Aug 14 2007

Radical Core Versus The Broad GOP Base

Published by at 8:34 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

The political observers are scratching their heads at the Iowa Straw Poll results, but the fact is the GOP stalwarts are way out of sync with the broader GOP base. Just look at the winners of this inside-GOP contest and the national polls – worlds apart. The GOP Congress and the conservative media darlings screwed up on immigration and many other issues where they went on the attack against their moderate coalition allies. And now these core ideologues are being left out in the cold by their own actions towards others. I have said over and over the GOP will fail in down-ticket elections if it continues to allow extremists to bash moderates. The result is moderates (like myself) will go elsewhere for allies.

Whether I am trying to pull someone from the far right or far left fringe positions to find consensus is becoming basically the same level of effort. So while my natural tendencies are conservative, my purpose in life is to see some progress (or why else would I even get involved?). And since the far right has rolled up the ‘common ground’ (i.e., there is no common ground to discuss with traitorous moderates) over issues like immigration reform, etc, then it is more advantageous to search out people willing to negotiate than waste time with people who simply berate others in a lame attempt to feel they have all the answers to life, the universe and everything.

So let’s look at the Ames Straw poll results for some interesting factors. First, note the huge drop off in an election year which is wide open – no designated successor. The last time things were like this was in 1999, and yet nearly half the interest has fallen away for the GOP:

The Iowa GOP followed the lead of the top three national candidates — Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Fred Thompson — and skipped the event. Turnout tumbled from the 1999 Straw Poll’s 23,685 votes cast when George W. Bush beat Steve Forbes — only 14,302 Iowans participated.

What does the low turnout suggest?

I see the Iowa Straw Poll as a microcosm for the entire primary, and the conclusion is clear: The present field of candidates fails to excite the GOP.

The “GOP” that stood behind Bush was the 33% of the population that call themselves republicans and 16-18% out of the 33% population which calls itself independent (give or take some Dem cross-overs). When Bush get’s 51% of the vote he was getting nearly half the independents – those traitorous RINOs the right wing whines and whines about constantly. Roughly 35% of the conservative governing coalition is made up of these optimistic independents who support the ability to debate a common approach that meets the goals of the coalition – not the GOP’s most voiciferous.

So what drop in turn out was there in the Ames Straw poll? 14/23 * 100 = 60%, or something like 40% did not show this year. Coincidence? Given these are back-of-the-envelope rough estimates I think not. They don’t need to be exact to have some potential connection. It is not the candidates are not exciting the GOP it is the GOP is not exciting the nation. Trust me, after 2006 and the 2007 debacles on immigration and Dubai Ports, there is no interest in trying to make nice to people who cannot find a kind word for their allies in governing.

But there is another indicator that the core is out of touch with the base. Romney came in first, but spent a lot of money doing it so it is not clear this is real support. Ron Paul came in 5th, ahead of the national poll leaders! The only candidate of merit to garner something was Huckabee, who is the latest candidate the GOP is looking at to break the streak of the moderates who do actually lead the GOP horse race. In fact the true national leaders, while not present, performed terribly – which means they were bucking the sentiments of Ames.

Nationally Guiliani is the odds on favorite because he is much like Bush. The GOP radical core hate el Presidente Jorge. He did not kiss enough posteriors. Giuliani is conservative enough for the now right-of-center America, but not over the top like the radical core of the GOP, so he garners a much broader range of support than the Gingrich’s, Pauls, etc.

ccording to a new CBS News poll out Monday, Rudy Giuliani retains a significant lead nationally among Republican primary voters in the race to become the party’s presidential nominee.

In all, 38 percent of Republican primary voters favor the former New York City mayor, a slight increase from last month. Senator-turned-actor Fred Thompson is next; he’s favored by 18 percent of Republican primary voters, a seven-point drop from last month. Thompson has yet to officially announce his candidacy.

The third choice, at 13 percent, is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who improved five points from one month ago. He was followed by Arizona Sen. John McCain, who came in at 12 percent.

The debacle this year of the radical core pilloring our nation’s leader and their party’s leader simply because he does not share their views on immigration (most of the country doesn’t it should be noted) is a double whammy. Not only are their policies not supported, their behavior is clearly not the tone we want to see during important debates. Acting like Kos-Kids is not going to win support from the conservative middle, we have our minimal standards I must say. But that is not all of it. There is something much deeper going on in the GOP

I have two dear friends who are very much more conservative than I. We find a lot of common ground normally. But when I stated Giuliani would win the Presidency their mutual response illustrated the problem with the radical core of the GOP. They said they would rather see Hillary win than Giuliani as President.

And that is what is wrong with the GOP right now. The Purity Wars are still raging. And they will rage for as long as it takes the far right to grow up and realize Giuliani is much better for this country than Hillary – who has trouble standing up to her party let alone this nation’s enemies. The idea anyone would hand the reigns of this country to Hillary so that they don’t have to live with another GOP President who is not their identical twin is truly saddening. But that is where we are at. I know these people, they are very much hard core GOP. They are very dear to me and I respect them on many other issues (clearly this not being one). So I am pretty confident this insanity is not limited to the two of them. But we shall see what the stalwarts dare say in the comments section.

