Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The path forward for the GOP

There is no way to read last night's results as anything other than a rejection of the Republican Party.  Romney was clearly their most electable candidate; I doubt there's anyone out there thinking "If only we'd gone with Newt..."  He was running against a weak incumbent with a still sky-high 7.9% unemployment rate, but he lost, and by kind of a lot.  Assuming Obama holds on in Florida, he will win by 126 electoral votes and about 2.6-3 million popular votes.  That's a ton of ground to make up if they want to win next time.  Ongoing demographic changes and a (presumably) improving economy will make 2016 a huge uphill climb for Republicans.

Who exactly is waiting in the wings to lead them in that struggle?  Young guns like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio have a chance to take over the party, but their Republican generation is more conservative, and this election's outcome demonstrates that "more conservative" likely isn't the way to go.  Romney's standing clearly improved after he Etch-a-Sketched away his conservatism at the first debate, and the most conservative Senate candidates lost in places like Indiana and Missouri.  Turning to the right would seem to only hurt their chances.

Of course, if the economy still stinks, Democrats would not be able to blame it on Bush eight years hence.  I suppose it's possible that Republicans would double down on obstructionism and let us fall over the fiscal cliff.  If they try that tactic and the economy still grows, like it should, Democrats would get all the credit.  Their only real hope is that the economy is still sputtering along for four more years.  

1 comment:

NWest said...

"Experts" have predicted that Europe would get better after each and every round of cash being sent down to Greece. Seems like it's going the other direction. Odd, that you can't continue to borrow your way to prosperity. It's almost like the Experts don't know what the F they are talking about.