Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Polarization: Why Rs Win in 08

Dick Morris analyzes a recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll that shows the following:

  • Hillary Clinton is extremely popular among Democrats and extremely unpopular among independents. She is therefore the favorite to be her party's nominee and the least favorite to be elected.
  • John Kerry and Al Gore don't do much better than Hillary.
  • Condi, Rudy and McCain show much better traction with independents than any of these Ds.
  • Rudy is the strongest with both the R base and independents.

In other words, Ds polarize, while Rs appeal. And Rudy does it best.

Morris asks whether Rs will vote for Rudy when they find out "that he is pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro-affirmative action." We say that Rs are literate and already know. And they know it's not just what you do, but it's the way that you do it.

And so we say again, the next POTUS is Rudy G.


RIV said...

Just for the record, I feel that putting Giuliani up as the Republican presidential nominee in '08 would be foolish. Regardless of whether or not the president actually has much power to change social-moral laws, i.e. abortion rights, he/she (condi) is viewed as having such. There are many people who would not vote for a pro-choice candidate to become a township trustee, much less POTUS. And I believe that a much larger chunk of President Bush's support came from this crowd in '04 than is generally credited. As it stands, R's could put up several candidates who would wipe the floor with any of the current D hopefuls. But if Giuliani does manage to be the R nominee, here is my prediction: there will be a third party candidate who will receive more votes than Perot ever did and we may actually have a R party split. Thus giving current R's what they are lacking in the D's, a real opposition party.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Change on life issues will take place culturally, not politically. We should rejoice that the abortion rate is going down despite its ongoing legality, work to continue that trend, and then be ready when it's rare enough and repugnant to enough people that legal action will be politically possible.

I could agree that a third party on the right would be a threat to Rudy--or to McCain, for that matter--if there were a candidate on the right who polls decently even among Rs. Only Condi can threaten either of these two, and she still says that she won't run ... though it would be the most delicious political outcome if she did.

RIV said...

Oh I agree that the change must be cultural rather than political, but there are a lot of other people who would need convincing of that. It has been experience that many people have left behind (copyright Tim Lahaye) their R and D affiliations and have latched onto an issue or two. This is especially true among R's.

JB in CA said...

Here's the problem, as I see it, with voting for Guiliani. If he wins with broad support from conservatives (which, of course, is the only way he can win), the MSM will claim over and over again (indeed, for the entire length of his presidency) that his victory is evidence that evangelicals, Catholics, and other conservatives have softened their position on abortion (etc.)--that they have decided abortion (etc.) is not so morally reprehensible after all. When those who are faint of heart, but otherwise inclined to oppose abortion (etc.), hear this sort of commentary (put forward as news, no less), they are very likely to cave in to such "peer" pressure and lend their support to abortion (etc.) as a necessary evil, a democratic compromise, a compassionate alternative, yada, yada, yada. The net result would be a giant step backward for social/cultural conservatism.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

I actually see the possibilities differently: that alongside a Supreme Court with a pro-life majority and as a mildly pro-choice member of a pro-life party, Guiliani can lead a Nixon-to-China move that will restore some restrictions to abortions, like outlawing them after the first trimester or such.

However, let us remember that there is not one viable pro-life candidate for 2008, unless a dark horse suddenly emerges. In politics you dare not ask for what doesn't exist.

And let us remember that jb in ca's candidate, Senator McCain (R-Keating Five), is also mildly pro-choice.

And let us remember that the President has no constitutional control over this issue whatsoever. He can only sign legislation and execute; he can't do anything to amend the constitution.

JB in CA said...

He does have a bully pulpit, however, and in cultural issues, that means a great deal. But let's not loose sight of the point of my comments. I wasn't arguing that a pro-life president could do much to help the pro-life cause; I was arguing that a pro-choice president could do much to hurt it.
I would prefer, if possible, to avoid that.

As far as the Supreme Court is concerned, I think it's clear that there's not yet a pro-life majority on board, and even if there will be by the time Bush leaves office, I'm afraid that the "procedural conservatism" of some of the newer members will lead them (paradoxically) to protect Roe v. Wade as a "super precedent," rather than to erode its status as a "Constitutional right."

And finally, I liked the old, angry McCain better than the new, mild one. I still believe he would have been a better choice to lead us through 9/11, but, having said that, I'm afraid you're right about his current desirability. I think he's managed to redefine himself in a most unfortunate way--only one aspect of which is by taking on a "mildly pro-choice" stance.