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Monday, February 04, 2008

Reasons for Republican Optimism

My friend John McLaughlin, who happens to be a top Republican pollster, has written an excellent article explaining why things might not be so bleak for the GOP after all.

Here are the highlights:

• As economic concerns rise, three in four voters still think that the country is headed in the wrong direction, but this time Democrats and Congress share the blame with Republicans.

• The President remains largely unfavorable, but the Republican Party is in the midst of a great volatile nomination battle that will redefine its image and its coalition.

• As unpopular as the President may still be, Hillary Clinton is not far behind. Nationally four in ten voters are unfavorable to her and they are polarized along partisan lines. No way is Mark Penn, Hillary’s pollster correct that she will get 25 percent of the Republican women vote. Her negatives among Republican women are about 80 percent -- even in the Northeast. Last November among Northeast voters, even before the campaign started Senator Clinton had a 41 percent unfavorable rating. For every ad that a Democrat attacks a Republican with, there may be one to put some distance between the Democrat and Senator Clinton. Senator Clinton, as the nominee of her party, will be a catalyst for a better Republican turnout than in 2006. Also she will be a cause for ticket-spitting for Congress. Among those voters who may vote for her, a sizable segment do not want her to rule with unchecked control of government and will split their ticket as they did with her husband in the ’94, ’96 and ’98 elections.

• If Senator Obama wins the nomination, the Democratic Party will have gone even farther to the left and become even more anti-war. This will leave more of the middle and independent vote available to the Republicans.

• The majority of voters in the Northeast are now giving the “Democratic majority in Congress” a net negative job rating. This holds true among independents and even among Democratic voters in key swing districts. Along with the Democratic majority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi now has a net unfavorable rating in key districts.

• Democratic efforts to push a tax increase on middle-class and upper middle-class economy are undermining the Democrats credibility that they are actually cutting taxes for the middle class.

• In key districts, the majority of Northeast voters support a gradual withdrawal of troops from Iraq and are opposed to an immediate withdrawal that leaves an unstable Iraq.

• Democrat missteps fueled by New York Governor Spitzer’s very unpopular proposal to give illegal aliens drivers’ licenses and the tacit support by Senator Clinton gave Northeast Republicans an important wedge issue to regain lost ground on security as an issue.

• Last November six in ten voters, 59 percent preferred “smaller government with fewer services”, over “larger government with many services”, 28 percent. In the Northeast the plurality of voters preferred smaller government 48 percent to 36 percent. Fiscal conservatism will be an important opportunity once again for Republicans.

• With the retirement of incumbents and the opportunity for new challengers the Republican Party once again has the opportunity to become the party of new ideas, new faces and change precisely at a time when voters will be looking for independence and change once more.

Posted by Gerry Nicholls on February 4, 2008 | Permalink


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...with a name like McLaughlin, how could he be wrong?


Posted by: tom mclaughlin | 2008-02-04 10:02:56 PM

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