Josh Barton NYS
First off, I would like to say congratulations to Rick Santorum. For those of you who do not already know, Rick has officially dropped out of the primary race, and made it certain that Romney is the nominee (we knew this for weeks, but now it’s official)
Many right wing radio hosts sounded resigned, and upset. After spending months of calling Romney “not a Reagan conservative,” they said tonight that “Romney destroyed the Reagan coalition.”
With that being said, I don’t believe Romney ruined the Reagan coalition. The Reagan coalition (a coalition of voters in the 1980′s that included blue collar workers, law and order conservatives, social conservatives, and fiscal conservatives) has been in shambles since the 1988 election. This is further evidinced by the failure of the GOP to win any states outside of the South, Midwest, or Mountain West since 1988.
The above two maps show the 1980 election and the 2004 election
Between Reagan’s historic victory, and Bush’s victory in 2004 (the last time a Republican won the Presidency,) we notice that the GOP has ceded the Northeast. Reagan won the north east because of his message of fiscal discipline. The message remains the same, but the messengers have changed.
Romney exudes fiscal discipline and business know how that Senator Mccain and former President George W Bush lacked. As Reagan seemed to be the right choice in 1980, historians may look back to see Romney as the best man for the job in the historic 2012 election.
A look at the preliminary numbers
Mitt Romney has been winning big with suburban voters in the primaries, key “swing voters” who win all the Presidential elections. Both the GOP has it’s core voter, and the Democratic Party has their core voter. These types are not switching parties.
In 2008, those making over $100,000 a year voted for Obama overwhelmingly, handing him the Presidency. Why did they do this? Compared to Mccain, or George W Bush (who Obama ran against the whole time in 2008,) Obama seemed more competent on fiscal issues. Obama campaigned on reducing the deficit, lowering taxes, and restoring American greatness. His policies and his stump speeches did not align. More debt has been added due to Obama’s disastrous policies, and more people are out of work because of his failed stimulus.
Now Obama is running out of tricks, and running out of time. Every day, he seems more like an ideologue. Upper middle class voters do not like this ardent “stick to your guns against reality” approach. Mitt Romney seems to be more competent, and as soon as more voters are introduced to Mitt’s record of balancing the budget, slashing taxes, reaching across the aisle to get things done, and taking a rational measured approach to leadership, the more the rational voters will warm up to Romney’s message.
In a sense, Santorum’s adherance to outlandish social policies and frankly bigoted statements regarding faith have made people warm up to Romney, seeing him as the adult in the room.
This might mean that Romney will snatch up states in the midwest and Northeast that have not gone Republican in decades.
The polls now indicate that there are many undecided voters. Romney and Obama are head to head, dead even, but once the record becomes exposed and Romney has a chance to send his message to the people, they will learn what’s at stake. Of those 12% undecided, Obama faces a 30% approval rating.
The suburban swing voters are up for grabs for the first time since the 1980′s, and Romney’s measured, rational appeals will resonate with them moreso than any candidate since the 1960s.
The more people see Obama blast Romney for an imaginary war on women, they will see Obama as a sinking candidate with something to hide.
With that said, the Reagan coalition is indeed gone. It has been since 1992. It is about to be replaced with the Romney coalition.
“If you thought the 1980′s were good you aint seen nothing yet!”
For fun, I decided to make an election map for 2012:
This assumes that the turnout favors Romney and the upper income voters support Romney 62%-35%
That’s why Romney wins CT, MD, DE, and NH.
If you think this map is too hopeful, ask somebody in April 2008 on the Democratic side what they would give Obama for an electoral win. Politics is never constant.