Oh, certainly there was something in there for the Democrats – perhaps a bit of false hope – but Rand Paul defeated the establishment GOP pick handily (hello, Bob Bennett? Charlie Crist?) in Kentucky sending the real message of the night.
Arlen Specter’s defeat was neither a surprise or a disappointment. Who wants a turncoat Republican under a Democratic flag of convenience, there only because it was clear he couldn’t win a Republican primary (see above and join him with Bennett, Crist and Trey Grayson)? Joe Sestak, a former admiral and Democratic congressman, was a much more attractive Democratic candidate.
Blanche Lincoln, the incumbent Arkansas Democratic Senator, was also the establishment Democratic pick and supported by both President Obama and Bill Clinton. She only managed a run-off with Democratic Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.
The seat held by John Murtha went to one of his aides. I’m not at all surprised by that. I’d have loved the irony of a Republican win, but it wasn’t likely according to the polls. Murtha was a king of pork. No one will argue he didn’t lard it on his district. And, in times of economic hardship, voters may have chosen in the hope his former aide will continue that, rather than taking a chance with a Republican. Some analysts see the election as a bellwether for the fall. I’m not seeing that at all, and there’s always the danger for the Donks of giving it more importance than it deserves.
So, what if any messages were sent? For the GOP, the Tea Party effect is real. The message is clear – smaller, less costly and less intrusive government (lower taxes, much less spending). There are enough establishment candidates languishing by the wayside at the moment for even the slowest among the party to begin to understand that. There is certainly an element of anti-incumbency evident there.
For the Democrats, I’d say the message is mixed. It’s hard to say with Lincoln hanging on, a Republican turncoat turned out by a Congressional Democrat and holding on to a Congressional open seat means anti-incumbent fever is sweeping the ranks of the Democratic base. I believe there is an anti-incumbent fever, but it resides mostly among the right and independents.
We’ll know more as we see how the vote breaks down in the key races. I’m very interested to see what independents did. But for right now, the establishment GOP better be responding to their wakeup call and tweaking their message – and perhaps their candidates – for this fall.
We’ll start with Sean Trende at RCP who wonders if 2010 is Anti-incumbent, anti-liberal or anti-Democrat. Trende treats us to a very long and analytical argument which can be summed up with “yes, to all three questions”. Trende is of the opinion that Democrats could lose up to 60 plus seats. Newt Gingrich says 70 plus. I’m sticking with at least enough to make Nancy Pelosi something other than 3 heart-beats away from the Presidency. And I’ll be honest – I’m sort of hoping the Dems retain the majority in the Senate. Anyway, read Trende’s article, see if you agree.
Next up is Howard Fineman who is pretty sure that Obama’s strategy for the midterms is to run against the GOP. He sort of fired that first shot today when he said, in a speech, that if the GOP had had its way and his stimulus had not passed unemployment would be a lot worse than it is today. I’m sure someone will remind him soon of his claim that if the stimulus was passed, unemployment wouldn’t go past 8%. He also apparently challenged the GOP, in a speech in Youngstown today, to tell the workers in a steel plant he was touring “why doing nothing would be better for America”.
Here’s a wild stab – we wouldn’t be up to our asses in trillions of dollars of new debt we can’t afford and looking down a budgetary road that promises trillions more of debt we can’t afford.
But hey, that’s just me. Meanwhile, back to Fineman:
Two years later the president is tentatively unveiling the strategy he and fellow Democrats will pursue in this fall’s election season, and it has a heavy dose of … looking backward. It’s going to be as much about history as hope, and more about attacking Republicans than promoting his own vision. The goal is to give pause to independent voters eager to punish Obama for their economic insecurity by voting for GOP candidates. The message: we can’t return power to the very people who gave us the catastrophic Great Recession to begin with.
Does he honestly think that will sell? Seriously now … does anyone think that trying to blame the other party two years into your presidency and 4 years into a Democratic Congress is going to fool anyone but those who want to be fooled? If I were a member of the GOP I’d pray he did this – it would effectively kill the hope and change meme and squarely plant him in the “old style” politician he said he wasn’t. It’s also a strategy that says he can’t run on his record.
Peter Wallsten has a WSJ piece in which he claims Democrats face a threat from their own base. I heard a Pennsylvania Democrat say today he was voting for Arlen Specter because Pat Toomey, the Republican Senatorial nominee, polled much better against Specter than he does against Sestak. Wallsten claims the rebellion is brewing “among white, working-class voters” – the “bitter clingers” of the past campaign. They’re fed up with the Democrats and Obama.
