Monday, December 07, 2009

In National Polling Teabaggers Beating GOP


With a third of all Republicans ready to abandon their party for independent runs by teabaggers, the GOP is left with a painful choice this year: give up party faithful mainstream candidates or risk divisive battles with far right extremists. All around the country, congressional races are splintering between mainstream conservatives like Steve Stivers in Ohio, Bob Hurt in Virginia and Martha Roby in Alabama on the one hand and extremist teabagger loons like David Ryon, Bradley Rees and Rob John. In many cases, lifelong Republicans are saying they don't even want the GOP nomination and they're running as third party Tea Party candidates. According to a new Rasmussen poll-- I know, I know; just take it for what it's worth-- "running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican."
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.

Forget for a moment that Charlie Crist is a hypocritical closeted homosexual and that his office has been rocked by a scandal this week involving sex phone chat lines. Instead focus on his opponent for the GOP nomination for the open Florida Senate seat, Marco Rubio, a far right extremist endorsed by the teabaggers as well as by lunatic fringe politicians like Jim Inhofe and Jim DeMint. Crist was heavily recruited by the NRSC, which begged him to give up the governor's mansion and run for the Senate seat being given up by Mel Martinez. They looked at Crist as a mainstream and popular governor who could easily beat mediocre and uninspiring Democrat Kendrick Meek. But they didn't take the Beck/Limbaugh/Savage teabagger anger into account. Rubio has been crushing Crist in every GOP straw poll in every county in Florida-- crushing, not close. From the prohibitive favorite, Crist is now the subject of speculation that he's looking for a way to gracefully back out of what looks like a career-ending defeat as the GOP surges right.
A year after the Republican Party was bloodied by the Democrats, the Crist-Rubio clash is drawing nationwide attention and has turned Florida into ground zero of the internal Republican Party struggle that some consider no less than a fight for the soul of the party.

"I wouldn't necessarily call it a civil war, but there's a major divide that's appeared over the last year," said Anna Alexopoulos, secretary of the Florida Federation of Young Republicans and membership chairwoman of the Broward Republican Party.

Sean Foreman, a political scientist at Barry University in Miami Shores, says there's an "epic battle between moderate and conservative Republicans."

"Clearly the Republican Party is wrestling with its identity," Foreman said. "The Republican Party has to decide if they want to rebrand themselves as the conservative party or if they want to continue to market themselves as a larger tent party that has room for people like Charlie Crist and [California Gov.] Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Kevin Wagner, a political scientist at Florida Atlantic University, said the ultimate outcome is largely up to conservatives who need to decide if they "would rather lose with their candidate than win with somebody they're not so fond of."

Janet Folger rejects that argument, arguing that genuine conservatives will win support from voters. The nationally broadcast radio talk show host and president of Dania Beach-based Faith2Action said conservatives don't want a choice between a Democrat and a "Republican In Name Only," which conservatives deride as RINOs.

"We are not just wanting someone who is a RINO. There's RINO hunting going on," Folger said. "The way you win elections is to stand for what people want. We don't need another Democratic Party, and that's what we have in many instances."

Sid Dinerstein, chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party, said conservatism is the party's guiding principle, and party activists will mobilize behind conservative candidates and get them elected.

"It's not enough to just elect the next Republican guy," he said. "The leadership thinks we should have John McCains running everywhere. And they're wrong. Conservatives win every time because they know what they believe in."

...Both parties need independent voters to win elections. Republicans are 36 percent of registered voters and Democrats are 42 percent in Florida. In South Florida, the Republican percentage of registered voters is 24 percent in Broward, 29 percent in Palm Beach County, and 31 percent in Miami-Dade.

Mitch Ceasar, chairman of the Broward Democratic Party and member of the Democratic National Committee's executive board, hopes the Republicans' conservative wing prevails.

"I applaud their struggle for ideological purity. I think if [conservatives] succeed, the Republican Party will fail because most of the country, Democrats and Republicans, are moderates," he said.

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At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks the great words about Meek, why don't you look at some of the work he has done for the state and the message he is spreading...much better option than Rubio/Crist

At 5:38 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

You see all the problems in the Senate real Democrats are having with people like Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, Tom Carper, Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu? Sadly, that's where Meek will be sitting if he's elected. Better than Rubio and Crist? Absolutely. But that bar is way too low for me.

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

but aren't they following the will of their constituents? The citizens of their states? How can you be against that?


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