Thursday, February 11, 2010

Moderate Republicans crash tea party

"Tea party" Republicans aren't the only candidates poised to make inroads this year - moderate Republicans are surging from Illinois to California, and in several instances proving they can best tea-party-powered conservatives at the polls. Take the Illinois Republican Senate primary: Patrick Hughes, a developer and political newcomer, seemed to have the wind at his back as a staunch fiscal conservative and favorite of the tea party movement. His chief rival, Rep. Mark Kirk, was routinely blasted as a RINO - Republican in Name Only - for his more moderate record, which includes votes for cap-and-trade emissions legislation and the bank bailouts. But Mr. Kirk won the Feb. 2 primary easily, capturing 56 percent of the vote against Mr. Hughes, who took 19 percent. Three other challengers split the rest of the vote. It's possible the stars may be aligning for moderate Republicans in 2010. With the nation focused on the economy and wars in the Middle East, moderate candidates may be able to tip-toe around the hot-button social issues that can trip them up in right-leaning more

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