Lloyd Briggs said he is “fed up” with Washington over the Wall Street bailouts. Peggy Cendarski frets that the Democrats’ “unfair” health-care overhaul will punish those who already have good insurance coverage.
These and other Democratic voters in this blue-collar town said they are ready for a change in Washington. Some are open to backing Democratic challengers to lawmakers the party has supported for many years, and some said they may leave the party entirely come November.
There isn’t any apparent passion for Democrats in PA, although there are some very interesting races. But it is clear that what Democrats have done in the past year – with bailouts and huge spending sprees – has not resonated among the base.
More than a third of Democrats, for example, feel their own party members in Congress are “more concerned about the interests of large corporations” than those of average Americans, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released last week.
Not good news for Democratic incumbents, and I might add, not good news for a strategy that plans to call out the GOP for not voting to bail out Wall Street.
So watch the races carefully that are being voted today. They will provide an indicator of the mood of the country (as if VA, NJ and MA haven’t already given us an inkling). I’m particularly interested in the PA race (both senatorial and Murtha’s old district), KY (Rand Paul) and AR (Lincoln). We’ll talk about them tomorrow – but in the meantime, mull all of this over and remember it as we watch the year unfold toward the mid-terms.
This is a commercial for Alabama Agricultural commissioner. Ag commissioner. You heard me, right – Ag commissioner. One of those high profile jobs.
This is a nuanced beauty of a commercial Think T-Rex in a sheep herd nuanced. See if you pick up on all the subtle signals he’s sending. Frankly, I enjoyed the hell out of given the gales of laughter it caused. Ah the state of politics today. Monitoring it you will never find yourself bored. And, I bet he wins the election as well:
So a relatively obscure Democratic representative of 28 years and with some ethics problems goes down in his primary. In most election cycles you’d be likely pin the loss on the ethics problems and an opponent who successfully capitalized on them. But you really can’t do that this time. In the wake of Republican Bob Bennett’s ouster in Utah, West Virginia’s Rep. Alan Mollohan’s loss may be more than just an ethics problem. In fact, it may have to do with the fact that he’s been in Congress for 28 years than any ethics clouds on his horizon.
It is getting harder and harder to deny there’s an anti-incumbent fever among the voters of this nation. And, it appears, it isn’t dissipating. Many politicians have read the tea leaves and are bailing. David Obey and Bart Stupak know a loser when they see one, even after decades in office. Harry Reid faces an uphill battle for re-election. And so do many more. The GOP needs to get a clue as Bennett’s loss points out. Anti-incumbent fever isn’t just confined to Democrats.
There are those who opine that this is all a referendum on Obama. No, it’s not. While certainly his agenda is contributing to the “vote the bums out” mentality, this is something that has been building for a while. It is a rejection of “government is the answer” mantra and it is a demand for fiscal sanity, the reining in of the federal government and getting it out of our lives. It appears the voters have finally decided this particular class of politicians – on both sides with some exceptions – isn’t the bunch to get that done. Given their history and the conditions under which we suffer today because of them, I’d have to agree.
Watch for more of this in the coming months.
More blacks are running for Congress as Republicans this year than at any time since Reconstruction. 32 in fact. And, as the article notes, these aren’t the “fringy” types , but experienced legislators or military veterans, etc. Almost all of them attribute their desire and possibility of success to the fact that Barack Obama was elected president:
Princella Smith, who is running for an open seat in Arkansas, said she viewed the president’s victory through both the lens of history and partisan politics. “Aside from the fact that I disagree fundamentally with all his views, I am proud of my nation for proving that we have the ability to do something like that,” Ms. Smith said.
Democrats, of course, are skeptical:
But Democrats and other political experts express skepticism about black Republicans’ chances in November. “In 1994 and 2000, there were 24 black G.O.P. nominees,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic political strategist who ran Al Gore’s presidential campaign and who is black. “And you didn’t see many of them win their elections.”
Tavis Smiley, a prominent black talk show host who has repeatedly criticized Republicans for not doing more to court black voters, said, “It’s worth remembering that the last time it was declared the ‘Year of the Black Republican,’ it fizzled out.”
