What Might Have Been: GOP Up In Midterm Intensity War

The headlines will tell you the GOP is up big in the mid-term’s so called “intensity war.” Also keep in mind that a GOP consulting class that’s been getting hammered in the media lately is no doubt now fully behind pushing any and every story line, such as this one, that will give them some breathing room. But should it?

… Republicans are dominating the midterm game. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll shows that 54 percent of Republicans say they’re highly interested in the upcoming elections, compared to 44 percent of Democrats who say the same.

Another way to look at the GOP intensity advantage: Democrats hold a four-point lead on the generic ballot, 46 percent to 42 percent. But among high-interest voters, Republicans have the edge, 51 percent to 43 percent.

“Off-year elections are about intensity, which becomes a question of which set of voters cares most,” said Democratic pollster Peter Hart. “In the opening lap of the general election, the GOP is winning.”

The fact remains, Democrats, along with their issues and their causes continue to dominate America’s national politics and one good mid-term election for the GOP – one that could and should have been an overwhelming wave election – isn’t going to change that.

Today’s Republican Party may be motivating some portion of its base vote but it’s fund raising paints a different picture: “Senate Dems’ campaign arm outraises Republicans in August.”

‘We’re not Democrats’ is neither a sound long-term strategy for a political party, nor is it a means for one to ultimately form a solid, long-term governing majority. At this rate, the republican Party of today will forever be constrained to having a good year here, or there, in effect, pseudo-feasting on mere crumbs left behind by Democrats merely suffering the usual ups and downs of a nation’s politics.

If it’s lucky, the GOP may capture the Senate with a majority most assume it will never be able to hold onto in 2016. The story line various GOP operatives won’t be pushing now, or after November is, what if? What if the GOP really did get serious about border reform in the wake of the current immigration crisis very much on the minds of most of today’s voters?

What if the GOP became serious about education reform, instead of playing defense against programs like Common Core in Washington, with some key GOP players like former education Secretary Bill Bennett perhaps getting paid to not even do that? And that’s not to mention clear middle-class priorities like genuine tax reform and freedom from an increasingly over-zealous government.

The GOP may well now hold a real advantage in energy and momentum going into the Fall. And that’s good and important when it comes to trying to hold back the run away big government of Barack Obama. But that shouldn’t stop Republicans, their activists and their voting base from reflecting upon what might have been if more people saw it as a party dedicated to real ideas and initiatives in line with its rhetoric, as opposed to always simply trying to be the lesser of two big government evils in Washington, D.C.

That positioning – and that absolutely is the positioning of today’s top down big dollar Beltway consultant driven Republican party – will never come to truly dominate American politics as it has in the past. It’s a GOP happy to settle for perhaps 51 Senate seats for two years, as opposed to one thinking and planning for veto-proof majorities with which it could genuinely begin to right the American ship, politically, economically and otherwise.


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