2014 is quickly coming to a close, and we are approaching another year closer to showing Obama to the door. Yes, the next 24 months are going to be bumpy and, no doubt, there are going to be some battles between the newly crowned GOP Senate, and that guy occupying the Oval. This is especially true given that our next election will include a vote for the next president of the United States, and both sides will be gearing for battle. And with all of this, will come the usual, and highly predictable, pundit rhetoric: that the next president will be the candidate who plays best in the middle. To this, I cry “bull shit!”
Much like baseball, it is commonly believed that a candidate will win a third of the votes, lose a third of the votes, and it’s that other third (independents) that will really matter. Earlier this year, The Cook Political Report published a wonderful, yet not widely distributed article, titled “The Myth of the Independent Voter” (Amy Walter, January 15th, 2014). Amongst many excellent points, Walter noted that during the 2012 election, “…one-time GOP-identified voters are now identifying themselves as independents.” She goes on to conclude that “in fact, there is evidence that they are abandoning their party labels for the exact opposite reason: they see the party as moving too far from its core values.” For all the hype about immigration, Obamacare, and gay marriage, there is little reason to believe that if Republicans would just jump on the band wagon, then they can salvage voters. Yet, the truth for Republicans is that they both, control the middle, and are too quick to pamper the middle. Does this make any sense? Of course not! If Cook is correct (and I’ve genuinely believed for a long time that they are), then Republicans are losing voters because they are straying too far from the right; not too far from the middle.
The republican candidate who will succeed is the one who goes right, and stays there. THAT is the candidate who will, according to all of the facts and statistics, draw the independents back to the party, and who will go on to win the presidential election. To this, I beg of the GOP: stick to your values, and you will be rewarded!