And of course there’s the little problem of race – not necessarily from the right as Democrats would like to portray, but among blacks themselves. Walter Williams has a few words to say about that:
What about blacks who cherish liberty and limited government and joined in the Tea Party movement, or blacks who are members of organizations such as the Lincoln Institute, Frederick Douglass Foundation and Project 21? They’ve been maligned as Oreos, Uncle Toms and traitors to their race. To make such a charge borders on stupidity, possibly racism.
After all, when President Reagan disagreed with Tip O’Neill, did either charge the other with being a traitor to his race? Then why is it deemed traitorous when one black disagrees with another, unless you think that all blacks must think alike?
What about these candidates relationship with Tea Parties? Again race is brought into the question:
Many of the candidates are trying to align themselves with the Tea Partiers, insisting that the racial dynamics of that movement have been overblown. Videos taken at some Tea Party rallies show some participants holding up signs with racially inflammatory language.
A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 25 percent of self-identified Tea Party supporters think that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites, compared with 11 percent of the general public.
The black candidates interviewed overwhelmingly called the racist narrative a news media fiction. “I have been to these rallies, and there are hot dogs and banjos,” said Mr. West, the candidate in Florida, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army. “There is no violence or racism there.”
However, the media will continue to try to make them “racist” events despite all evidence to the contrary.
The Obama election was signficiant in many ways, but one of the ways least anticipated was seeing conservative blacks empowered to run as such and be considered serious main-stream candidates. It also demonstrates that the black vote is maturing and becoming both more sophisticated and a more fractured vote – no longer a single bloc that will unquestionably vote for the candidate with a “D” by their name. Again, Walter Williams points out that if any group ought to be distrustful of government and want a smaller and less intrusive one, it should be blacks:
Having recently reached 74 years of age, if one were to ask me what’s my greatest disappointment in life, a top contender would surely be the level of misunderstanding, perhaps contempt, that black Americans have for the principles of personal liberty and their abiding faith in government.
Contempt or misunderstanding of the principles of personal liberty and faith in government by no means make blacks unique among Americans. But the unique history of black Americans should make us, above all other Americans, most suspicious of any encroachment on personal liberty and most distrustful of government.
The most serious injustices suffered by blacks came at the hands of government, at different levels, with its failure to protect personal liberty. Slavery was only the most egregious example of that failure.
Williams points out that government aided and abetted slavery – the Fugitive Slave act of 1850, Dred Scott, Jim Crow Laws, and Plessy v. Ferguson as only the most egregious examples. But, as he further notes, perhaps the biggest and most damaging government failure has been the public schooling blacks have been delivered which, for the most part, has failed to deliver on its promise for decades.
Then there’s the grossly fraudulent education delivered by the government schools that serve most black communities. The average black high school senior has a sixth- or seventh-grade achievement level, and most of those who manage to graduate have what’s no less than a fraudulent diploma, one that certifies a 12th-grade level of achievement when in fact the youngster might not have half that.
If the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wanted to sabotage black academic excellence, he could not find a more effective means to do so than the government school system in most cities.
This new crop of black political hopefuls represent a change in thinking that black voters should welcome and support. They represent an awakening and a rejection of the situation that past bloc support of blacks has enabled. They represent a group which are saying no to the Democratic plantation and the “government is the answer” crowd. They’re pushing self-reliance and individual liberty over dependence. And let’s face it – that’s the way our of poverty or a disadvantaged situation – not depending on nameless and faceless bureaucrats to lift you out or change your circumstances.
So I see this as an important and welcome change among black voters. Whereas Barack Obama’s election did indeed signal the fact that America can and would look beyond skin color for the highest office in the land, the election of a number of black GOP candidates this year would be similarly significant and help shatter a very carefully crafted and decades old myth about the GOP.
Rasmussen has a poll out that addresses the public’s feeling about government and job creation. To put it succinctly, they mostly think that government can best serve the public in that regard by cutting taxes.
Sixty-five percent (65%) say decisions made by U.S. business leaders to help their own businesses grow will do more to create jobs than decisions made by government officials. Twenty-five percent (25%) say decisions made by government officials to create jobs will do more.
So their faith in a government solution v. a private sector solution is obvious. As another survey points out, the public is “dubious” of the administration claimed success in aiding any economic recovery:
Just 33% say the economic stimulus passed by Congress last year has helped the job situation and only somewhat more (42%) say the loans the federal government provided to troubled financial institutions prevented a more severe financial crisis. Less than a third (31%) says that the government has made progress in fixing the problems that caused the 2008 financial crisis.
