Some people are getting too worried about "losing" NY-23. We are talking about the special congressional election next week in New York's 23rd District, in which NY voters are electing a successor to John McHugh (R), nominated to be Secretary of the Army.
OK. It's true that some Republican leaders have endorsed the offical Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, and other have endorsed the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman. Oh No, some people are worrying. That will split the conservative vote and elect a Democrat.
Seriously, we have more important fish to fry. And the elections of 2009 give conservatives a free pass on deciding what it will take to win elections in 2010 and beyond.
The GOP leaders nominated Scozzafava on the assumption that a nice non-controversial moderate Republican was the safest choice to retain the NY-23 seat in the (R) column. It looks like they were wrong. Dead wrong. But hey, everyone makes mistakes. The trick is not to repeat the same mistake over and over again.
Meanwhile in Virginia the conservative Republican candidate, Bob McDonnell, seems to be running away from the Democrat Creigh Deede.
In New Jersey, the moderate Republican Chris Christie is only level-pegging against incumbent Democratic billionaire Jon Corzine, with independent Chris Daggett creating a stir.
What will be the result? Well, whatever it is, it will tell the political professionals, and also you and me, a lot about what it will take to win in 2010.
The fact is that, with Obama in the White House and the Tea Party movement entering the arena, we don't know what will move the needle. Is it a centrist GOP? Is it a hard-right GOP, purged of the RINOs? Or is it a moderately conservative GOP that can attract the Tea Partiers?
And what, exactly, do the Tea Partiers want?
My guess is that a week from now we will start to get a feel for what the 40 percent of Americans who call themselves conservatives, and the 35 percent of Americans who call themselves moderates or independents, really want.
Liberals, a mere 20 percent of Americans, need not apply. You chaps better get what you can, while you can. Because politics is going to be different after Obama.