington. . . where the Republican Party leadership seems to have become hijacked by the more extreme voices around the country.”