Pollster Rasmussen on State of the GOP

Pollster Scott Rasmussen offers this analysis of the current state of the national GOP (h/t):

Many Republicans had expressed concern about the growth of government spending throughout the Bush years. Then there was the immigration issue. On that topic, the Bush team championed a bill that was even less popular than the bailouts. Eventually, despite strong bipartisan support in Congress, the Senate surrendered to public opinion and failed to pass the Bush-backed reform. Beltway Republicans just didn’t recognize the large gap between Mainstream American and the Political Class on this issue and assumed that those angry about it are angry at the immigrants. In fact, data shows that the anger is directed primarily at the federal government…
By the end of Bush’s second term, the war in Iraq had dragged down the GOP, and Beltway Republicans became identified as the party of big business. That’s not a good place to be when 70% of Americans view big business and big government on the same team working against the interests of consumers and investors.
The gap between Beltway Republicans and the Republican base is part of a wider gap between the Mainstream and the Political Class. On many issues, the gap between Mainstream Americans and the Political Class is bigger than the gap between Mainstream Republicans and Mainstream Democrats.
But Political Class Democrats control Congress and the White House while their GOP counterparts have little in the way of power and influence to overcome the disconnect with their base….Look for the Republican Party to sink further into irrelevancy as long as its key players insist on hanging around Congress or K Street for their ideas. The future for the GOP is beyond the Beltway.

Arlen Specter’s party switch confirms the impression that many average Republicans have of inside-the-beltway-GOPers. Specter liked being a Republican because he could win as one and wield power. Now, he can’t wield the power (in the minority) and he may not even make it out of his own GOP primary. So he’s switching purely for self-preservation* because he had fallen out of touch with his party. He wouldn’t be the first moderate to tack in a different direction based on some poll soul searching.
UPDATE: Surprise….former Sen. Chafee offers his two cents:

“The party is not changing, they are not learning from all of this. We’ve seen a huge wipeout in the Senate,” Chafee said. “You’d think they’d want to change direction as they slip deeper and deeper into the minority and that’s just not happening. They went after Arlen Specter in a blue state primary and look what happened, he just walked across the aisle.”

Of course, the convenient mis-remembering here is that the National party didn’t “go after” Senator Chafee, the Senate re-election committee stood by him, choosing pragmatism over ideological purity. It still wasn’t enough for Chafee to defeat up-and-coming Democratic superstar Sheldon Whitehouse (ahem). The former Senator still has a knack for putting the blame for the short-circuiting of his political birthright on everyone except for the guy in the mirror.
*NOTE: Pennsylvania is a closed primary state, unlike Rhode Island. So when polls of Republicans in Penn. showed Specter way behind, the structure of Penn. primaries simply don’t allow for the groundswell of independent (or Democratic) voters that saved Chafee versus Laffey in the 2008 RI GOP Senate primary. If RI was a closed primary state, it’s a good bet Sen. Chafee would have found the Democratic party more comfortable, too.

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Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

What’s the reason for the open primaries here? Is the RIGOP afraid of only having 10,000 people cast a ballot for a Governor’s primary?

Will
12 years ago

… Because the Democrats in the legislature and the Democrat-lite people who formally held more sway in the GOP prefer to have the ability to manipulate the primary result, so that conservatives will have a lot more difficult time getting through the primary.
While the option of having an open or closed primary should legally be up to the state party alone, in practice, there are a lot of obstacles that would need to be removed before it could be a practical reality, especially for the 2010 election. That being said, it’s a subject that will be coming up again before you know it.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
There is good arguments on both sides of this issue. However Democratically leaning independents or unaffilateds as they are called in Rhode Island because of small Republican registration can actually have a greater impact on the GOP in primary contests than Democratic ones unless the Democratic primaries are real close.
Local municipal and state legislative candidates running as Republicans may be more vunerable, when people turn out for high profile primaries statewide then go down the ballot if an local GOP primary takes place.
Democratic primaries are usually in most Rhode Island areas are the de facto “general election” as winning them is tantamount to election.
As a delegate from Hopkinton on the GOP state committee, I am interested on how this matter progresses. However it has not been supported by a committee of the state party. It will be interesting if the local city and town chairs or a faction of the state party takes on this issue.
The legal question before the political one: Can the state force a political party in this case the Republican Party to open or close its primary elections, or is that the sole purview of the party? I assume legally it would be quite a case.
Regards,
Scott

Jeff K
Jeff K
12 years ago

Close the GOP primary.And make their very small tent,even smaller
The URI College Republicans phony scholarship,was 4 white hetero males only,why not make the GOP primary the
SAME
Post signs at GOP voting booths
“Sorry no Gays,Blacks,Libruls,Moderates
or Brown people can vote here !!!!
We are purifying the party !

