By Joe Gruters
A recent poll by The Hill has given us some extraordinarily revealing insights into the electorate that Republicans keep losing nationally.
There is a strong conservative majority in America. They just don’t know it, because of labeling and branding problems.
On four questions, voters were asked which solution they preferred to handle a known problem, without party affiliation identifying the solution. On the question dealing with the budget and deficit, they overwhelming went conservative — choosing the equivalent of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget over Sen. Patty Murray’s budget nearly 2-1. Even regarding Obamacare, they were clearly conservative — an 8 percentage point difference favoring full repeal over full enactment.
I know you are thinking that this must be a Republican tilted poll. But here is the real kicker and revelation. When the pollsters asked respondents which party they trusted more on budgetary issues — the issues just covered in the poll’s preceding question — respondents flipped: Democrats won 35% to 30% over Republicans with 34% saying they trust neither party. The poll itself even has a five percentage-point sampling advantage for registered Democrats.
It’s a good poll. And that means that there are a lot of conservative-minded voters out there who are automatically pulling the lever for Democrats. Sure, the disconnect is media-induced to a degree. That is a big hurdle to get over. But it is also just the facts. Can’t fight gravity. Can’t fight media bias. Have to deal with the realities.
The most obvious reality is that Republicans are not losing because Americans do not like their policies. We are losing despite the fact that Americans do like our policies. It would be a grave mistake to change policies, compromising on principles, as some in the media and the Republican D.C. establishment recommend.
The Hill Poll did not ask about social issues, but other polls have uniformly shown that on the seminal cultural divide, abortion, the country has been trending dramatically more pro-life for 25 years. Facts will do that for some people, and the facts about the humanity of an early-term fetus are now undeniable. People are informed, and now they are rejecting the pro-choice stance. That can happen on other issues with the right message — which is definitively not “moderating.”
Moderating — becoming more liberal on issues — would be a political disaster. It would depress the base, give impetus to third parties for frustrated conservatives, and still not win any votes because Americans agree with Republicans on the issues!
The Hill Poll
Do you prefer budget Plan 1 with $1 Trillion in Tax Hikes and 100 billion in cuts that does not balance budget, or Plan 2 that does not raise taxes, cuts $5 trillion and balances budget?
Plan 1 28%
Plan 2 55%
Should U.S. budget deficits be reduced mostly by cutting spending or raising taxes?
Cutting spending 65%
Raising taxes 24%
Don’t know 11%
Should the healthcare reform law known as Obamacare be fully implemented, fully repealed or neither?
Fully implemented 37%
Fully repealed 45%
Budget constraints were recently cited as the reason for cancelling tours of the White House. Should those tours be resumed?
Not sure 18%
Which party do you trust more on budgetary issues?
Thanks for being informed and engaged.