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For 20 years, the Battleground Poll of States (now the Politico/GW Battleground Poll) showed a freakish consistency about ideology.
2009: 59% Conservative
2012: 57% Conservative
With almost 60% calling themselves somewhat or very conservative, how could Barack Obama get re-elected? How could Republicans fail to gain the Senate in 2010 and 2012? Come to think of it, how do Democrats win at all?
The answer is simple: being conservative doesn’t make you Republican, but being Democrat makes you a liberal.
Look at responses to question d4:
Only 40 percent of respondents called themselves Republican (of some type), while 43 percent identify as Democrats.
Now, look again at ideology. Thirty-seven percent identify as liberal. So Democrats would appear to win over all liberals, all “moderates” and at least half those who don’t know or refused to answer question d3.
Meanwhile, at least 30 percent of self-described conservatives do not identify with the Republican party.
When you look at voter turnout, it seems clear that what Republicans are missing is 30 percent of conservatives. They just don’t vote.
Because the Republican Party isn’t conservative in their eyes. So they stay home or vote third party.
Becoming More Liberal Isn’t The Solution
We hear a lot of Republicans saying the GOP must become more liberal. The Battleground Poll seems to disagree. Instead, the GOP needs to become more consistent in its defense of freedom and its promotion of liberty.
- Reducing the size and scope of the federal government
- Ending the Republican love affair with crony capitalism
- Flattening the tax code until we convert to a simple consumption tax
- Eliminating income taxes eventually
- Scaling back the war on drugs
- Eliminating the Department of Education
- Reducing foreign investments
- Scaling back the power of the federal reserve
When libertarian and young voters look at Republicans, we see a party that worships government as much as the Democrats. Republicans are just as quick to hold Congressional hearings on issues that belong to the states alone. Republicans crave the power of committees and brag about bringing home pork to their districts and states.
As I demonstrated, young people can smell a scam more readily than older voters, and they smell one when the GOP talks about reducing government. Government grew under Bush and a Republican Congress. It grew under Reagan and a Republican Senate.
The only real rollback of government power came under Clinton and a Republican Congress with welfare reform.
Republicans Will Never Win Over The Middle
With 57 percent of voters calling themselves conservatives, the GOP has no need to win over the middle. Instead, they need to win over all 57 percent of conservatives.
Even you argue that those 57 percent are unequally distributed, you can’t argue that they all voted in 2012. If they had—and if they had all voted Republican—Romney would have captured a popular vote landslide. But he didn’t.
If the Republican Party were authentically pro-liberty, pro-freedom, and pro-people, it would wipe out the Democrats election after election. But its inconsistency has the GOP on the verge of extinction.