Saturday, March 24, 2007

GOP losing its charm with Americans

It's hardly a death knell for the party, but it is a sign that the permanent majority theory is failing. A new study shows the number of Americans who self-identify with the Republican party is dropping. Not that the Democrats should be popping champagne over it. They're not doing all that much better but still the numbers are telling.
The study, which looks at political views since 1987, shows that the gap between people who identify as Democrats and identify as Republicans is larger than it has ever been...

The study suggests the war in Iraq -- which registers strong opposition in other studies -- has taken its toll on Americans' views of military strength. After the Sept. 11 attacks, 62 percent said they agreed with the view that "the best way to ensure peace is through military strength." Just 49 percent agree with that view today, while 47 percent disagree. That is the lowest amount of support shown for using military strength in the study's 20 year span.

On social values, the study reiterates well-publicized trends in recent years, including greater acceptance of homosexuality, less desire for women to play traditional roles in society and less interest in religion. It also indicated that support has increased for affirmative action.
It looks like those wedge issues that proved so successful for the GOP in the last few years have finally come back to bite the Republicans in the butt. People are gradually becoming sick of the holy-rolling moralizers and their nanny government policies.

Kevin Drum sums it up well.
The GOP isn't dead, and Democratic victories in future years are hardly assured. But there's not much question that Republicans are going to have to find a new schtick. The combination of Grover Norquist and James Dobson had its day, but that day is fading fast. If they want to stay relevant, they're going to need some new ideas.
Ironically, it appears they're going to need to swing back towards the left if they expect to regain any ground.

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