WASHINGTON (CNN) - After a dizzying few days of prominent Republican endorsements of the Conservative Party's nominee in New York's 23rd congressional district, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said he will stand behind the embattled GOP candidate in the upcoming special election.
Steele will back Republican nominee Dede Scozzafava, breaking with some party conservatives - including Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Fred Thompson and Dick Armey - who are backing third-party candidate Doug Hoffman.
"I support the Republican nominee, as the Republican Party chairman," Steele told MSNBC Wednesday morning. "And that's the way it should go."
Scozzafava has an endorsement from former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the NRA - but some prominent conservative leaders, activists and groups who view her as too liberal have thrown their weight behind Hoffman.
Scozzafava, Hoffman and Bill Owens are on the ballot in the special election to fill the congressional seat vacated by former GOP Rep. John Hughes, now President Obama's Secretary of the Army. Election Day is November 3.
(CNN) - If Democrat Bill Owens manages to claim victory in next month's special congressional election in upstate New York, he'll have some unlikely benefactors to thank.
In an echo of the Sen. Arlen Specter-Pat Toomey fight that prompted the Pennsylvania senator to abandon the GOP - many of the toughest attacks on the Republican nominee, state assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, are coming from voters who identify themselves as conservatives. The catcalls from the right became a chorus Thursday, with simultaneous noon editorials from major conservative media outlets - including the National Review, Washington Times, and RedState.com - all calling on Scozzafava to withdraw from the race, citing a run-in earlier this week with a conservative journalist.
The GOP candidate, said the Washington Examiner, "should withdraw from the special election campaign for New York's 23rd congressional district. And donors to the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), which funded Scozzafava, should demand their money back."
The national party re-affirmed its support for Scozzafava. "The NRCC supports Dede in this race," said National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Paul Lindsay. "We will continue to remind central and northern New Yorkers that a vote for Doug Hoffman or Bill Owens is a vote for Nancy Pelosi and her far left, radical agenda."
Both Owens and Scozzafava - but particularly the Republican candidate - have been hit hard by conservatives backing third-party candidate Doug Hoffman, who has now pulled within single digits of the GOP's pick in the most recent survey of district voters.
The campaign for this House seat is the latest display of disaffection from the conservative base over the national GOP's recent candidate recruitment efforts. Hoffman has nabbed the backing of New York's Conservative Party, which generally supports Republican nominees – a nod that, in a state where candidates can run under multiple party lines, can often provide the edge in narrow races.
(Update after the jump: Sarah Palin weighs in)
(CNN) - The conservative Club for Growth is taking aim at both the Democratic and Republican candidates running in the special election to fill former New York Rep. John McHugh's seat.
The group, which has already backed third-party candidate Doug Hoffman, is spending $250,000 on radio and TV ads targeting Democrat Bill Owens and Republican Dede Scozzafava.
Hoffman registered 16 percent in the Siena poll released Thursday. Scozzafava draws 35 percent in the same survey, and the well-funded Owens takes 28 percent.
(CNN) - Republican state assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava appears to have the advantage in the race to fill the U.S. House seat from New York formerly held by John McHugh, now the Secretary of the Army.
According to a new survey from Siena College released Thursday, Scozzafava has a 7-point lead over Democrat Bill Owens, 35-28 percent, in next month's special congressional election in the state's 23rd district.
Doug Hoffman, a conservative third-party candidate who has won some high profile national endorsements, registers 16 percent in the poll.
The district encompasses a broad swath of upstate New York and bends solidly Republican. McHugh won his 2008 reelection race by nearly a 2-1 margin.