Where Should the Republican Party Go from Here?
By: David A.W. Hittle
December 11, 2012
I have been contemplating this blog for some time now, ever since the election about one month from now. I have been trying to figure out A. what went wrong? B. Where do we go from here? C. How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again?
I believe what happened was we chose a candidate that the major Republican voters wouldn’t support. I believe as does radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, that the Evangelicals didn’t come out to vote. I believe this may be true, while President Obama lost 6,841,491 votes over the 2008 election1/2. Governor Mitt Romney failed to garner even John McCain’s popular vote. Governor Romney failed to get 792,810 votes that even John McCain received1/2. I believe that Governor Romney failed to get the Evangelical vote and I believe that John McCain failed to get the Evangelical vote. While John McCain lost Indiana and North Carolina and Mitt Romney gained them, the Evangelical votes were the differences makers.
The Evangelical vote in my opinion was the difference maker; we can see this from the 2004 election to the 2008 and 2012 elections. In 2004, George W. Bush received 62,039,073 votes3. That is compared to 2008 when John McCain received 59,934,814 a difference of 2,104,259 votes1. I believe these voters were the missing Evangelical voters. These missing Republicans could have changed the election. The other major difference between 2004 and 2008 was that the Republicans have lost New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina. Now in 2012 North Carolina and Indiana finally went back to the Republicans after 8 years the votes just weren’t there.
I still however believe that the Evangelical voters still didn’t show up. Those 2,104,259 voters were the difference. Now how can I say that; when Romney lost the election to Obama by 3,473,402 votes2? I say that because the popular vote is not important nationwide. Here’s my point… Romney lost Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) by 287,865 votes2. That state would have raised Romney’s electoral votes to 226. Romney lost Ohio (18 electoral votes) by 103,481 votes2. That state would have put Romney at 244 electoral votes. Romney lost Virginia (13 electoral votes) by 115,910 votes2. Virginia would have put Romney to 257 electoral votes. The most important state that I have yet to talk about was Florida and its 29 electoral votes. Romney lost Florida by 73,189 votes2. Romney winning that state would have thrown him over the top with 286. Winning Florida, Romney could have lost Virginia and would have still beat Obama 273 to 265. All these states votes total 580,445, those voters made the difference between an Obama loss and a Romney win. Now if you believe all of the data I have thrown at you, and you believe that it was the Evangelical vote that would have given us a new President, then we have to figure out why the Evangelicals didn’t vote for Romney.
I believe that there is a very simple explanation for this and I’ll prove it with quotes.
“On a personal basis, I don’t favor abortion,” he said. “However, as governor of the commonwealth, I will protect a woman’s right to choose under the laws of the country and the commonwealth. That’s the same position I’ve had for many years.4” Romney 2002
This issue is one of the most important issues to the Evangelical community. They do not believe in the idea of abortion, and they don’t believe it should be legal for any instance.
“All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual orientation. While he does not support gay marriage, Mitt Romney believes domestic partnership status should be recognized in a way that includes the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.5” Romney 2002
This is another issue that is important to the Evangelical community. While Evangelicals believe that people deserve equal rights, however, they don’t see marriage as a “right” they see it as a religious institution. Evangelicals look at this verse for their belief: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” Genesis 2:24 ESV6. Evangelicals believe that in order to get married a “man and a woman” must receive permission from God. They believe that God has to endorse the marriage and approve of it. The traditional idea of marriage is that the man asks the father of the girl he wants to marry for permission to marry his daughter. In today’s society that isn’t a tradition that is held by the real large portion of the society, however, it is tradition that Evangelicals hold on to, and Mitt Romney’s ability to go from basically accepting abortion in his past doesn’t bow well for the reception of their votes.
One other unique thing about the Evangelicals which Rush Limbaugh has also discussed is the fact that they don’t answer polls, and they don’t vote if they don’t see a candidate they approve of. So you don’t see their opinions in very many polls, and you do not see them flux to the opposing candidate.
The question is, if you have believed all of this, and that it was the Evangelicals not voting that allowed Obama to win; how do we win them back?
I’ll answer this simply by saying that they will not be won back by coming out for Abortion. They will not be won back by coming out for Gay Marriage. They will not be won back by coming out for Amnesty for illegal immigrants. They will however come back, and they will stay back and will support a candidate, if that candidate sticks to Conservative values. This has gotten lost in today’s Republican Party. Today, the Republican Party is more and more considering Conservatives to be radicals. They believe that they’re too far to the right in order to be either party big wigs or nominees for President. The problem with that is that the Evangelicals want that type of candidate. They want a candidate who is 100% Pro-Life, they want a candidate who basically has their Christian values in mind.
The Republican Party is now trying to figure out why it lost just as I have been trying to do since the election. However, the Republican Party is taking the wrong path in my opinion. The Republican Party is currently contemplating changing its values in order to garner votes. One way they’re contemplating this is by coming out in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants, something that the Democratic Party has been pushing for, for years. One this that Rush Limbaugh brought up however, was that in the 1980’s Ronald Reagan passed amnesty for all illegal immigrants. In 1980, Ronald Reagan received 37% of the Hispanic Vote7. In 1984, Ronald Reagan received 34% of the Hispanic Vote8. Ronald Reagan after legalizing all the illegal immigrants in the United States lost 3% of the Hispanic vote. Why did this happen? It was a Republican who made them legal but they voted for the Democrat instead? It doesn’t make sense does it? Looking further, in 1988, George H.W. Bush received 30% of the vote; now they Republicans have lost 7% of the Hispanic Vote9. By 1992, Bush had fallen to only received 25% of the Hispanic vote, 12% lower than before Reagan passed amnesty. How could this have happened10? Again, how could Hispanics vote for Democrats after Republicans gave them amnesty? I don’t believe that today would be any different, than back in the day. If the Republican Party believes that immigrants should come to this country legally, than they should not start supporting amnesty just in hopes of receiving the Hispanic vote; because it has not helped them in the past, but in actuality has hurt them.
The Republican Party is also now looking at Abortion, because of the single woman vote. If you use this logic, single woman only care about getting pregnant and aborting their babies. I don’t believe that is their single most important issue and I don’t believe we’ve lost the single woman forever. The amazing thing has come that the Republicans when married woman by large numbers compared to single woman.
To conclude this blog, I hope I have answered all of the questions that I posed myself. What I believe is that if we run Conservatives as presidential candidates. We must make sure that we run the candidate that will win, we have seen from Dole, McCain and Romney; that running candidates that are not Conservatives ends in Republican loses. I hope that Republicans will figure this out before it’s too late.
1. http://www.270towin.com/ (2008 Election Results)
3. http://www.270towin.com/ (2004 Election Results)