[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Super Tuesday - The Day After

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday - The Day After

Well, it looks like the front-runners are still in front after Super Tuesday.

Here are some thoughts from the Republican side:

- All the talk and poll results about the conservative base being against McCain and supporting Romney hasn't exactly panned out, to say the least. Every time I hear a talk show host or pundit state that the conservative base supports Romney, I feel like screaming. Not because I didn't wish it was true, but because it goes against the results. It can also be proposed that the ultra-conservative anti-McCain base is split, with Huckabee gaining the support of Southern social conservatives and Romney gaining the support of fiscal upper-class conservatives. Super Tuesday's results illustrated that, in this hack's uneducated and unprofessional opinion.

- What this tells me is that once you go outside of the hard-core conservative and talk radio constituency, the average Republican voter isn't necessarily looking for the candidate that stands farthest to the right on the issues. Most people shun the extremes and look for someone that in their minds appeals to a more moderate base, where most people are situated. I'm not implying that McCain is indeed the person that fits this bill, but the election results show that the perception most definitely exists.

- The influence of talk radio on voters is overestimated. That much is perfectly clear. Despite the millions of people who listen to Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis, they're either not that big in number compared to the general electorate, or they're not taking his advice. Take your pick. Same for us cyberspace pundits.

- The Republican field is filled with competent individuals, giving voters a wide range of quality choices, IMO. Some of those have dropped out of the race, but they were there at some point. Naturally, this has created the split we're seeing now. There are a lot of bitter feelings now, but I believe most Republicans will rally around McCain in the general election. The question is, how many will sit it out? James Dobson says he is, and any portion of the base that sits out will no doubt hurt McCain and the Republicans. How many Democrats will sit out if Hillary is the candidate? That's another good question.

- What IS important to Republican voters? Based on some polls I saw a few days ago, it looks like it's the economy, war on terror and illegal immigration, in that order. Republican voters have a wider range of opinions on these issues than you may be led to believe. They might all be on the same side of the issue, but differ on some of the details. Perhaps what's most important is a combination of the three, and the person that can garner the broadest support on these issues is the man to beat. To most people who reside away from the far-right, that man appears to be McCain. Better yet, that man DOESN'T appear to be Mitt Romney, despite the support from the farther-right conservatives.

- Huckabee can stop dreaming that he's still in the race. Unless he's the front-runner to be Vee Pee.

In closing, this isn't an endorsement of moderate conservative values on my part, although some issues deserve more moderation than others. It's simply an attempt to realistically portray what the election results have shown.



Blogger Rick said...

Nice analysis, Robert.

I would only add that Limbaugh has not endorsed anyone at this point. One caller to his show yesterday took issue with him on that and claimed that he's hurting the conservative party by failing to do so.

I'll be listening today, too, and it will be interesting to hear his comments about yesterday.


11:47 AM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger nonee moose said...

This is a moderate country. Pretty much always has been. Pretty much always will be. The last two instances where the country swung to an extreme (Carter, Bush 43) the consequences have been rather bad.

Rush probably shouldn't endorse anyone. Why risk being right?

Had neo-con evangelicals not considered nookie in the Oval Office such a hanging offense (or at least a rallying cause), that extreme of the right wing would still be busy suing Larry Flint and trying to shut down Uncle Luke, and that would have been just fine, as long as they weren't actually running anything. Instead, they were emboldened, and their hubris towards the masses has left this country's social fabric in need of darning. This has been a dance, however, and the "neo-lib" has reciprocated in kind. There is no respect for differng opinions or civility of discourse (perhaps there never was?)

But the great middle is starting to awaken again. The partisan overload of the past several years has made the country scream for a collective time-out. That's why Obama's notion of "post-partisan" unity gets more traction than a liberal agenda otherwise would. (he is actually triangulating better than Clinton).

In the end, I think reality will set in. We loves us our big thinkers, but that forces us to stray too far from the country's practical side. I believe in divided government as a national tendency, and so I think a moderate republican most likely wins. Unless, of course, there's a moderate democrat somewhere.

Good post, Robert.

2:05 PM, February 06, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Thank you Rick and Nonee.

Rush hasn't endorsed anyone, at least not as of yesterday, but he's made it very clear that he doesn't support McCain. I think you can draw the parallel to a silent Romney endorsement.

7:07 PM, February 06, 2008  

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