A new Gallup Poll says that on social issues, Americans are moving left. They’re becoming more liberal. This has huge political implications – implications not good for the Republican Party.
Americans find all sorts of social issues more “morally acceptable” today than they did at the turn of this century. In 2001, 40 percent of Americans supported gay rights; today it’s 63 percent.
On sex between an unmarried man and a woman, in 2001, 53 percent approved; today it’s 68 percent.
Even on a hot button issue like medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos, more Americans approve today than they used to. In 2001, 52 percent approved; now it’s 64 percent.
On social issues only five percent of those polled said they are “very conservative.”
So if only five percent of the voters are “very conservative” on social issues, does the Republican Party really want to pick the most socially conservative candidate to run for president?
Do the candidates really want to show that they’re more conservative than the next guy?
But if the party picks a moderate, the true blue conservative purists will sit home on Election Day. That’s what happened when both McCain and Romney were the party’s nominees. The suicide wing didn’t vote.
I’m sure Republicans don’t think about it this way, but Barack Obama’s coalition consisted of blacks, Latinos, single women, union members, academics and … angry conservatives. When the conservative purists stay home on Election Day, it’s a vote for the liberal Democrat.
Conclusion: Republicans have a problem.
On top of all this there’s the Electoral College, which helps the Democrats. The election is still more than a year off, but it’s a safe bet right now that Hillary will win New York State, California, Illinois, Washington State, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts. Pick up only a few more here and there, and it’ll be time for the coronation.
There is one ray of sunshine for the GOP: Polls show that most Americans don’t think Mrs. Clinton is trustworthy. And – I know this is highly subjective – but she’s not especially likeable either. Except when Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey, the more likable candidate has won every modern day election. (Many conservatives will never acknowledge that Mr. Obama was or is likable in any way. A majority of voters may disagree, though his race was a major factor, at least in his first victory.)
So it probably would be a good idea if the Republicans pick someone who doesn’t scare the kids and the dogs. I can name a few who do, but you know who they are.
If they pick a “very conservative” candidate, the people who watch Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh will be pleased. But the euphoria will fade when Hillary Clinton is sworn in as president.