Sunday, March 29, 2009

The GOP's Top 10

A Gallup poll conducted at the end of 2008 indicates the forerunners for the Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election. The poll is several months old, but I think the data is still relevant and accurate, considering the election is three years away. The data indicates that Sarah Palin is in fact the forerunner, closely followed by Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee. Please see my past posts on Palin and check back soon for my thoughts on Romney, Huckabee, and other potential candidates.

You can read the article at:


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Death Penalty: GOP's Chance to Speak-Up

The governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, recently signed a bill into law repealing the death penalty in New Mexico. The Republicans now have a foot hold on the Democrats and now have a platform to run against Democrats in upcoming elections. In New Mexico, specifically, a Republican challenger can now use the promise of returning the death penalty to the courts as a platform against Lt. Governor Diane Denish. Recent polls in New Mexico indicate that the electorate is split on whether or not the death penalty should be an option in homicide and rape cases. The majorities of Republicans are in favor of the death penalty and will likely be passionate about a candidate who will fight to bring the sentence back. Governor Richardson's reasons for repealing the death penalty undermine the legal system, take power away from the courts and put the lives of police officers in jeopardy as Bernalillo Sheriff Darren White has made very clear recently. The death penalty is a controversial issue that will ignite passion, and anger, and create a good race for New Mexico governor in 2010.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Republicans Stayed Home

Let me start off by saying that I should have written this post a while back because an understanding of why John McCain lost the presidential election in 2008 is essential to understanding what the GOP must now do in order to re-energize and rebuild. I will also say now that this post is entirely based on my opinion on what happened, based on my perceptions as a student of politics and as a volunteer at McCain Victory Headquarters in Albuquerque during the campaign. I won't be citing any sources or referencing any blogs in this post, because I am basically just rambling about what I think the Republicans did wrong.

So why did John McCain lose? There are the obvious answers that most people attribute the loss to, like the economy, President Bush's image, Barack Obama's charisma, etc.
My explanation, and of course I am not claiming to be the only one with this opinion, is that Republicans were simply not excited enough to go out and vote. Republicans made the fatal mistake of not promoting and making social issues a major focus of the election. George W. Bush in both of his campaigns was able to make social issues such as: abortion, gun control, the death penalty, stem cell research, gay marriage, etc., the focus of attention and he made sure to stir up Republican voters enough to ensure that not only would they go out and vote, but they would take their families and friends with them. He made sure that Republicans were angry that government wanted to take control of health care, or take away the right to own guns, or murder unborn babies. Anger=passion, and passion gets people to the polls. McCain was unable to stir the pot, no-one was angry that Barack Obama was the single most liberal Senator in the senate. No one was angry that Obama was in support of the D.C. ban against hand guns, or that he supported legislation as a state senator in Illinois that would prevent a doctor from saving the lives of babies who were born after a botched abortion. These issues were not put on the table and Republicans were not mobilized. As a result we saw a record number of Catholics and Christians voting for Obama, when in 2004 they came out strong for Bush. As a volunteer for McCain's campaign I made hundreds of phone calls and spoke with many Republicans who stated that they were not fans of McCain and that they were not going to vote. This seems to have been the popular option across the country. McCain was overly moderate during his campaign and shyed away from the controversial social issues because he wanted to appeal to independents and soft democrats, but in doing so he isolated his base. Above everything else, McCain lost in '08 because the Republicans stayed home. In 2012 the GOP needs a candidate who will get the voters to the polls.