That means Democrats are unlikely to reap the political reward from an economic turnaround that they would like.
It goes without saying, dissatisfaction with the economy and government (and government’s efforts in behalf of the economy) mean political trouble for the party in power. It means even more trouble for that party when the people make clear their priorities for the party in power (jobs, the economy and the deficit) and that party ignores them (HCR, financial reform, cap-and-trade, etc).
Another interesting tidbit from the Rasmussen poll which shows how disconnected the “Political Class” is from “Mainstream Voters”:
Similar distinctions are evident in the views of Mainstream voters versus those of the Political Class. Eighty-one percent (81%) of Mainstream voters, for example, think decisions made by U.S. business leaders to help their own businesses grow will do more to create new jobs than job-creation decisions made by government officials. The plurality (47%) of Political Class voters have more confidence in the decisions made by government officials.
So how did a victorious Democratic party and a president swept into power on the “Hope and Change” platform become so tone deaf to what the public really wants?
Most, I’m sure, remember candidate Obama saying that one of the things he really wanted to do was make government “cool again”. And, one can imagine, he thought that was part of his and the Democrats mandate when he was elected. Of course, the underlying premise of a desire to make government “cool again” is the belief that government is the answer to most problems. Or more government is good government and good government is “cool”. They’ve accomplished the “more government part”, but it certainly certainly hasn’t translated into a perception of good government, has it?
Interestingly, David Brooks recently addressed that in an article saying:
In the first year of the Obama administration, the Democrats, either wittingly or unwittingly, decided to put the big government-versus-small government debate at the center of American life.
But Arnold Kling differs with that and I think what he says is more on the mark. His premise helps explain a lot, such as the Democratic tone deafness and their reaction to the emergence of the Tea Parties, etc. Talking about Brook’s statement above he says:
I would put this somewhat differently. The left decided that the debate was settled. They took the view that the financial crisis proved once and for all that markets do not work, and that wherever markets produce imperfect outcomes, government is the answer.
They, as many political parties have in the past, misinterpreted the outcome as a mandate to do what they perceived to be the desire of the people – expand the size, scope and cost of government – and set out on their merry way to do exactly that.
As it turns out, they were dead wrong. In fact, the term “dead wrong” doesn’t even begin to describe how wrong they were. Not only did the financial crises not support their interpretation, but – as with the “science” of AGW – nothing about the debate concerning the size, scope and cost of government was settled by their election. That’s not at all what the election was about – yet their own hubris wouldn’t allow them to see that. They decided to interpret it the way they found served their ideological best interest.
And they’ve blown it.
Recognizing that has to give one some hope. Americans are mostly rejecting big government and government solutions. Government is not “cool” again. And while the Democrats haven’t yet realized that, the GOP seems to be waking up to it – somewhat. They’re not there yet, and a certain number of them are as clueless as the Democrats, but I think the public is gearing up to smack many of those who are popularly known as “RINOs” around a bit in November as well (especially if they favor more government).
I think it is interesting though to consider this explanation as to why Democrats don’t seem to be able to get out of their own way and why they seem unable to change course and address that which the electorate really wants. All of that goes directly against the interpretation they gave the election of 2008 and they can’t yet admit to themselves, much less anyone else, that they were wrong.
UPDATE: If you don’t believe me, consider the commencement speech President Obama just delivered at the University of Michigan today:
President Obama on Saturday urged graduates at the University of Michigan to participate in public life as the president forcefully defended an activist role for government in dealing with society’s problems.
Don’t expect he or the Democrats to figure it out anytime soon.
In a video to supporters, President Obama made the following statement:
“It will be up to each of you to make sure that the young people, African Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again,” he said.
“If you help us do that — if you help us make sure that first-time voters in 2008 make their voices heard again in November — then together we will deliver on the promise of change and hope and prosperity for generations to come,” he said.
He’s caught a lot of crap for that statement, with a some claiming it is racist. It’s not. It’s a demographic appeal citing areas where he and Democrats think they’ve lost a significant amount of support, or, if not support, at least the energy that turned those demographic groups out in the large numbers necessary to give he and the Democrats the margin of victory.
Now, there are a lot of forces working against an energized electorate on the Democratic side of the isle, but Ron Bonjean of USN&WR brings us nice little summary of the facts confronting them as it pertains to these particular groups:
* The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that African-American unemployment jumped to 16.5 percent in March, up from 15.8 percent in February. Hispanic unemployment rose to 12.6 percent. These numbers are much higher than the nation’s unemployment rate, which still hovers at 9.7 percent.
