Conservatives’ Terrifying Message
Excellent article on the subject of where the conservative movement needs to go from here.
If you had told me the day before the election that Mitt Romney would win independents by five, convincingly win among all voters making more than $50,000 per year, and that evangelicals would vote for Mitt by wider margins than they did for even George W. Bush, I would have assumed he’d be on the path to victory. He wasn’t. As the messaging and tactical second-guessing begins (and it began even before Fox made its Ohio call Tuesday night), we have to be clear-eyed about our challenge: To tens of millions of American voters, a conservative message of self-reliance and individual economic freedom is, quite frankly, terrifying.
First, each of Obama’s core constituencies (single women, African-Americans, and Latinos) is seriously — and disproportionately — economically disadvantaged compared to the classic paradigm of the white, college-educated Republican voter. The rates of poverty and near-poverty among these groups are much greater, thus causing a critical mass of both populations to suffer — even if they’re technically middle class — from a greater degree of economic insecurity. Even as Mitt won the votes of those who make over $50,000 by nine points, Obama won those who make less by a whopping 22 points — enough to give him the victory.
Second, while classic identity-group issues like abortion, affirmative action, and immigration undoubtedly matter, conservatives are deluding themselves if they think they can simply take those issues off the table and then compete on equal terms for this slice of voters. In fact, economically insecure voters can even agree with conservatives on social issues yet will still consistently pull the lever for statist candidates.