There are a few recent polls, trends and actual votes to give the Republican Party more hope today than existed on November 5th, 2008. Of course, the liberals/Democratic Party will be arrogantly dismissive and will/have analyzed these things into oblivion in denial of reality. Along with their hypocrisy and elitism, this is an obvious trademark of liberal thought. They do this through (1) denial, (2) trivialization, and (3) the use of nuance. Denial is the most obvious- “it’s just not true.” For example, “it’s just not true” that enhanced interrogation techniques produce valuable intelligence. The second tactic- trivialization- takes certain actions with a “so what?” attitude. For example, the tea parties in April were downplayed as a ploy of Fox News and party turn out downplayed, or the press used the most extreme visual effects- those signs equating Obama and Hitler- as the status quo among tea party participants. The recent rejection of taxes in California to fix years of Sacramento shenanigans was caused, they reason, by low voter turn out. If more California voters turned out, do they also believe that Californians would be more willing to open their wallets for higher taxes? The recent gains by conservatives in the European Union parliamentary elections are also met with a “so what” attitude and explained away. One wonders what their analysis would be had socialists made gains in these elections. Would these same pundits be declaring an Obama victory since Obama seems hell-bent on creating a socialist democratic European style welfare state in America? And the recent primary elections in New Jersey and Virginia were met with the same attitude.
In New Jersey, Christopher Christie won the Republican Primary over the more conservative Steve Lonegan. Compared to Jon Corzine, Christie, even as a “moderate” Republican, would look like an uber-conservative. Democratic pundits have noted that Corzine has not dipped into his vast personal fortune to get his message out yet (what message?) and that the expected largesse and support of the unions, the true power brokers in Trenton, has not been realized. But when one looks at Christie’s performance in traditional Democratic stronghold counties like Essex, Camden, and Middlesex, it far exceeds previous Republican primary winners in those areas. Despite the liberal ignorance, Corzine enters this race an underdog with favorability ratings somewhere south of Bush at the end of his presidency. This is Christie’s race to lose. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the consensus frontrunner and former DNC chief, Terry McAuliffe, lost out to a rural, more conservative candidate. While strategists on the national and state level were tolling the bell for Republicans in Virginia, they may just have to hold off on that party and moving Virginia from the red column to the blue column.
But where liberals and Democrats usually nuance items is with public opinion polling by criticizing the methodology or wording, or whatever excuse they can muster. The recent Gallup Poll which indicated that a majority of Americans, for the first time, now describe themselves as “pro-life” is a good example. This could not be true, they reasoned, because that result does not match their worldview. Therefore, the wording of the questions in the poll must be misleading, they said. However, other recent polls find that now respondents view Republicans more favorably than Democrats in six of ten categories. In the area of national security, without surprise, Republicans have led Democrats in this area for eight straight months. That is three months of a presidential campaign and five months of an endless Obama apology tour of the world. But, here is the kicker: Republicans currently out-poll Democrats on the economy in general.
Taken individually, polls are not worth the paper they are published on sometimes. But when analyzed in the aggregate it becomes obvious that, at a minimum, the perceived “change” people voted for in November does not match the reality of the “change” being rammed down America’s throat in the name of expediency by Obama and the rest of the Democratic cabal. A cursory look at these polls reveal that perhaps America is getting over its Svengali-like hypnotism at the hands of Obama’s teleprompter rhetoric.
