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Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in Politics | 10 comments

GOP In Decline? Someone Had Better Tell The Voters.

I’ve been hearing lately that the Republican Party (note: I am not a Republican) is “in decline” because of this, that, or the other thing. The funny thing about that decline being that according to Gallup, the American populace has been trending away from Democrats and toward Republicans the last few years, and both parties are pretty much at parity. Which looks suspiciously like a decline for Democrats and like two parties that are pretty much even nationwide. Which is where they’ve been most of the time for the last decade and a half or so.

It would seem wise to ask why Republicans would listen to people who tell them that their message is bad and they are alienating people when all they have done is increased in number and support for the last few years.

The truth of the matter is that some Republicans have managed to alienate me, but Democrats in the past have often alienated me as well. It strikes me that it is usually a mistake to assume that our own feelings on the issues are the “centrist” or “mainstream” view or that what repels or attracts us is what repels or attracts everyone else. For all the handwringing of the poor fortunes of the GOP, someone might want to notice how well they did in the last elections (hint: they made significant gains) and to notice how many Americans identify as Republicans now as compared to four years ago (hint: Republicans have grown, not shrunk, in political affiliation among voters).

We appear to be in an era of American politics of high polarization, with two parties fairly evenly matched in popularity. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to say, but it’s what’s actually happening.

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  • djshay

    And this enthusiasm for the GOP message has resulted in double digit drops in GOP voters in primaries from 2008. the oh so patriotic message of shi**ing on auto workers, the “only blah people use foodstamps”, and the general dumping on anyone that is unemployed has reaped such benefits for the Republican party. Yeah, you go girl. /tone deaf conservatives ROCK!

  • DJshay: Just because you’re mad at Republicans, this does not mean the country as a whole is. It also doesn’t mean that if they are mad, this means they’re turning Democrat or fleeing.

    Low voter turnout in a Presidential primary would, to me, indicate a lack of enthusiasm for Presidential candidates, not lack of enthusiasm for their party.

    The numbers tell the tale, regardless of your personal feelings: The Republican brand has been going up, not down, the last few years, and they are at parity with Democrats right now. That, I’m afraid, is simply what’s true. Make of it what you will.

  • zephyr

    I realize we’re all programmed to care about the horse race, but the GOP decline isn’t just about raw numbers. It’s about a party that is increasingly out of touch, increasingly comfortable with it’s own hypocrisy, out of ideas and in with obstruction. To many of us this spells decline, even if much of the electorate hasn’t quite figured it out yet. I believe the GOP tends to benefit most from voters who have older loyalties to the brand, who don’t bother to scratch far below the surface. Since there are a LOT of voters like this, the GOP brand will likely be with us for some time to come.

  • SteveK

    The numbers tell the tale, regardless of your personal feelings: The Republican brand has been going up, not down, the last few years, and they are at parity with Democrats right now. That, I’m afraid, is simply what’s true. Make of it what you will.

    I think Mr. “I’m not a Republican” (Does Michigan allow non-Republican voters to vote in the Republican Primary?) knows what they say about facts.

    Here’s a few ‘facts’ that don’t seem to go along with his “Republicans on the Rise” theory.

    This NBC News / Wall Street Journal Poll shows that in the last six months it’s gone from a dead heat to a 6 point edge for the Democrats (Which by the way I am a proud Democrat)

    NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll conducted by the polling organizations of Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R). Jan. 22-24, 2012. N=1,000 adults nationwide. Results below are among registered voters.

    “What is your preference for the outcome of next year’s congressional elections: a Congress controlled by Republicans or a Congress controlled by Democrats?” Options rotated

    01/22-24/12 R – 41% D – 47% U -12%
    12/07-11/11 R – 43 D – 45 U -12
    11/02-05/11 R – 43 D – 46 U -11
    10/06-10/11 R – 41 D – 45 U -14
    08/27-31/11 R – 47 D – 41 U -12
    06/09-13/11 R – 44 D – 44 U -12

    In this UT / National Journal Poll the Democrats picked up 5 points and the Republicans dropped 4 in the last three months.

    United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Jan. 19-22, 2012. N=773 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 4.1.

    “Thinking about the 2012 elections, which of the following outcomes would you prefer? Would you rather see the Republicans keep control of the U.S. House of Representatives, OR the Democrats win enough seats to take over control of the House?”

    01/19-22/12 R – 37% D – 48%

    10/27-30/11 R – 41 D – 43 Neither – 6 Unsure – 9

  • zephyr

    Dean, the link Steve gave to your previous post begs the question: How can you be planning on voting in the Michigan republican (closed) primary if you aren’t a registered republican?

  • bluebelle

    The real problem seems to be the difference between the views of the GOP base vs the rest of the country. Its increasingly difficult for any candidate running a national campaign to appease both.

    OTOH, the Tea Party has had a lot of success selling itself to the various states– the success is probably due to all of the corporate cash flowing in to their candidates

  • ShannonLeee

    “The truth of the matter is”

    I really dislike phrases like this… it makes me feel like I am about to be lied to.

    or when people say, “In all honesty, blah blah”…I think…”what, so before you weren’t being honest?”

    Demographics are against the Rep party. They do have some Hispanic talent, but in general, they are still very disliked by our nation’s fastest growing demographic…question is…do those people vote?

    Also, the corporate powers that control our government need a strong Rep party in order to divide and conquer our nation. They will keep funneling billions into Rep and Dem campaigns in order to keep the status quo.

    Reps dont need to worry, lobbyists will keep them in Washington.

  • SteveK

    Mr. Esmay’s silence regarding the comments directed to him in this thread (and in another) speaks volumes.

  • xyzyx

    Republicans are unappealing or worse; but they are the lesser of the two party evils, most of the time, often much the lesser, as we saw in 2009 and 2010, and voted in large numbers for the GOP (to punish the much worse Democrats) accordingly.

  • zephyr

    Agreed Steve. Something doesn’t smell right.

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