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With Hoffman Race, GOP Party at Crossroads

Doug Hoffman may have lost but conservatives across the country won. Hoffman's candidacy along with the moderate GOP candidate dropping out of the race showed that real conservatives can make a difference. BUT...there is a lot of work to do.

First of all, conservatives complain all the time about RINO's (Republicans in Name Only) like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, etc. They don't want to see the Republican Party cater to these folks and just win elections for the sake of winning an election with an "R" next to their name. But if you really want to purge GOP moderates from the party, you better do a better job of selling this brand of conservatism to the electorate.

Let's face facts: there may be plenty of conservative voters out there who listen and agree with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and Laura Ingram but unless they show up at the polls as a huge voting block then so what? The brainy people behind any GOTV (Get Out The Vote) operation, whether through official GOP channels or through the conservative grassroots must figure out a way to actually get traditional conservatives to show up and vote in droves because here's the harsh reality. If you're going to lose potential moderate "big tent" type Republican votes, you better make up that gap and more. Otherwise minority status will be cemented. Conservative leaders can beat their chest about the Hoffman appeal and philosophically say they won but who cares if your not winning elections to change the public policy you complain about.

There's one other crucial factor. If conservative candidates are going to win, you have to have the correct type of candidate. For example, Ronald Reagan was a die-hard conservative but he didn't come across as a fire-breathing angry guy. He had a natural and sensible appeal that went beyond his conservative policies. You can't expect to run a Tom Tancredo type candidate and expect a conservative to win district after district. It may work in select districts but it is not a national strategy.

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 8:21 AM

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