Patrick
Patrick
12 years ago

“”Sorry no Gays,Blacks,Libruls,Moderates
or Brown people can vote here !!!!”
Not sure exactly what a “librul” is but anyone who classifies themselves as one of the types you listed above can’t register as a Republican? The towns’ board of canvassers will prevent that? Thanks Jeff.

Monique
Editor
12 years ago

“Not sure exactly what a “librul” is”
It’s short for “liberal slide rule”, Patrick.
The more modern gadget is the “liberal calculator”.
Both items are used to “scientifically” demonstrate how more taxes and more government spending = good government policy and a sound, stable economy.

Roland
Roland
12 years ago

Monique, I think I understand what you are trying to explain.
So, in an entitlement mentality people who vote Democrat are really saying they want bigger government in their lives because then they won’t have to think about anything, get ‘confused’ about real issues because the bigger government will make that tidy for them, and after all, once everyone is taxed 100% of their paychecks, then everyone entitlement worshipping Obamanite can sit around the Kumbaya fire with the Socialist brand of marshmallows.
I guess I’m not a librul. I like working for what I have and what I need.

Benedict Chafee
Benedict Chafee
12 years ago

Just what we need, a comment from the quiter turn coat Lincoln Chafee. Go back to Brown. You dont stand a chance of winning the Governors office!

Tom W
Tom W
12 years ago

When the GOP sticks to conservative principles of economics, government and social issues, it wins.
When it moderates those stances, it loses. Hence the decline of the “Republican” party in areas where “moderate Republicans” rule: Rhode Island, the Northeast in general, California.
The post-1968 Democrat Party is socialist. With the election of Comrade Obama they are even beginning to drop the pretense that they aren’t, though they still won’t utter the “s” word in public.
Democrats WANT us all to become poorer and more resentful, so that they can agitate us. This is socialism and “community organizing” 101.
Socialism is a loser philosophy that succeeds by fostering poverty and resentment, and then demagogue “advocates” run for office under the Democrat banner promising relief from the very conditions they work to create.
See, e.g., Democrat support of teachers unions which keep underprivileged children trapped in low performing government schools.
When the GOP calls them on this, a majority of the American public responds. But when “moderates” go along to get along with this, becoming enablers, the public has no alternative, and votes on the persona of the candidate, for on issues they aren’t much different.

rhody
rhody
12 years ago

What’s all the complaining about open primaries?
Yes, Linc Chafee liked them. I’m sure Frank Caprio does, too.

Andy D
Andy D
12 years ago

“Sorry no Gays,Blacks,Libruls,Moderates
or Brown people can vote here !!!!”
Who are you to speak for republicans everywhere as if they are biggots, racists etc?
Do you feel the republicans should have a say in how your party votes?
..let me know patrick 🙂
you guys have ACORN to sign up all of your voters.. so ..
what would your signs read??, “Sorry, no hard working, productive members of society with jobs, morals, and values can vote here”??
amusing sentiment tho boys,. nice way to lower your thoughts of voters to stereotypes of color and sexuality.. isnt this what you liberals are “fighting against”??

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
12 years ago

Hi!
We should have a viable two party system in Rhode Island. There is a good if not great chance the next Governor is a Democrat and THE RHODE ISLAND GOP HAS NO PLACE AT THE TABLE! IT IS NOT A STRETCH IF THE GOP CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR MAY PLACE THIRD WITH LINC CHAFEE IN THE RACE IN 2010.I THINK IT IS POSSIBLE FOR A CHAFEE WIN. THE DEMOCRATS ARE LIKELY TO HAVE A DIVISIVE PRIMARY THAT SOMEONE OTHER THAN CAPRIO MIGHT WIN, ALTHOUGH HE APPEARS THE FAVORITE NOW.
As impolitic for me to say that, the times are very serious for the Rhode Island GOP clearly a lot more so than the national GOP.
I do not see the party rebuilding at the level we Republicans deserve. I think we have missed opportunities since the Almond years. I do think “Gio” Cicione is a marked improvement over his predecessor, Patricia Morgan.
Regards,
Scott

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