Speaking of liberals who "concern troll" with respect to Republicans, a liberal friend sent me this piece from a political 'horse-race' writer here in Illinois:
For the first time in at least 20 years, more independents voted in Illinois last Tuesday than Republicans.
I spent part of Thursday afternoon going through some exit polling data to see if I could find anything to cheer up my Republican friends. I really couldn’t.
Way back in 1992, when Republican Jim Edgar was governor and George H.W. Bush was running for re-election against Bill Clinton, 39 percent of Illinois voters told the exit pollsters they were Democrats; 34 percent said they were Republicans, and 27 percent said they were independents.
Two years later, when the country turned against Clinton and the Republicans swept just about everything here and nationally, the two parties were tied at 36 percent each in Illinois, with 28 percent saying they were independents.
The Republicans dropped down to 32 percent two years later, while the Democrats surged to 42 percent. Things stayed more or less the same until 2006, George W. Bush’s second midterm election, when Democrats vaulted to 46 percent, Republicans dropped to 31 percent and independents plummeted to a 20-year low of 23 percent.
Obviously, the Democrats won over independents, and the Republicans lost them. Republicans continued losing more independent-minded folks in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president. Democrats made up 47 percent of the Illinois electoral pool, but Republicans dropped to 28 percent and independents moved up to 28 percent.
For starters, women have left the party in droves. In 1994, 61 percent of Illinois women voted for the pro-choice Edgar’s re-election bid. By 2010, just 44 percent of women voted for the pro-life Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady. And this year, a mere 35 percent of women here voted for Mitt Romney, according to the exit polls.
If the Republicans don’t do something differently, and soon, they’ll hurt their brand so much that most women will eventually refuse to vote for any GOP candidate.
Latinos, the fastest-growing ethnic group in Illinois, also have trended more Democratic. In 2004, 53 percent of Latinos voted for John Kerry. Two years ago, 63 percent of Latinos voted for Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. This year, 81 percent went with Obama.
The bottom line here is that the GOP has to stop alienating women and Latinos. Now. Today. There is simply no other path back to relevance in Illinois.
My friend sent me the above piece suggesting the GOP had a "problem with women in Illinois." My response to him was the following:
Assuming for the sake of argument (which I'm not sure is correct, but let's just assume for a moment) that all those women abandoned the GOP because of its abortion stand -- should the GOP become pro-choice? I would argue no -- it isn't worth it to temporarily win a few elections while losing your soul. Instead the GOP, and pro-life politicians and activists in general, should focus their efforts on convincing women of the truth of the pro-life position and hope that someday women in Illinois will come around.
I'd rather lose elections for the right reasons than try to win them for the wrong ones.
Michael New also had a good piece today in First Things that suggested despite the GOP's recent electoral defeats, the pro-life movement has made impressive gains overall with respect to our national culture and national abortion rate.
As for Hispanic voters, in Illinois they aren't much more than 10% of the electorate and as both Heather MacDonald and Vox Day point out, immigration is not the issue that is driving them to pull the lever for the Democrats. Can the GOP ever appeal to low-income voters who depend on government programs for survival? I have read some conservative commentary that suggests a more populist economic message (e.g. break up the big banks and end the collusion between big government and big corporations) might start to win some of the more working class Hispanic voters over to the GOP, just as that message might help us with white working class voters. This is a topic that deserves further exploration, but I worry that all the focus and talk recently has been on immigration reform and amnesty, which will simply exacerbate the problem for the GOP in the coming years, not help matters.