* America’s young workers haven’t seen positive change. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute, one of these groups is workers age 16-24, whose unemployment rate peaked at 19.2 percent. And African-American 16-24 year-old workers had the highest rate, starting 2010 at 32.5 percent, followed by Hispanics at 24.2 percent.
* The percentage of investments made by the Small Business Administration supporting Small Business Investment Companies in minority-owned firms has dropped from 26 percent in 1998 to about 7 percent today.
* Some 80 percent of Hispanic seniors making less than $20,000 per year were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program, according to 2007 data–and yet the Obama healthcare law cuts $132 billion from this program. A Medicare analysis released last week shows at least half of all Medicare Advantage enrollees will lose their plan, while others will see higher premiums and lower benefits.
And now we have the immigration issue reigniting with little prospect of seeing anything meaningful being done this year.
The voting blocs Obama is addressing in his quote were critical to is success in ’08. With this down economy and the facts above arrayed against them, they’re very aware of their problems. As a White House press office official said:
“The President’s view is that good policy is good politics.”
But as Ron Bonjean adds:
Failed promises to pass policies to create conditions for higher income, more jobs, and better health care coverage will likely lead to a massive failure of turnout for Democrats at the polls.
And at the moment, the Democrats are knee deep in failed promises – a condition that usually seriously dampens voting ardor.
Apparently, Charlie Crist has convinced himself that the people of Florida desire his leadership keenly, despite taking a vicious hammering in the polls for the Republican nomination. So, he’ll be announcing an independent run for US Senator.
Stick a fork in him. He’s done. The Republicans will henceforth treat him as if he has a case of virulent Ebola and herpes. I’ve got no clue where he’s going to get financing from.
The best he can do is split the Republican vote, and ensure a Democrat gets elected. If that happens he’ll be like a new Arlen Specter, except for being even more of a loser.
Essentially it is the same old process the GOP undergoes each election season – be pragmatic or be principled. And usually, pragmatic wins.
However, it seems, pragmatic hasn’t been to kind to them in the past. Their brand of pragmatism, the belief that only certain types of Republicans can win in particular parts of America, has yielded a party that has been characterized as “Democrat lite” by many and relegated to minority status in both the House and Senate. It has also left the base dissatisfied and unenergized.
One would think, based on outcome, that perhaps a different approach is called for. But no, that’s not the case if what the WSJ has to say about current GOP campaign to win seats in the Senate is any indication. Sen John Cornyn heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and he believes in that pragmatic theory:
Mr. Cornyn is no one’s idea of a squishy centrist. He rose through Texas politics in the 1990s as part of a Republican wave pushed by George W. Bush strategist Karl Rove, and ascended to the U.S. Senate in 2002, becoming one of its most conservative members. Nevertheless, he believes that in some states a centrist Republican has the best chance of winning.
Sen. Jim DeMint, on the other hand, doesn’t buy into the theory and is running a insurgent campaign to back some anti-establishment candidates (such as Rubio in FL) that cleave more to the principles of conservatism than do the NRSC’s picks. As you might imagine that’s creating a certain bit of tension within Republican Senatorial ranks.
The WSJ entitles this piece on the conflict, “GOP Bid to Reclaim Senate Fuels Fight for Party’s Soul”. They may be more right than they think. In typical political and bureaucratic fashion, the NRSC is trying to direct, based on its premise represented by Cornyn’s belief that “centrist Republicans” are the best way to proceed in some states. But that may be ignoring the historic groundswell of support for less centrist and more conservative (defined as those who believe in a smaller, less intrusive and less costly government) politicians.
As it turns out, if the NRSC can get the egos out of the way, there is a fairly easy way to test the premise. Use the primary system and let the voters decide. It’s safe (it won’t split the vote) and, instead of a top down nominated candidate, you end up with a bottom-up supported candidate who has had the opportunity to develop and deliver his platform to the voters and get an up or down on it. If Cornyn is right, then these states he’s concerned with will pick the more centrist candidate. But if he’s wrong he may be dooming the GOP to losses (or less conservative Senators) it doesn’t have to suffer.