Despite TARP and “stimulus,” America’s perception in June 2009 of the banking industry and Wall Street in general is the same as it was in 2007- pre-financial meltdown. In February polling, Democrats were perceived to be the party better prepared to solve the health care problem in America by an 18-point margin. Today, that margin has dwindled to a 10-point advantage. By the time Obama signs anything at this rate, it will be down to a 1-2 point margin, hardly the bipartisan mandate he envisions. An April poll indicated that Americans favorably view free trade policies over protectionism (despite “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus bill)- an area where Republicans have shown consistency. Another poll from April states that Americans are drifting right on the issues of abortion and gun control which, if Republicans play the issues correctly, they can exploit to the disadvantage of the Democrats as portraying them as being outside the mainstream. Recent polls look disfavorably upon the government take over of General Motors with only 33% of Americans believing it will result in success. That’s a lot of pessimism to overcome. Despite the “inspiring oratory” in Cairo which no doubt set yet more tingles up Chris Matthew’s legs, only 37% of Americans polled trust Islamic nations to settle perceived differences with the United States. Of course, this could have something to do with the more realistic images of fatwas, jihads, and airplanes taking out buildings in New York City. A recent June 9th poll indicates that just 33% of Americans are satisfied with the way things are now in the country. Lest they nuance this one away, the poll also finds that the dissatisfaction rate is 64%. Finally, a June 10th poll finds that only 36% of Americans currently believe the country is headed in the right direction.
What are the strategy implications going forward in the 2009, and especially the 2010 elections? From the acceptance speeches of both Corzine in New Jersey and Deeds in Virginia, get ready for a familiar refrain: their Republican opponents represent the “same failed policies of the Bush years.” Corzine even threw Cheney and Ashcroft in there for added emphasis. The Democratic strategy is to link Christie and McDonnell to Bush, plain and simple. Republicans need to hammer through a policy of fiscal discipline while outlining a plan to retain services for their state’s most vulnerable citizens- not “compassionate conservatism,” but a realignment of priorities. For example, does New Jersey really need three state departments or commissions or boards-each with their own budgets and bureaucracies- to determine whether high school students should be taught economics in order to receive state scholarships? And after they win in November, they need to show humility in triumph while Corzine and Deeds and, by extension, Pelosi, Reid and Obama eat crow, then trivialize the significance of these Republican victories.
For 2010, preliminary polling data in Congress- and many of these races are hypothetical- indicate that Republicans may pick up 30-40 seats in the House and three Senate seats. Neither of these facts will shift the balance of power per se, but in the House, with a united Republican Party dedicated to fiscal conservatism in conjunction with fiscally moderate or conservative southern Democrats, perhaps a formidible voting bloc can be achieved to thwart the more radical approaches of the Obama administration. In other words, 2010 needs to be dedicated to this basic philosophy of fiscal discipline and as the need for a check on Obama’s unwanton Presidential economic powers. The majority of Americans do not want to foot an estimated $9 trillion hidden tax increase in the name of slowing global warming. The vast majority Americans do not want their current health benefits taxed without credits to purchase their own insurance, nor do they want Washington bureaucrats dictating what is the correct medical options. Most Americans want less federal government intrusion in education and they want a choice in where they send their kids to school. They don’t want mandates. Most Americans support a free market economy, despite the recent recession and the actions of banks, investment firms and insurance companies and despite what Paul Krugman and Harold Meyerson state to the contrary. Most Americans want energy independence but also realize that the “green future” Obama and Gore dream about every night is light years away while we sit on untapped oil, coal, and natural gas reserves. Most Americans see the hypocrisy of Obama stating Iran is entitled to peaceful nuclear energy, yet his own energy independence bill does not encompass the role of nuclear energy in the United States. Most Americans would probably be more willing to spend money on research into nuclear waste disposal rather than wasting money on wind turbine and solar panel technology. Most Americans do not want the government to be part-owner of any business- bank, auto, amusement park, whatever. When your Treasury Secretary is laughed and snickered at in China when he states the United States is dedicated to reducing their budget deficits and national debt, it is not out of disrespect. It is out of realism; they see what the Democratic Party obviously fails to see. Current spending of other country’s borrowed dollars is unsustainable in the short term and the long term. It threatens not only future generations of tax payers, but the current generation. The year 2010 could be year that the Democrats are held in check and given a dose of reality from the American electorate. The Republican Party need not be the “party of no.” In the end, they may just be the party of “We Told You So.”