Thursday, April 30, 2009

Karl's Strategy Is In Trouble


Nate Silver on self identification:

Republican party identification, which had already been at fairly low levels, in fact appears to have slumped further since Inauguration Day, although the gains are being had not among Democrats but by voters who identify themselves as independent.

Several polls conducted within the last week have attracted attention for their notably low levels of self-reported Republican voters. In particular, ABC/WaPo reported the number of Republicans as 21 percent, CBS/NYT at 20 percent, NBC/WSJ also at 20 percent (not counting "leaners"), and Pew at 22 percent.
What makes this so delicious to a guy like me is that Karl Rove famously won the presidency for George W. Bush by polarizing the voters whenever possible. His reasoning was that if the pool is closely divided along party lines, all you have to do is energize the normally disenfranchised base to come out and vote, and there's your majority. This turns out to be a much smarter short term strategy than long term.

Here's the fallout. After years of partisan sniping from both sides, people have come to distrust the bases and are fleeing back to the middle, which is sensibly the force which should be running the country anyway. It's how the founding fathers wanted it. And after 15 years of crazy ranting it's going to be a long time before ideologues are handed the reins of power again. Probably twice as long before right-wing ideologues get them. President Palin still looms on the horizon, but she's going to be as old as Helen Thomas if it happens.

4 comments:

wamk said...

Not sure if that is quite exactly what the Founders had in mind. I think they were in favor of checks and balances, as opposed to a soft middle, which changes it's collective mind at the drop of a hat.

As power shifts, as it naturally does, the losing side gets beat up, beat down, then regroups. I recall not too long ago, people were ringing the same death knell for Democrats, that is now being rung for Republicans.


In your overwhelming joy at the decline of the Republican Party, I suggest you also take note of the drop on the Democrat line as well. These are folks that voted for the winner, yet are now abondoning that same person 100 days into his term.

Why?

It's not a surprise to see a drop in the losers numbers-they are upset, feel disenfranchised, unrepresented, etc. But what is the explanation for someone jumping off the winning horse?

Not being snarky one bit, by the way, genuinely curious.

And if your taking bets on if it's going to be "twice as long" before the Right takes back the reins of power, I'll happily take the "under" on that bet.

Danielk said...

People aren't abandoning Obama at all. Check this out. They are identifying less as Democrats, which is fine with me. Obama has dropped from historic highs to the high side of normal, which is also fine with me. Tell the truth, the historic highs creep me out a little.

I'll grant you that even I think the Right will get back into power sooner than I said, but I'm certain it won't be 2010 and probably not 2012. You don't have the momentum. As bad as you have tried to make Democrats look, it's been at the expense of making you even worse.

wamk said...

Could have sworn I've seen that link somewhere before, maybe even in the last 24 hours. The name of the blog escapes me right now.

Your position doesn't make sense, that they are abandoning the Democrat Party, not Obama.

Why would any self-proclaimed Dem be leaving either at this point?

Doesn't make sense, unless it is Dems like Krugman that are more concerned with the policies than the Party. That doesn't even hold up, as I can understand a few Dems being upset with a policy or two, but not overall to "leave" the Party.

Something is missing.

Publius said...

If by "middle" you mean uninformed, I'd agree.