The comment can be found ••here••.
Thank you for that reply. It was very well said on a number of points.
The main difficulty for the Republican Party is the fractured nature of its major constituencies. There are three major and one minor faction within the party:
1. The Establishment (Bush Sr, Dole, etc). / Corporate Interests (Jack Abrahamoff, etc)
2. The Evangelicals (Pat Robertson, Rick Santorum, etc)
3. The Tea Baggers (Palin, Bachmann, etc)
Minor but important: The Paulites
For the first time since 1992, the Establishment and the Evangelicals can’t decide on a candidate. They had Reagan and Bush Sr. in 1988, but the Evangelicals abandoned him in 1992. Everyone became reluctant about Dole. They came together for Bush, Jr., but their McCain/Palin ticket offering turned off too many independents.
Then, along came the Tea Baggers, and in their wake a more vocal Paulite faction.
This time around, the only faction behind Romney is the Establishment. The Evangelicals cannot vote for a Mormon or a black man, so they’ll stay home, especially if they don’t get their Vice President, e.g. Santorum.
The Tea Baggers hate Romney as much as his primary opponents do, and the Paulites don’t trust him.
The Tea Baggers may force a party split if they don’t get their Vice President, e.g. a Palin of some sort.
If the Tea Baggers walk, either they vote for an existing third party candidate, or form a new Conservative Party and nominate Palin, Bachmann, or one of their intellectually-vacant front bench. In that case, of course, Obama will win a massive landslide, possibly carrying every state outside the deep south, as happened in 1912.
I doubt the Paulites will walk in any serious way, because they are used to being downtrodden, and seemed to like it.
[UPDATE] Of course, another issue is that Republicans strung the Evangelicals along for a long time, but never really delivered. That’s why there’s been a scramble this year to get religious legislation passed, because they hadn’t done anything extensive despite promising to do so since 1980.
[UPDATE] Comments from friends on Facebook:
Friend #1 I think this is an absolutely superb characterization, and I don’t disagree with any of it. I think the one thing he failed to note is the future of the party. All four factions here speak only to white audiences. No Latino or African American would vote for the GOP. Asians might. That leaves the party with a dwindling tent no matter how you slice it.
Friend #2 Yeah good point, how does the rand Old White Party grow in the 21st century? They’re losing their core base to age and demographic reality.
Friend #1 Personally, I think the money game is going to become increasingly irrelevant. Yes, we still need to fight Citizens United and yes, we need comprehensive campaign finance reform…….AGAIN. But all those Republican SuperPACs are ending gobs and gobs of money for no purport – the electorate is increasingly less white and less inclinded to vote for the GOP. I heard a campaign guy on NPR talk about money a Fe weeks ago and he was saying how no one could really tell him what bang for the buck he got for advertising on television or radio…..he just felt he had to do it but didn’t know what role the ads played. OFA has a war gaming team that is looking at alternative ways of getting the word out and they are convinced spending oodles of money on TV ads when they electorate has basically made up their mind is useless. I tend to agree with them…..use your money effectively in the right markets, focus on SoCal media (which is inexpensive) and you’ll crush Romney.
Friend #2 Social media is the present for politics. That’s where your money has to go, whether it’s for coders who know how to make killer memes or just staff to get the word out
Friend#1 Exactly, Friend #2. Demographically the GOP is really up against something they cannot surmount if they keep playing short ball with immigration reform, alienating women (more and more are Latino and black and Asian), and other arguments that don’t resonate at all with younger, racially mixed crowds.
Friend #2 I think both major parties need to do a much better job reaching the electorate. For starters, younger candidates. I would think younger voters would be more inclined to support one of their own as opposed to Grandpa or Grandma. Older establishment candates oughta be nudged into a consulting role
(Me) Thanks Friend #1, that means a lot.
Friend #1 Use any of what I said freely. No trademark or copyright
Friend #1 I didn’t notice your characterization about “winning all the states outside the deep south” until now. I don’t agree with that…..yet. The President will likely win Virginia again, but he might lose North Carolina. The GOP will continue to carry the deep south for a decade, but they will also continue to carry all the states going roughly up towards Montana (the slash of OK, KS, NE) for a generation. No Latinos or African Americans there, a traditional opposition to the federal government…..but they will lose Colorado, New Mexico, and perhaps Iowa within a decade.
[UPDATE] The more I think about it, the more this could well be the year of a split. Here’s why: Romney’s going to lose, unless something really big happens. If they walk out and form their own party, they can endorse Republicans they like, maybe run a few others and nominate a president, and they can prepare for the 2014 elections. They would not be the cause of Romney’s loss at the end of the day, but they can make their mark on this election. Let’s all encourage them to do so!
Naturally, I could be wrong about some or all of this. But I think that none of it is too far afield of likely possibilities.