19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Radical Core Versus The Broad GOP Base”

  1. Jacqui says:

    I would have no problem with either Guiliani, Romney or Fred Thompson. Romney and Thompson are far more Bush-like then Guiliani, who is left of Bush on gun rights and abortion.

    However, I think there may be an illegal immigration issue brewing that may become second or tied with first place with Iraq. The string of murders and other gang activities in “sanctuary cities and states” committed by illegal aliens may begin to heat up the discussion – especially since many of these illegal aliens have criminal records in the US prior to committing these crimes and are still on the streets. People have compassion for illegals but they want their own families to be safe. Remember the “willie horton” event that killed the Dukakis campaign? Greta on Fox News is making this her cause – and she is hardly right of center in political terms.

    Where a candidate stands on illegal aliens with criminal records and the right of police to report the status of these criminals to ICE may become very important in the 2008 campaign.

  2. I have no problem with cops doing that. But I don’t see how ICE can handle those when they’re busy raiding meatpacking plants.

  3. Mike M. says:

    AJ, I think you are busy beating the vulture-eaten skeleton of a very dead horse. Both sides have used some very hard language…but that is to be expected in a party where ideas are more important than personalities. But one measure of sensible people is the ability to forgive hard words. Enough said.

    I don’t know if Guliani can really be considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination. My own assessment is that it’s him versus a generic center-right candidate, but that the center-right vote is divided between Romney, McCain, and Thompson. If a center-right candidate can consolidate the center-right voters, he can prevail.

    On the other hand, Guliani has appealed to people as a strong law-and-order candidate with good management skills. What makes things interesting is that he has done something VERY unusual…not tried to hide his center-left positions on some issues. Instead, he appears willing to not push those positions – but not deny his beliefs, either. And it seems to be working. Conservatives can stomach a liberal, but despise a liar.

    But I would not claim that Guliani is like Bush. He’s significantly further to the left politically, but a better administrator. And hopefully a more frequent communicator, for the great weakness of the Bush administration has been its utter unwillingness to persuade people of the rightness of their positions.

  4. AJStrata says:

    Mike M.

    No, the issue is serious. If the GOP is out of step with America we get left with Clintons and 9-11. Face it, the GOP has done this nonsense too many times. They pout, stay home and we get Clintons, Pelosis and Reids.

    Sorry mate, the GOP needs to face the fact they are not acting as leaders, more like whiners.

  5. dave m says:

    Too much heat. It’s probably going to be Guliani.

    The defeat of the amnesty bill is insignificant in the overall
    political process.
    Why did Bush push it so hard?
    the third Security and Prosperity Partnership summit taking place Aug. 20-21 at a site where the uninvited can be easily excluded: the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello resort about 50 miles outside of Quebec.

    The cheering gallery for SPP is hysterically chanting that its goal is not a North American “union” modeled on the European Union – and that anyone who thinks otherwise must be peddling conspiracy fears. But SPP supporters candidly admit they want North American “integration,” which might be a distinction without a difference.
    President George W. Bush started down this trail on April 22, 2001, when he signed the Declaration of Quebec City in which he made a “commitment to hemispheric integration.

    Hmmm…. and we thought it was just the President following his
    heart. Well, anyways, unless you belong to a minority interest,
    you’ve already forgotten about this.

    So Obama’s gone and Fred’s turning back into being seen
    as an actor. Romney was good in Iowa but there is still that
    thing of his.

    So it’s Rudy vs. Hillary.

    I’ll put money on it.

  6. AJStrata says:

    Dave M,

    I am confident it is Rudy as well, and Clinton would be the best for the GOP. But I am telling you the hard core base hates Giuliani – he is not a pure conservative.

  7. satrist says:

    Dave M:

    Where can I find proof that President Bush signed the declaration you cited in your post?

  8. Mike M. says:

    Hate is too strong a word. I’m a hard-core conservative…and while I have no affection for Guliani, I respect him as a competent administrator – and credit him with being honest about his politics, which a lot of elected officials aren’t. And I’m not alone in this.

    And I dread the prospect of any of the Democrats getting the White House. And I KNOW I’m not alone in that.

  9. TomAnon says:

    So Jaqui brings it up “The string of murders and other gang activities in “sanctuary cities and states” committed by illegal aliens may begin to heat up the discussion – especially since many of these illegal aliens have criminal records in the US prior to committing these crimes and are still on the streets.”

    How much responsiblity does the far right now have for this as they pouted, whined, and rejected what they labled the “Shamnesty Bill”?

    All the above was quite well covered in the Immigration Bill. Who of the current candidates has the best chance of getting something through Congress? Sadly, with the GOP caught up in throes of a Purity War it is….. Hillary…

    God Help Us

    Your purity wars continue and status quo remains.

  10. Terrye says:

    Oh for heavens sakes, we get the North American Union and the string of murders committed by illegals, but gee AJ is going overboard with the complaints about killing the shamnesty bill, etc.

