Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Who is more electable?

NY Mag gets to the heart of the issue.  There has been, in many quarters, the underlying assumption that Mitt is the "most electable" republican.  Several times in this cycle (and even more over the course of Mitt's political career), this has proved NOT to be the case when actual voters actually walk into booths and pull levers/dimple chads/mark ballots.  Here's the author on why electability is still an open question:


Santorum has attracted a terrible reputation among the overclass. He is defined by his crude, bigoted social conservatism, which colors the broader perception of him as an extremist. This in turn leeches out into a sense, often reflected in news coverage, which likewise reflects the social biases of the overclass, that Santorum is a fringe candidate who would repel swing voters.
In fact, there are, very roughly speaking, two kinds of swing voters. One kind is economically conservative, socially liberal swing voters. This is the kind of voter you usually read about, because it’s the kind most familiar to political reporters – affluent and college educated. But there’s a second kind of voter at least as numerous – economically populist and socially conservative. Think of disaffected blue-collar workers, downscale white men who love guns, hate welfare, oppose free trade, and want higher taxes on the rich and corporations. Romney appeals to the former, but Santorum more to the latter.
As hard a time as Santorum would have closing the sale among certain moderate quarters, I don’t think it’s sunk in quite how poisoned Romney’s image has become among downscale voters. Coverage of Romney’s wealth, corporate history, and partially released tax situation coincided with, and almost certainly caused, a collapse in his support with white voters with income under $50,000. Republicans have enjoyed great success attracting downscale whites in recent years, but that success has hinged in part on things like not nominating standard-bearers who epitomize everything blue-collar whites distrust about their party.
At the end of the day, living in Boston or NYC, we'll hear nothing but vitriolic spew about Santorum. Fortunately for the GOP, it's the voters in Ohio, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina who will decide this election. And the average citizen in those states (except, perhaps, for transplanted Northeasterners) is wary enough of Big City Coastal Elites to take the media's "information" with a grain of salt.

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Always sniffing for the truth

Always sniffing for the truth

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