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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

NJ-Gov: Republicans Eating Republicans (A Continuing Series)

Posted by DavidNYC

I have a feeling that stories of Republican civil war are going to become more and more common throughout the next year, especially with many GOPers already feeling the need to run away from Bush. My favorite example so far has been the pro-stem cell ballot measure in Missouri. It's already causing serious upheaval. A thousand miles away, Blue Jersey brings us another similar tale, now picked up by Newsday:

Forrester picked up an endorsement Tuesday from the Republican Majority for Choice, a Washington-based lobbying group that backs moderates.

Not so bad, right? I mean, at least maybe this means Forrester isn't a crazy misogynistic retrograde mouth-breather when it comes to matters of healthcare privacy. But of course, you're damned if you do when you're a GOPer:

Joseph Tomanelli, a conservative activist from Bergen County who heads the New Jersey Republican Assembly, has withdrawn his endorsement of GOP gubernatorial candidate Douglas Forrester, citing a TV commercial from former Governor Thomas Kean touting Forrester's moderate, pro-choice credentials and a letter from former Governor Christine Todd Whitman criticizing conservative extremism in the Republican Party.

I've long believed that predictions of a conservative crackup - of the "true" winger base deserting the Republican Party - are overblown and, even if they came to pass, the results would be largely inconsequential. Even today, despite a stream of failures and the stench of scandal, Bush still gets an 81% approval rating from members of his own party, which is pretty much in line with his ratings during the whole of his presidency. And in moderate New Jersey, I can't imagine the wingers add up to much.

But Doug Forrester is in dire straits, and he needs every vote he can get. The key to his victory is probably among independents, but I think any move he would have made among this group due to his abortion stance would have already taken place. I say this because former Gov. Tom Kean's ad touting Forrester's alleged pro-choice stance has been on the airwaves for a while now. Why some right-wing extremists are only now being driven away from Forrester - after this endorsement, rather than the Kean ads - is a bit of a mystery. But like I say, this doesn't help Dougy F.

UPDATE: Chris points to a new Rasmussen poll which pegs Bush's approval among Republicans at just 73%. Now that is really quite something, and definitely food for thought. Will be very interested to see if that trend holds for Rasmussen's next poll.

Posted at 12:16 AM in 2005 Elections, New Jersey | Technorati

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