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| | |-+  The possibility that the Republican primary electorate isn't so conservative
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Author Topic: The possibility that the Republican primary electorate isn't so conservative  (Read 828 times)
Jacobtm
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« on: April 04, 2012, 10:28:22 am »
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''Everyone knows'' that the Republican Primary Electorate is Very Conservative. Candidates tack to the right, deny any charges of moderation, Mitt Romney calls himself a ''severe conservative'', to try to get these conservative purists to vote for him.

Despite Mitt's recent tacking to the right, in polls he is still perceived as much more moderate than Santorum. Santorum clearly is more conservative in the mind of voters.

Yet Romney continues to win.


Let's not forget, McCain won in '08, against the protests of the whole conservative establishment.

Bush won in 2000, and his campaign was anything but extremely conservative. He played up his ''compassionate conservative'' theme, thinking obviously that most people viewed plain ''conservatives'' as too harsh.

Is it possible that the loudest, most conservative groups are really tearing the Republican party apart? Creating an impression among the media and politicians that all Republicans want is some extreme pure conservative, and causing candidates to pursue that tack, even though the evidence of who has won the nomination doesn't really support the idea that Republicans prefer the purist most conservative people.

This duality is apparent every time you hear Santorum speak. He simply doesn't believe Republicans want to elect Romney. He is more conservative, so he ''knows'' that Republicans, in their heart of hearts, want to elect him. Yet he will not win. Santorum cannot even imagine that in all honesty Republicans prefer a ''Massachusetts Moderate'' to a ''Real Conservative''. But obviously, voters do prefer Romney to Santorum.

It'd be remarkable if despite Rush, Fox News and all that, that Republicans still really do want a moderate of sorts.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2012, 10:32:42 am by Jacobtm »Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 01:12:05 pm »
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Rubio or Ryan, if one of them had run, would have walked away with the nomination.  Just because Romney beat an extremely weak field, doesn't mean the GOP electorate identifies with him...the GOP electorate simply prefers Romney to any of the candidates who chose to run.

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politicus
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 02:44:51 pm »
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Doesn't explain why they chose to nominate McCain and Dubaya. Dole was fairly moderate as well. Its been a long time (Reagan in 1980) since the Republicans nominated a true right winger. So he has got a point IMO.
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2012, 07:22:33 pm »
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Doesn't explain why they chose to nominate McCain and Dubaya. Dole was fairly moderate as well. Its been a long time (Reagan in 1980) since the Republicans nominated a true right winger. So he has got a point IMO.
It would be hard to find anyone who is not a right-winger in either party(See Progressive Caucus budget vote). The difference being discusses here is between normal right-wingers and extreme ones.
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Beet
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2012, 07:30:56 pm »
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1. It depends on what you mean by "much more." Romney has been running as a conservative. He's no Olympia Snowe, or Jon Huntsman for that matter.

2. Romney has been getting 40% of the vote thus far. That means 60% have been voting against him. Also, he's had the backing of the inevitability narrative, loads of money, the only serious campaign with real organization, and loads of endorsements. Every possible advantage. Prior to the buildup of the inevitability narrative, he was sitting at the high 20's.

3. In 2008, McCain benefitted from a front-loaded schedule and WTA. In the critical South Carolina primary, he got only 33% of the vote, but won all the delegates due to a conservative split. Similar splits helped him take states that should have gone easily to Huckabee, such as Missouri and Oklahoma.

In 2008, the GOP knew that their chances of hanging on were tough after eight years of Bush, so they were more willing to nominate someone with a reputation as a "maverick", or even a true moderate (Giuliani). That was less true in previous years and will be less so in future years.

4. In 2000, George Bush Jr. was the conservative alternative to McCain.

Critically, all of the Republican nominees have been the so-called candidates in waiting in the year prior to the election, even Reagan.
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2012, 08:47:50 pm »
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Well McCain and Romney had to move right to win, and also they didn't get 50% of the vote.

Plus none of the 'conservative' options were that strong. Romney's conservativeness in 2008, as we all know now, was challenged, and Huckabee was only conservative on social issues. Ditto Santorum. The others just didn't want it, were gaffe-prone or had heaps of skeletons in their closet.
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2012, 02:08:21 am »
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The battle in the GOP has typically been establishment moderate v purist conservative and most of the time the former has won. Exceptions I guess would be Goldwater 1964, Reagan 1980.
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2012, 03:04:12 am »
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It is a money thing. Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Carl Paladino, Ken Buck and Co. disprove this hypothesis swiftly.
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2012, 03:51:38 am »

It is a money thing. Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Carl Paladino, Ken Buck and Co. disprove this hypothesis swiftly.

     Yet those are lower-profile races with less voter information. It is quite interesting that in the highest-profile primary race with a plethora of debates and constant coverage, the more moderate candidate is winning out.
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2012, 04:02:54 am »
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1. It depends on what you mean by "much more." Romney has been running as a conservative. He's no Olympia Snowe, or Jon Huntsman for that matter.

2. Romney has been getting 40% of the vote thus far. That means 60% have been voting against him. Also, he's had the backing of the inevitability narrative, loads of money, the only serious campaign with real organization, and loads of endorsements. Every possible advantage. Prior to the buildup of the inevitability narrative, he was sitting at the high 20's.

3. In 2008, McCain benefitted from a front-loaded schedule and WTA. In the critical South Carolina primary, he got only 33% of the vote, but won all the delegates due to a conservative split. Similar splits helped him take states that should have gone easily to Huckabee, such as Missouri and Oklahoma.

