Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pew Research Says: The More They Hear from the GOP, The More The Voters Like Obama

by Nomad
Mitt Romney  nomadic PoliticsCampaigning for Free
According to a national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, the Republican campaign is doing wonders for drumming up support. Unfortunately, for the GOP, that support is not for any of their candidates but for the opposing party and the president.
The Republican nomination battle is rallying Democrats behind Barack Obama. Currently, 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better. Just 36% of Democrats expressed this view in December, before the Republican primaries began.
In contrast, there has been virtually no change in Republicans’ views of the GOP field during this period. Just 26% of Republicans say their impression of the GOP field has improved as they have learned more about the candidates. That is largely unchanged from December (30%).

Not only is the Democratic Party benefiting but the Republican party is seeing a drop off as well. For example, in the recent Illinois primary election, the voter turnout, according to The Chicago Tribune, was the lowest figure for a presidential primary in 70 years.

Each of the four remaining candidates have some fairly important turn-offs for conservative Republican voters. As Staff writer for the Dallas News, Gromer Jeffers, suggests the problem lies with the low-tolerance of the Tea Party:
According to Jeffers, it has been: 
..a campaign year in which Republicans are dissatisfied with their choices and pushed further toward demanding conservative purity by a new type of GOP grass-roots activist, the very tea party forces that pushed the party back to relevance in 2010’s congressional elections.
And it's a wondrous conundrum too because the more the die-hard conservatives push, the more moderates or undecideds will stay away or (horrors!) vote for Obama.  On the other hand, those are precisely the voters the Republicans need to have even a chance to win the election. 
“Since nobody is beating Obama in the polls, the argument is moot,” said Mark Runtree, a Republican political consultant and pollster from Atlanta. “There are those who feel that if we’re going down at this point, let’s go down with the right candidate.” 
But then... that's not what is happening either. 

Mitt- Everything Nobody Wants
Ironically, the one candidate who now seems to have any hope of winning the nomination is probably the most moderate Republican that the party has seen since, well, Reagan. 
Despite his claims at political rehabilitation- which few people believe- Mitt Romney's past views of such key social issues like abortion, gay rights or immigration shake the average conservative voter to the core of his being.  
As late as March 2006, Romney supported an amnesty solution for illegal immigration with a “path toward citizenship” for illegal immigrants. In one of the hundred debates, Romney was forced to explain what his new policy was and it sounded something like:
Those who come into the country legally would be given an identification card, and if employers hire someone without a card, then those employers would be severely sanctioned. If you do that, people who have come here illegally won't be able to find work. And over time, those people would tend to leave the country, or self-deport. I don't think anyone is interested in going around and rounding up people around the country and deporting 11 million illegal immigrants into America. 
Nobody is interested in this approach? Actually the Tea Party generally,  believes that local police should have the authority to stop and detain people suspected of being in the country illegally. According to one source:
The share of Tea Party identifiers opposed to the idea of a comprehensive immigration reform that would include a so-called “path to citizenship” is larger than the share of Republicans, and their opposition is more intense. Seventy-two percent of Tea Party identifiers strongly disapprove of such a proposal, compared to 58 percent of Republican identifiers who strongly disapprove.
Another reasonable objection for a conservative voter is Romney's history on Affirmative Action. In 2003, as governor, Romney Issued Executive Order Renaming the Office Of Affirmative Action And “broadening its mission to include the creation of a work force reflective of Massachusetts’ demographics.” (Give it a new name and make the mission statement less clear and, Golly gosh , you have something completely different!)
Back not so long ago, in 2007, he stated his position without any flip-flopping:
 "I believe that public companies and federal agencies should be required to report in their annual 10K the number of minorities and women by income group within the company so we can identify where the glass ceiling is and break through it." 
Only one year later he was saying something very different. 
“I do not support quotas in hiring, government contracting, school admissions or the like. I believe our nation is at its best when people are evaluated as individuals. I do support encouraging inclusiveness and diversity, and I encourage the disclosure of the numbers of women and minorities in top positions of companies and government—not to impose a quota, but to shine light on the situation. We should always strive for the broadest representation of people, from all walks of life, at all levels of our companies, schools, and government.”
It is no wonder that many in his own party are beginning to suspect that Romney is a "stealth progressive" making the noises of a staunch conservative. And, in the end, there's nothing he can do about it, no amount of talking and posturing is going to make Romney look consistent. And the Republican party, if they still care about winning, are really and truly stuck with Mitt. 

In certain quarters they are already starting to call Romney "the Republican Dukakis"- referring to the soundly-defeated Democratic candidate in 1988.  It's not a compliment.

The Forecast: Perfect Storm
One more poll adds to the grimness of that already grim picture. According to a Gallup poll of this month, a full 82% of American citizens disapprove of the performance of Congress. That dislike is evenly divided among Republicans and Democrats too.
Typically, when congressional approval ratings are low, there is more turnover in membership in that election. Though divided control of Congress makes it harder for voters to assign blame on a partisan basis for the institution's performance, incumbents will nonetheless have a harder time convincing voters to send them back to Washington for another term. 

The Tea Party takeover of the Republican party- which helped it form a majority in the House- will come up for a very harsh review, if things go the way they are going now. And deservedly so. The 112th Congress will go down in history as the largest collection of time-wasters that was ever elected.

Low voter turn out, a candidate none of the core constituents particularly like or trust, a faction within the party that will not compromise and would rather lose on principle, and a Congress on the brink of being thrown out. All of these factors seem to point at a landslide of catastrophic proportions, effectively burying the Republican party. 

As the economy slowly improves- despite all of the sabotaging from the Republican-dominated House and the endless but ineffectual carping by Fox News- President Obama is looking better and better and the Republicans are looking more and more desperate and unqualified. 

But the good news is, according to her Facebook or Twitter account, Sarah Palin is quite willing to take on Obama in a debate. That should do wonders for the Republican morale.

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