(John Fund/Political Diary) – The National Republican Congressional Committee will continue to back its candidate in New York’s special House election next week, despite signs conservatives are abandoning the GOP nominee, Dede Scozzafava, in favor of the insurgent candidacy of Doug Hoffman, a Republican running on the Conservative Party line.
But the NRCC is nonetheless playing a cautious game. Internal polls show Ms. Scozzafava slipping into third place with each new revelation about her liberal voting record as a state legislator. Thus the NRCC is running about $250,000 in TV ads to bash Ms. Scozzafava’s Democratic opponent Bill Owens, but confining its attacks on Mr. Hoffman to low-impact press releases.
That’s sound politics, because the parade of Republican notables endorsing Mr. Hoffman continues to grow significantly. They now include former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin, 2000 presidential candidate Steve Forbes, Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas and Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota.
A sure sign that Ms. Scozzafava is in trouble is that Roger Stone, the Peck’s Bad Boy of Republican consultants, has told friends he plans to become involved informally in the New York special election in an effort to defeat Ms. Scozzafava, whom he views as a candidate foisted on the party faithful via a backroom deal.