Monday, October 30, 2006

Return of the base not

Conservative spin is now that the Republicans are recovering, as 'the base' flocks home terrified by the prospect of Nancy Pelosi being speaker, I place more value in this poll in Newsweek:
On the issues, Republicans have staunched their own political bloodletting, pulling even with Democrats on signature GOP issues: for instance, 40 percent of Americans trust Republicans more on handling terrorism; 39 percent trust Democrats more—a statistical tie. And when it comes to which party voters trust more on moral values, Americans are evenly split at 38 percent. The GOP has slightly narrowed the trust gap on other issues, but the Democrats still lead—on Iraq (45 to 33); the economy (47 to 34); health care (53 to 26); immigration (40 to 32); federal spending and the deficit (47 to 31); and stem-cell research (48 to 26). They even tie, statistically, on what used to be bedrock Republican issues: 39 to 37, in favor of the Democrats, on guns; and 38 to 36 in favor of the Democrats on crime. On abortion, Democrats win 42 to 33 and on same-sex marriage, 41 to 33.
Consider the popular view that 'values' issues such as abortion and gay marriage are Republican pluses; it doesn't seem to be supported by this poll (although the argument will be made that they motivate key groups), I agree that on gay marriage and abortion the Democrats are all over the shop but their confusion and ambivalence mirrors that of the electorate.


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