Last Spring a Pew poll found that only 23% of voters consider themselves Republicans. This month an ABC/Washington Post survey suggests the number has fallen even further—to 20%. Meanwhile the largest block of voters, 36%, classify as Independents, with 35% calling themselves Democrats.
One more number: 72% of Republicans identify themselves as conservative.
Bottom line—the Republicans Party is deeply conservative while America is predominantly conservative. It is the party label that has trouble, not the philosophy which was once its driving force.
The key to expansion then is to realign itself with that which is conservative and regain the trust of the 35% of Independents and 21% of Democrat who also call themselves conservative. You do this with candidates who appeal to these voters—conservative populists who speak with boldness and clarity about their vision for America. Then you paint democratic candidates with the Obama brush-- fiscally irresponsible, socially radical, out of touch liberals fully engaged in bankrupting the nation.
So what are Republican Party leaders doing? With 20% of the electorate in their pocket they’re running to the middle, adding even more credibility to Sam Francis’ description of them as the “Stupid Party”.
According to story in Politico this past week, “many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities.” But it was on their “big tent, big spending, big amnesty” watch that the referenced defeats took place!
This same article reports that John McCain and his little side-kick Lindsey Graham are working to move the party in a “more centrist direction”. But a year ago McCain, as the party’s nominee, couldn’t energize a Republican convention without first inviting the fire-breathing right-wing Alaskan Governor, Sarah Palin, to join him on stage.