The GOP is Actively Moving to the Left
Earlier this month, I said that one of the reasons you may want to vote for Mitt Romney is if you think the GOP is too conservative. My premise in that statement is that the party will move the direction of its leading politicians until they are rejected. Based on some new data, we see that already taking place, without Romney even being elected.
The data is part of a poll that compares responses of registered voters in April and then again four months later in August. The telling data is with voters who consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative.” Here is the chart used on that WP article I linked to above:
Notice the blue sections in the image. In April, roughly one-fourth of conservative and very conservative voters said Romney was too liberal. In August, those numbers decreased, and there was an increase in the number of voters who say Romney’s views are “about right.”
Of course, this doesn’t hit specific issues. It’s a question about a candidate. If respondents were asked specifically about issues, we probably wouldn’t see such a quick change. Two important things that would impact this data have happened since April:
1. Romney is the last man standing.
He got the nomination, and he’s going to automatically get support. Whether he’s too liberal or not doesn’t matter. He’s the Republican, and a Republican victory is all that matters in the minds of most Republican voters.
2. Paul Ryan is on the ticket.
Republicans see Paul Ryan as some budget-cutting visionary, a strong fiscal leader who will put us back on the path to prosperity. That’s not even kind of true, but that’s how he is seen. Adding him helps people overlook the stuff about Romney that they don’t really like.
What this chart really says is that Republican voters have made their decision, and they are in the process of justifying it in their minds. That’s the first step toward a major party shift to the left. Voters convince themselves that he’s ok, and then once he’s in office, he can do no wrong.
Does anybody else remember 8 years under George W. Bush?
This movement to the left begins with an abandonment of principles for the sake of “anybody but Obama” and will continue through Romney’s administration (assuming he’s elected).
Advances made by Tea Party type groups during Obama’s administration will be lost. The calls for smaller government will be silenced because elected leaders, for the most part, won’t publicly oppose a president from their own party.
So government grows. And the “conservative” party becomes a lot less conservative. And the fight for fiscal sanity gets put on pause for four (or eight) years during the Romney administration.
But, hey, at least he’s not Obama.