Everyone would say that the [Scozzafava] probably wasn't in hindsight the most attractive candidate for the Republicans. If the county chairman had picked a principled conservative from the beginning, they would have probably won rather easily. So, there was a lot of money coming from all sides, and we don't take solace in this, but she ended up being everything that we said she was. I don't buy the argument that this was a struggle within the conservatives. There was no moderate in the race. There may be examples of that in the future, like in Florida.
Is Florida about moderates versus conservatives?
If somebody wants to make that argument, I think they should make that argument, they should use Florida as a better example of New York 23. I also think it's the lesson that John Cornyn learned, which is that the establishment really doesn't need to pick Crist a year before the field is set. It ought to let the primary voters do that, which we're going to. We've got this ad that we release because of Crist's statements today that he never supported the stimulus, when I think it's pretty clear that he did. Our ad makes that pretty clear. That was maybe a little earlier than we were anticipating doing that. But [Marco] Rubio is in a lot of ways a lot different candidate than Hoffman. He's held office before. He's one of the most articulate conservatives in the county right now, able to really deliver a message in a very attractive way. I guess it could be moderates versus conservatives. I don't know if it's a struggle. What we believe in is competition. We try to support candidates who support our issues--strictly economic -- we don't do social issues.
You haven't done social issues historically, but is there a candidate this year that is a fiscal conservative or social moderate that you'd consider supporting?
We have a disciplined process. We do polling, research and interviews--the social issues aren't questions we ask in any of our interviews.
In New York 23, the Conservative Party was very concerned about Scozzafava's gay marriage stance. That is not something you asked in your polls?
How many members do you have and how much money roughly do you anticipate spending in the primaries?
We have about 40,000 members. It's hard to say how much we anticipate spending. We don't know how many races we're going to be involved in yet. Our membership responded in a very enthusiastic way for Hoffman. We ended up bundling over $370,000 in about four weeks. Our membership got very excited about that race. It depends on the candidates and it depends on the dynamics of the particular race. In the last cycle, we spent over $20 million.
Since the election, have you heard from incumbents, have people reached out to the Club who haven't reached out in the past?
That's a regular occurrence. Members of both the House and Senate reach out to us from time to time and make sure we understand their votes.