How to win over independents in 2012.
There is a major fear in the republican party that I want to address. It is scarier than another democratic filibuster-proof Senate, it is more feared than Obama himself. More than anything, Republicans seem to fear . . .
. . . Nominating someone who is too conservative to run for president because they think that someone who is too conservative is unelectable and that we will lose the election in classic Goldwater fashion. This simply isn’t the case. As republicans, next year we should nominate a conservative candidate because he can win. Then we will not have only won an election, but we will be able to win legislative battles after the election. We have never had a 100% conservative backing us from the bully pulpit but it is possible and all we have to do is unite the base behind someone that we feel passionate about. Independents will follow.
Karl Rove believed that you didn’t need the middle of the electorate if you had your base united and he pulled off a massive victory in 2004 over John Kerry.
But here is the truth, the elusive independent-vote and people in the middle that both parties want to pick up, are not looking for the most moderate candidate. John McCain was the maverick-common-sense candidate in 2008 and they rejected him across the nation.
What really gets a moderate vote, is a candidate that the base overwhelmingly supports and is behind because that whips up excitement and that is what wins national elections — someone that creates excitement. Reagan and Obama fit that mold. It wasn’t that Obama was campaigning from the middle in 2008 as much as the excitement that takes a hold of sheeple. In 2008, half of my colleagues couldn’t name a position that Obama had taken but they were falling hard for hope and change. Can we please stop pretending that the smartest people are undecided voters?
Let’s be honest, if a voter doesn’t tilt right or left, in 9 out of 10 cases it probably isn’t because they are so moderate in their convictions. It is probably because they are uninformed on the differences between the candidates vision for the country. They are undecided because they don’t really see a huge difference between republicans and democrats. If they don’t see a difference between the parties then that voter probably isn’t very informed and therefore can probably be easily persuaded.
Convictions are not moderate, they are often passionate. Middle-independents are not seeking the most middle-of-the-road guy because of their moderate convictions. They are looking for the candidate that excites them with their bold vision.
So please republican establishment, stop pushing Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, etc. We don’t want them and don’t think that a disinterested and deflated base translates into electoral victories (John McCain, Bush I, Bob Dole). In considering a primary candidate, don’t worry conservatives are electable.