I had the opportunity to read Jessica’s post from last week about why she’s not voting for the entire Republican ticket in November. She has now cross-posted it here on Peach Pundit. While she makes some valid points, I think she misses others that are also relevant as we head towards the November elections.
Her top issue appears to be that while she hears reasons to vote against the Democrats, she doesn’t see many reasons to vote for the GOP. How valid is that argument, especially as it relates to specific candidates on the ticket this year?
First, let’s take a step back and consider who is likely to be voting in November. In most cases, he or she is not going to be someone like me, Jessica, or for that matter, 98% of the people who read Peach Pundit or faithfully attend their county party breakfasts each month. Sometimes, it’s going to be someone more like this guy. Or the person who, after getting home following an hour-long commute and then taking care of the kids, might have time for a little TV or possibly a glance through her Facebook feed before retiring for the evening.
This person doesn’t have a lot of time for politics. He knows that there’s an election in November. He hasn’t decided who to vote for, but generally leans Republican. He’s one of the two thirds of registered voters who doesn’t think America is going in the right direction. He’s one of the 90% of Republicans or 54% of independents who disapprove of President Obama.
So, what is a candidate to do, knowing his or her only job is to get more votes than the opposition? This year especially, it might make sense to liken the opponent to the President, or the Democratic party.
In the Senate primary, the winning candidate wasn’t the one with the six point plan to renew America. It was the one who said, “If we want different results from Washington, we need to send a different kind of person to Washington.”
Who does that leave to talk about limited government, lower taxes and economic freedom? Who should “Paint me a beautiful picture flowing with Liberty?”
The candidates will touch on it in their stump speeches, however most voters won’t be in attendance to hear their rhetoric. They will lay out specific proposals, for those who care to look.
Ultimately, though, much of the responsibility for spreading the Republican message to potential voters lies with the people I mentioned earlier in this post. The county party members. The Young Republicans and the College Republicans. They are the ones who know their friends and neighbors, and who can engage them one on one.
My friend Jessica can do that, too. She certainly knows the issues. And, I’ve heard she has a pretty big Liberty Drum.