Matt Towery

Readers of my column may recall that a month or so ago, I wrote that President Obama's approval rating would soon begin to drop, as would the stock market. I'm no psychic, but both proved true.

So now we're all tumbling down. I quite literally tumbled myself, some weeks back. The vertigo that I get from flying caused me to fall and crash my head, giving me a concussion.

Some of you may be applauding, or thinking that a good kick in the head might be just the prescription to clarify my thinking processes. But never mind.

America is in a helluva mess. We have a proposed federal budget that will send spending through the roof. Our lax outlook toward terrorism has suddenly dissipated, as the nation is now on high alert. And Washington, D.C., is buried beneath snow, which may be a blessing in disguise. Oh, for the good ole days of global warming.

Going Rogue by Sarah Palin FREE

Our polling indicates that 2010 may turn out to be the most virulent anti-incumbent election cycle in a long while. I was around for the last time. It was 1994, when Newt Gingrich and his band of brothers captured Capitol Hill. The dirty secret is that we didn't realize we were going to win the Congress until days before the vote.

So here's today's real issue: What are Republicans and conservatives to do as the nation turns quickly away from Obama and the Democrats? Recently, there has developed a schism in the Republican-conservative world between self-proclaimed Tea Party conservatives and others who consider themselves pragmatists. If the GOP and conservatives ever hope to take advantage of the absolute political disaster that has taken place, they must first find a way for the two factions of the conservative movement to embrace each other.

I've been around long enough to know what divisions within the GOP and among conservatives are like. In 1976, the unabashedly conservative Ronald Reagan did what some in the Republican Party at the time thought was unforgivable: He ran against the incumbent GOP president, Gerald Ford.

As I often remind readers, when Reagan ran again in 1980, he was considered persona non grata among so-called "establishment Republicans." It wasn't until he grabbed a microphone during a debate in Nashua, N.H., and basically told everyone to kiss his rear end that he became not just a serious candidate, but the leader of the party.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a pollster, attorney, businessman and former elected official. He served as campaign strategist for Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial campaigns. His latest book is Newsvesting: Use News and Opinion to Grow Your Personal Wealth. Follow him on Twitter @MattTowery