Friday, January 25, 2013

Future Republican Strategy

The recent publication of the final election results shows that President Obama won the popular vote by almost 5,000,000 votes. He received 65.8 million votes to Governor Romney’s 60.9. The Electoral College vote was even more decisive with the President garnering 332 Electoral College votes to his opponent’s 206.

Since the election innumerable pundits have chimed in on what Governor Romney should have done differently, or what future Republican candidates will have to do to gain the White House. Most of the suggestions have been largely ideological. Conservatives argue that Romney should have been more conservative and less moderate. Liberals argue that he was too conservative, especially on the so-called social issues.

I believe that most of the post election analysis failed to consider what actually is working in this country. There is a great issue that could unite both conservatives and liberals. So far the issue seems mainly to be confined to the state and local level and has not as yet reached the national level. At least it was not existent in the most recent campaign. Simply stated the issue has to do with the overwhelming dominance of so-called public service unions in American politics, and the increasingly disparate gap between their compensation and benefit packages and those of the great mass of people that they are supposed to serve.

It is interesting to look at election results in some of the key battleground states. Governor Romney was originally from Michigan but he could only gain 44.6% of the votes in that state. However, on the local level Republicans dominate the state. The Michigan Senate has 26 Republicans to 12 Democrats, and the House has a solid Republican majority of 59 to 51. Nevertheless, in a national election the state was an easy win for the Democrats. You can say that this had to do with the personalities of Obama and Romney but I think it had to do with the fact that at the local level Republican politicians are making headway because of the increasingly obvious disparity between the public and private sectors in that state.

Wisconsin was another good example. Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan wasn’t able to bring his home state into the Republican column. Yet the state has a Republican legislature and governor who had only recently won a significant victory over public service unions who were joined in battle by union forces all over the country. Nevertheless, Wisconsin was an easy win for President Obama.

Finally, no state was more closely contested than Ohio. On election night all eyes were on Ohio and it seemed as if as Ohio goes, so goes the election. In the end, President Obama won a narrow 88000 vote victory despite the fact that the electoral map indicated a sea of red surrounding a couple of blue islands. Yet Ohio also has a very popular Republican governor and an overwhelmingly Republican legislature. What is going on? Why do local red votes turn blue nationally?

I can only guess that on the national level Republican politicians are ignorant of what is going on in their own states. I’ll just use tiny Connecticut as an example. Connecticut is one of the most liberal states in the country and the Romney campaign hardly showed up. Even the Republican Senatorial candidate, Linda McMahon, distanced herself from the Romney/Ryan ticket. At the same time she ignored the dominance of the public service unions in the state and was content to waste 50 million dollars in attacking her little known opponent. She went down to a resounding defeat. She should have trusted her wrestling instincts. If something doesn’t work, don’t keep doing it. ###

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