Repainting the Map

by Sal on November 20, 2006

in Politics

Much has been made of the Red State / Blue State divide in the past two Presidential elections.  One of the tactical advantages for the Democrats in 2006 was the fact that they ran credible candidates (albeit of the Blue-dog variety) in the Southern “Red” states.  Additionally, in this election, moderate and liberal Republican incumbents in blue states lost big, especially in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Hampshire. 

For the Conservative agenda to be spread effectively and to create a truly national movement, the Republican Party must attempt to make inroads into blue states by running good, credible, conservative candidates and back them with effective campaign finances and muscle.  Conservatives can win in blue states. 

All three members of the Axis of Right originally hail from Rhode Island.  I have lived in New York, and have now settled in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts.  I’ve had the privilege of voting against both She Who Must Not Be Named and the Senior Balloon.  Mike has lived in both RI and New York, and Ryan in RI and New Jersey.  The reason Republicans don’t win in these states is due mostly to poor organization and the watering down of principles. 

Conservatives can and do win in blue states.  Gov. Mitt Romney in MA, and two-time elected Gov. Don Carcieri in RI are prime examples of this.  As Mike has said, most Rhode Islanders are Conservatives who think they’re moderates and vote for liberals, and I think this applies to most blue states, with the exception of some areas of New York and California.  The people vote for Democrats, yet if you peg them on issues from Government spending to taxes, they instinctively lean towards conservatism. 

The problem is that in these states there is basically no organized Republican Party, or a poorly-run party (as in New Jersey).  This year, for example, the Republicans in Massachusetts ran a candidate against the Senior Balloon that I hadn’t heard of until I saw his name on the ballot.  Kerry Healy, the Lt. Gov. of the state, was a good conservative candidate, but lost a badly-run campaign to Deval Patrick, who had absolutely nothing to say of substance the entire campaign except for catch-phrases like “Hopes and Dreams”, “Magic can Happen”, and “Together we can!” 

The field is ripe for the picking.  Republicans need to focus on building the party by electing Republican state legislatures in these states.  From here, a party could be built that could challenge the Democratic establishment and color the blue states red.   

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