    I was raped when I was 18 years old by a very well off white kid…should every white man carry the load for that? This nonsense of labelling all undocumented workers as criminals is stupid. Those people who committed those acts are criminals, just like the Americans who commit thost kinds of acts are criminals. Remember when the guy killed all those kids on the VA campus and someone said that if that had been a gun free zone it would not have happened. As if a criminal would care if it was a gun free zone. And criminals do not care about immigration laws either. That does not justify their actions, but trying to tie them to every nanny, roofer, ag laborer, and bus boy out there who is hispanic just makes people look stupid.

    And raving about the North American Union makes them look stupid too. For years we had a open border, and that includes when Newt came to town and the right did not do anything about it all. In the 2004 election it was not even an issue.

    Now I go on sites and read some of the most racist, paranoid, obnoxious and insane nonsense imaginable and I find myself wishing the Democrats would get it together because I do not want to associated with those people. And I do not see the right trying to stop that stuff either, not on talk radio or the blogs or anywhere. If someone wants to rave about Joreg Bush and his brother Jeb with his brown skinned son and diseased people stinking of refried beans…it is ok fine.

    But it is not fine with me and without Independents like me the right can not win elections. And if they would rather see a Clinton in the White House than learn to give an inch, then who needs them?

    The right demanded the government do something about immigration and when they tried they turned on them, claimed they had the moral majority and destroyed any possibility of compromise.

    Tell me, if these guys are so popular, why is it they can not win elections without the people they constantly compain about? Did the fits help them win in 2006? No… and right now in spite of it all the Democrats might actually win in 2008 and we all know how they will vote on immigration. Apparently the right does not care.

  11. satrist says:

    you go, girl!

  12. Terrye says:

    Yeah well I lost my sense of humor when I was called a traitor. But then again they also called Bush and McCain traitors so I am not ashamed to be in that kind of company.

  13. satrist says:

    I’ve always liked Bush but they’ve made me like McCain as well. Go figure.

  14. Terrye says:


    I know what you mean. These folks are bullies.

    BTW, I hear that Michelle Malkin was whining about Harriet Miers again the other day.

    I think Malkin is a good example of the kind of person who can not get out of her own way.

    When I think about the Social Security reform that Bush tried to get through and how little help he got from the same people who call Social Security a Ponzi scheme, and who constantly complain about federal spending and the drug prescription program I realize that these people really do not want to change things…they just want to find certain issues and demagogue them. In the end they will be just as happy to see Clinton in the White House. After all it would not be the first time the contrary people helped make a Clinton president.

  15. The Macker says:

    Seems like Guiliani has a fixed core of Republican supporters that make him shine in a multi-candidate field but might not be expandable to win a 2-man race. And he’s got a lot of baggage. A lot of Repubs might not want to take that on.

  16. Rick C says:

    It just seems way to early to be claiming the Republicans will be having a food fight. While some people have lined up behind one candidate or another, there just isn’t the sense of it being “my candidate or nobody”. I could support Romney, McCain, Rudy, Fred, or even Newt. I have no problem with Guliani because I am sure he will be tough on terrorists, hopefully fiscally conservative, and, also hopefully, be true to his word about appointing conservative judges.

    I really see no lasting problem over the immigration bill. That bill had two major problems. First, it was conceived in the dead of night, hurried to the floor, withdrawn, rewritten, and hurried back to the floor again. Nobody knew what was really in it. But, the fatal flaw to me was that I simply did not believe the enforcement mechanisms would actually be enforced. We would end up with just a path to legalization and nothing more. But, to repeat, I really cannot see people deserting the Republican candidate just because of the immigration bill. Who would you desert to? Besides, how does “shamnesty” differ from “immigration hypochondriacs”? I expect Congress to do some things to enforce the current law and that an immigration bill will come back, but this time in the daylight.

    I am also not to concerned about the size of the Iowa straw poll and who won. It is too early to make much of that. The Republican field will be winnowed in due time.

    As another thought, it occurred to me today that if I were Hillary, I couldn’t have proposed opponents who would make me look as good as Edwards and Obama. Beside those two, she looks like a giant. However, when she has to go up against a real opponent, it will not be so easy.


  17. dave m says:

    one of ya asked for my link about President Bush and the
    North Armerican Integration Plan,
    here it is:
    And if I copied that wrong another way to find it is off
    the Chronwatch site
    and go to the sub-section titled “World Affairs”.
    And no, I’m not really into conspiracy theories, but ya know what they
    say about people who are paranoid – they still might have real enemies!

  18. satrist says:

    Dave M:

    for a little balance, read Michael Medved’s column dated May 9, 2007 and titled An open letter to a worried patriot: Why you needn’t lose sleep over a “North American Union”
    You can find it on his website,

    Medved’s not only factual, he has common sense as well.

    Sorry I don’t know how to do the link transfer thing or I would provide it for you.

  19. AJ i Rarely disagree with you but let me note something

    I just wanted to point out that Huckabee is no FAR RIGHT radical. He will have cross over appeal. I did a post that was aimed toward Catholics but I think people that are not Cathlolic will note that Huckabee is not from the looney right