Sunday, March 11, 2012

Two if by land

"The conservatives are coming! The conservatives are coming!!" Tom Humphrey tells how the social conservatives are not only taking over the state GOP but also the state legislature and the state in its entirety.

moderate Mitt Romney facing conservatives split between Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, dramatically outspending them and backed by the state's Republican establishment, led by Haslam. (The governor, incidentally, has used the slogans "new normal" and "believe in better" in slightly different contexts.)

But it was not to be. Santorum swept 37 percent of the vote, 10 points ahead of Romney, and Gingrich came in with about 24 percent.

The social conservatives collectively had such a substantial margin over the moderates that, even when split, they prevailed in the statewide voting. Gingrich and Santorum together had 61 percent of the vote. Throw in Ron Paul, and it's close to 70 percent.

This contrasts with the Haslam and Corker elections, wherein the competing conservatives were splitting up a much more narrow majority. This would indicate that, in the new normal, social conservatives now have very strong voting control of the Tennessee Republican party on a statewide basis.

While that is something of a milestone marker, or maybe a high-water mark, it's not exactly a shocking development. The trend toward social conservatism has been apparent for some time in the Legislature, where it's a general rule of thumb — there are exceptions — that the less seniority a Republican legislator has, the more socially conservative he or she is.

1 comment:

  1. This analysis and conclusion is laughable at best.

    Nearly $900 billion was added to the national debt when Newt was speaker and Santorum voted to raise the debt ceiling 5 times. Fiscal conservatives they are not. Newt was busy having affairs while Santorum was voting for Planned Parenthood. Karen Santorum lived with an abortion doctor for 6 years before marrying Rick Santorum and her friends said she didn't see anything wrong with the doctor performing abortions. Romney was busy trying to decide which side of the issues to take each week, raking in his millions and using tax payer resources for the Olympics. During this time Ron Paul never voted to raise the debt ceiling, voted against all unbalanced budgets and delivered 4,000 babies without performing an abortion while voting against funding Planned Parenthood.

    What this analysis of the Tennessee voters shows is that only about 10% of the Republican primary voters are paying attention, which is why they voted for Ron Paul. About a quarter of the voters don't care what the candidate stands for, but they want someone they believe can beat Obama which is why they voted for Romney. The rest didn't want Obamney and choose between the one yelling God and gays the loudest (Santorum) or the mid 90's version of Republicanism (Gingrich) and were willing to swallow all the slop that came with those two because Ron Paul doesn't want to kill sand people anymore.

    If Santorum and Gingrich represent social conservatism, then Tennesseans need to be honest and redefine conservatism.

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