Republican Dede Scozzafava had the Congressional race in New York's 23rd district all locked up. Democrat Bill Owens posed no threat and third-party Doug Hoffman of the Conservative Party was making a mostly symbolic run. But then the conservative grassroots got involved, launching a national campaign against a Scozzafava for her moderate policies and against her GOP backers in the party establishment. Now Scozzafava is down in the polls and Owens may win the seat he was never considered a serious chance for. At the vanguard of the grassroots campaign has been Erick Erickson, blogger and editor of RedState.
Erickson has made NY23 his mission. Erickson called the race "a Hill to Die On" for conservatives. He accused Scozzafava of "Funnel[ing] Campaign Cash to Family." He slammed Newt Gingrich, Scozzafava's most high-profile backer, writing, "Today Newt Gingrich Takes Himself Out of the 2012 Running [...] Gingrich no longer wants to nor can he be seen as a conservative." Erickson called for Scozzafava to withdraw and demanded new national GOP leadership. He even raised money for Hoffman. The wider conservative world took note, and soon endorsements for Hoffman rolled in from Sarah Palin, the Club for Growth, Steve Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, even sitting Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.