Friday, November 10, 2006

Election Post Mortem -- How do the Republicans Win in 2008?

The elections are over, and the Republicans did much worse than I thought. I really expected (or maybe hoped) they would hold on to the Senate. So what happened?

Cleary Iraq was a major issue. Bush waited too long to fire Rumsfeld. But the dems did not have a plan for Iraq. I guess the voters wanted change, no mater what. But was it just Iraq?

I don’t think so. Both parties gravitated more towards its edges than towards the middle. Awhile ago I wrote that one of John McCain’s strengths was that he could win the middle. After last Tuesday, that is exactly what the Republicans need for 2008. They need a proven conservative that can win the moderate vote.

Patrick Hynes does a great job analyzing the election and clearly points out that it was the middle that gave this election to the dems and not a revolt by the conservative base. Patrick makes it clear that “Core conservative messaging is a clear winner. Smaller government, lower taxes, a muscular foreign policy, and traditional social values resonate so overwhelmingly with the American populous that even our Democrat opponents appropriated these—or some of these—messages this election year. Any Republican success in the future will be built on this matrix of issues.”

I agree! As we move into the 2008 presidential primary season, I expect that McCain will be well placed to hold the base with his conservative principles, and also win the moderates with his realistic approach to problem solving.