In 2008, the GOP knew that their chances of hanging on were tough after eight years of Bush, so they were more willing to nominate someone with a reputation as a "maverick", or even a true moderate (Giuliani). That was less true in previous years and will be less so in future years.

4. In 2000, George Bush Jr. was the conservative alternative to McCain.

Critically, all of the Republican nominees have been the so-called candidates in waiting in the year prior to the election, even Reagan.

Huntsman is certainly not a moderate, and Snow really isn't one either. Romney certainly has a reputation for being more liberal than he is

The Republican formula during the modern primary system (1972- present has been)
1. Nominate the incumbent President
2. If there is no incumbent President, nominate the runner up from the last incumbent President
3. In a rare exception to the previous rule, if the year is 2000, nominate George W Bush
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 04:05:04 am by ○∙◄☻tπ[╪AV┼cV└ »Logged

Napoleon
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2012, 04:09:24 am »
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It is a money thing. Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Carl Paladino, Ken Buck and Co. disprove this hypothesis swiftly.

     Yet those are lower-profile races with less voter information. It is quite interesting that in the highest-profile primary race with a plethora of debates and constant coverage, the more moderate candidate is winning out.

If you want to use moderate in a relative sense but even then not really. Huntsman, Giuliani, McCain 2000, Bush in 1980...all losers. And if these Senate races were so low profile and low information, one would assume the candidates with the most name recognition would win. It isn't the case.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2012, 04:39:34 am »
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You guys are trying to draw a false dichotomy between "moderates" and "conservatives". That isn't the divide that is taking place during this primary season. The divide is between Republicans that are primarily conservative for economic reasons and Republicans that are primarily conservatives for cultural reasons. Santorum has little appeal to the former group and Romney has exploited this fact well by attacking him on pork barrel spending, deficits and the like. Romney's strategy of going nuclear with attack ads and making the tone of the race as negative as possible has also had the effect of driving down turnout dramatically among more politically apathetic GOPers who tend to be more Santorum-friendly.

The only reason why Romney is going to be the nominee is because of his challenger's weaknesses. Gingrich has loads of personal baggage, Santorum is lost in the past and comes off as a religious extremist, Perry is a moron, Bachmann is a moron and an extremist, Huntsman is a legitimate moderate who postures as a liberal, Paul is a libertarian and Pawlenty has the same flaws that Romney had multiplied by ten.

No candidate could really rally economic conservatives and so they went with the default option. This group always turns out at high rates and dominates primaries so their support of Romney carries more weight.
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2012, 04:45:07 am »
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Other important note: without the application of the Romney strategy, voters will reflexively back the anti-Romney. Many states that Romney didn't invest significant time and money into resulted into a blowout against him, even in areas of natural strength. Romney's cash advantage allowed him to set the tone of the race and when the tone is in his favor, he can squeak out victories through the strategy described above. He might never win over cultural conservatives but he can drive their turnout down and ensure his domination among those who are economic conservatives.
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2012, 10:35:08 am »
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The Republican Electorate isn't as conservative as it thinks it is (for the most part), but it's still very conservative, and is becoming more so. And this year, Romney has so massively outspent all his foes and is up against such a weak, divided field that this has really been his to lose from the outset. Romney is lucky that there is no charismatic, hawkish, socially and economically conservative Senator or Governor with a record of accomplishment and an ability to run a good campaign. If such a figure existed in the entire country, he would have won in a walk.

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politicus
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2012, 03:55:52 pm »
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Doesn't explain why they chose to nominate McCain and Dubaya. Dole was fairly moderate as well. Its been a long time (Reagan in 1980) since the Republicans nominated a true right winger. So he has got a point IMO.
It would be hard to find anyone who is not a right-winger in either party(See Progressive Caucus budget vote). The difference being discusses here is between normal right-wingers and extreme ones.
Right winger used as a relative term. Obviously.
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2012, 12:18:29 am »

It is a money thing. Sharron Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Carl Paladino, Ken Buck and Co. disprove this hypothesis swiftly.

     Yet those are lower-profile races with less voter information. It is quite interesting that in the highest-profile primary race with a plethora of debates and constant coverage, the more moderate candidate is winning out.

If you want to use moderate in a relative sense but even then not really. Huntsman, Giuliani, McCain 2000, Bush in 1980...all losers. And if these Senate races were so low profile and low information, one would assume the candidates with the most name recognition would win. It isn't the case.

     Point taken, though Huntsman never had a chance anyway & Giuliani forced himself into irrelevance (though he would have lost anyway). McCain 2000 failed due to a vicious smear campaign that was rather extraneous from his positions and I don't know too much about the 1980 campaign, except that the eventual nominee was extremely charismatic.

     The Senate races weren't that low-profile, but they were definitely lower in profile than the Presidential primaries. It seems to me that in the Senate races many people would probably notice who the Tea Party supported without hearing a lick of what that person had to say. Then again, maybe not. It's not like I'm in the head of the average Republican primary voter. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2012, 12:21:50 am »
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Even tho he was a Democrat, Alvin Greene is exhibit number 1 in any argument that people pay less attention to Senate primaries than they should.
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2012, 12:40:30 am »
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Even tho he was a Democrat, Alvin Greene is exhibit number 1 in any argument that people pay less attention to Senate primaries than they should.

Hm, I think Greene was born to win that primary. He would have had my vote.


Still, unwinnable races would tend to be low profile...I wouldn't judge New York Republicans by whatever unknown sacrificial lamb they throw at Chuckie. My examples were using races that were contested.

Edit: Greene also won that primary due to his name, nothing else. Would seem to help my argument that name familiarity is the winner in a race that is low profile.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 12:44:12 am by Governor Napoleon »Logged

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