Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Conservatives Can't Win" Really?

Levin provided a little historical note here.

For several decades, it has been an article of faith among politicians and political analysts that no candidate can win a U.S. presidential election unless he can dominate the broad center of the spectrum, that all candidates on the edges of the left or right are doomed. Barry Goldwater's "extremism . . . is no vice" campaign of 1964 provides the classic evidence, reinforced by George McGovern's 1972 defeat in 49 out of 50 states. And since G.O.P. Front Runner Ronald Reagan relies upon a base of support that is on the far right wing of the Republican Party, some experts have long declared that if he wins the nomination, the G.O.P. would simply be repeating the suicidal Goldwater campaign. Ex-President Gerald Ford left no doubt about his views when he warned last month: "A very conservative Republican cannot win in a national election."--Time Magazine, 1980

That's not all.  There are some familiar words in this:

...Reagan confronts a Democratic President who, after a temporary surge in the national polls because of the crises in Iran and Afghanistan, is now plagued by declining job ratings. The odds are that by fall, Carter will be trying to defend his management of an economy with double-digit inflation and rising unemployment, gasoline prices of upwards of $2 per gal. and a reduced budget that offends many of the traditional Democratic-constituencies.

By the way, Reagan was behind Carter by 25% in polls only 90 days before the election.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reagan inspired independents. The current crop of GOP candidates seem to only care about firing up the extremist wing of the party. When George Pataki is hyped by "serious" pubbies, you get the sense they've already given up on 2012.