That’s what primaries are for, for heaven sake. Instead of trying to carefully select candidates they think best fit a particular area of the country, the NRSC should be endorsing a full slate of Republican Senatorial candidates from centrist to the conservatives and urging them to run in the primary elections. Mix it up, but get out of the endorsing candidates business (and that includes incumbents – that’s the business of the voters in the state). Challenge the voters – and members of the party in each state – to pick who they believe is appropriate for them. Let the best candidate win. That’s how you build a solid and energized – even excited – party that represents the grass-roots. From the bottom up, not the top down. Top down gets you those who are sitting in the Senate today – and I think the polls tell you how well the people think they represent their interests.
You’d think the GOP might take a lesson from that.
One of the things I’ve been saying for months is the Tea Party is not just a reaction to Obama and his agenda (although both he and his agenda have just continued to add to a decline in public trust and satisfaction in government). The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press published a chart that makes that point well:
The present slide, in both trust in government and satisfaction with the nation began in about 2003 – one would guess about the time of the invasion of Iraq. Note that at that time trust in government was at an all time high. But the erosion of that trust and satisfaction in the nation, began a pretty steep slide at that point. Note too that satisfaction with the nation (i.e. the nation headed in the right direction) took a brief turn upward with the election of Barack Obama but then swiftly turned south again. Presently both indicators at near all time lows.
Note as well that the last time the indicators were in the same area was 1994 when Democrats were power and after a precipitous decline from the Bush I administration that continued through the first two years of the Clinton administration. Also consider that when the trust numbers again began to rise after ’94, the GOP was attempting to pass the Contract with America (aimed at some of the present Tea Party goals) and were ending “welfare as we know it”.
Some would argue that the political stars are aligning precisely as they did in ’94 which saw a resounding GOP victory. The situation, via the graph, certainly seems similar. But is it really? A couple of key paragraphs may disabuse one of that notion:
The public’s hostility toward government seems likely to be an important election issue favoring the Republicans this fall. However, the Democrats can take some solace in the fact that neither party can be confident that they have the advantage among such a disillusioned electorate. Favorable ratings for both major parties, as well as for Congress, have reached record lows while opposition to congressional incumbents, already approaching an all-time high, continues to climb.
The Tea Party movement, which has a small but fervent anti-government constituency, could be a wild card in this election. On one hand, its sympathizers are highly energized and inclined to vote Republican this fall. On the other, many Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say the Tea Party represents their point of view better than does the GOP.
This indicates the dissatisfaction isn’t necessarily partisan. That is the dissatisfaction with the state of the nation and the decline in public trust haven’t been driven exclusively by Obama and his agenda. As you can see, both indicators were in rapid decline well before Obama was a glint on the political horizon. What has happened is a over the past 10 or so years, the political culture within the country has begun to shift. More and more awareness of the impact, intrusion and cost of government has reached a broader audience. Our technology and connectedness has indeed had a political impact. And the numbers you see on the chart are partially a result of that.
So while Obama is the man in the hot seat at the moment, he isn’t the only reason for this general feeling of distrust and dissatisfaction. This has been brewing for some time – years in fact. It just reached a critical point – a “turn out in the streets” point – when TARP, bailouts, takeovers and trillion dollar deficits came so fast and furious that it could no longer be ignored or glossed over. Government is out of control, the Tea Party is simply a manifestation of the general dissatisfaction with government. Neither party is immune from the voters ire this November because they recognize both got the nation in this position. The only advantage the GOP holds is they are marginally recognized as the fiscally conservative/small government party (why, after the Bush years, is anyone ‘s guess). That’s why they hold a lead in most Congressional polling. But I wouldn’t call it a solid lead at this point. The Pew study makes it clear that many out there see the TP as what the GOP isn’t – truly committed to fiscal conservacy and small government. In other words, a significant portion of potential GOP voters don’t trust the GOP anymore than they do the Democrats although the GOP should be the party of choice for them (if one is to believe the principles they espouse).
The point – if the GOP wants to take and hold the reigns of power at a national level, they had better not only talk the talk (something they’re very good at) but also, once given the opportunity, walk the walk (something they are very poor at doing and the reason -although they don’t seem to understand it – they continue to get bounced out of power).
Rather than an activist government to deal with the nation’s top problems, the public now wants government reformed and growing numbers want its power curtailed. With the exception of greater regulation of major financial institutions, there is less of an appetite for government solutions to the nation’s problems – including more government control over the economy – than there was when Barack Obama first took office.
Figure it out boys and girls – here’s the ticket. Accept it, internalize it, run on it and then do it. If they don’t then the cycle you see above in the chart will only repeat.