Skip to comments.GOP: Republicans for Kerry organizing
Posted on 08/17/2004 11:55:44 AM PDT by rface
Daryl Renschler said he's going to do something he has not done since 1976 - vote for the Democratic candidate for president.
In the era of Watergate and Vietnam, the lifelong Republican gave his support to Jimmy Carter. Today, nearly three decades later, Renschler finds himself again mistrusting the government and hating what he contends has become a quagmire of a war.
Come November, he'll vote for John Kerry.
"We were misled during the Vietnam War ... and they're misleading us now," said Renschler. "Normally, a war unites a country. This one split it.
"I don't know what we're doing in Iraq. Someone gets you in a mess; you need someone else to clean it up," he said. "Kerry has a better approach to extract us from this mess we're in."
The Solebury resident is part of the recently formed Bucks Republicans for Kerry, which hopes to get people to vote - particularly younger constituents - against George Bush.
"I'm ashamed to be associated with [the Republican Party]," Renschler said.
Across the country, groups are popping up in support of the opposition. And it's not only Republicans for Kerry. There are Democrats for George Bush, too, though that group has not manifested locally. Experts say issues like the war in Iraq and the economy drive voters to Kerry, and gay marriage and abortion push them to Bush.
"It's [one thing] to quietly say, 'I can't do it this time.' To do it more publicly is unusual," said Joan Hulse Thompson, an associate professor of political science at Arcadia University. "People are not just satisfied to vote against [George Bush] but to organize against him. That's a step beyond."
Sue Tinsman is taking that step. The 82-year-old lifelong Republican ticks off her beefs with Bush like clockwork. The war. The loss of international support. The economy. The environment. Education.
"I could go on and on. This is the most important election in our history," said the Solebury resident, who says her choice this year could even strain relations with longtime friends. "I'm a moderate Republican, but I don't think our administration is currently moderate. It's extremely conservative. Kerry is a moderate Democrat. There's not much difference between them and moderate Republicans."
In every election, voters cross party lines. There were Democrats for Richard Nixon and Republicans for George McGovern in 1972 - many of them split over the Vietnam War.
Election 2004 is no exception. According to Clay Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll Institute, the crossover vote this year is about average, between 7 percent to 10 percent for each side. That's based on polls the institute has taken in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey and New York.
"There are not any large numbers yet. It's not heavily organized," Richards said. "It's not as much as the Reagan Democrats [who tended to be blue-collar union members]."
Some experts reason that Democrats will support Bush because they may support the war and they don't want to change the commander-in-chief at a time of continual fighting. But the real catalyst could be gay marriage.
"People are cross-pressured. They want to vote [on] certain issues but can't get it all with one candidate," said Hulse Thompson.
Same-sex marriage could push conservative Democrats, including Catholics and religious black men, to Bush's side, she said. Bush favors a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, while Kerry opposes same-sex marriage, but supports civil unions.
"People get confused on it," said Frank Colon, a political science professor at Lehigh University. Some, said Colon, think Kerry favors gay marriage, partially because his home state is Massachusetts, the first to issue licenses to gay couples.
Ted Morgan, also a professor of political science at Lehigh, says he's not surprised a Republican group for Kerry would crop up in Bucks County.
"It's exactly where I expect it to come from. It's an affluent area. There are old-money Republicans, and most are alienated by Bush. Kerry doesn't freak them out. He's one of them," he said. "Bucks is kind of interesting. It's kind of progressive. The religious right being in politics scares them. They're more libertarian."
Bucks County has always been a stronghold of Republicans. As of Aug. 7, there were 201,870 registered Republicans and 164,551 registered Democrats in the county. But the Democratic candidates at the top of the ticket in major elections in recent years have carried Bucks. Both Bill Clinton and Al Gore did it, as did Ed Rendell in his gubernatorial bid in 2002.
"Republicans, too, rallied around Rendell, and maybe that's being tapped to some degree [now]," said Colon. "Rendell is not a great coattail, but he may have given [Republican voters] pause to think, 'Maybe I'm going to continue in this direction.' In Bucks, there's a stronger independent group than people think."
Joseph Duffy, a Republican from Solebury, said he intends to vote Democrat in November.
"Kerry is a mixed-up fellow," he said. "But he's a far better choice than Bush."
Hilary Bentman can be reached at 215-538-6380 or hbentman@phillyBurbs.com
Happens every election. Nothing new here.
I laughed my arse off when I read this article. It happens every election cycle that "lifelong _________" vote for the other guy. I can't believe the paper considered it "newsworthy".
This must be some Dim's idea of comedy...
Not since WWII my friend. The LEFT divides this country.......and sophmoric GOP turncoats, not the RIGHT.
I guarantee there are lot more Democrats who are going to vote for Bush than Republican voting for Kerry.
"I'm a moderate Republican, but I don't think our administration is currently moderate. It's extremely conservative. Kerry is a moderate Democrat. There's not much difference between them and moderate Republicans."
This indicates a VERY confused man, if Kerry is a moderate, then W. must be Genghis Khan reincarnated.
Baloney! These turkeys are RINOs!
Funny how these "lifelong" republicans can recite the entire Moveon mantra without taking a breath.
Lot of sick suckers in the United States, let me tell you!
whatta bull$hit story.... no 'republican' in his/her right mind would vote for Verry/Leftwards...
I have, actually. The Carter bit, at least.
Lotta people were really mad at Ford at the time.
Hilary BentOne? There must be a connection to the Clinton Gang.
It's the media that are confused. Kerry supports gay marriage by calling it civil unions. It's a distinction without a difference. Most people get that.
What a confused person - doesn't seem to know his own mind.
I just moved to Bucks County and every single person I have met, including the grocery clerk and the landscaper, has told me they are voting for President Bush! In weeks of house hunting I saw ONE Kerry sign in a yard, and dozens of Bush-Cheney signs. The antics of the Democrat governor across the river in New Jersey have not helped Mr. Kerry over here either. Gov Rendell has been conspicuously silent about it all.
==>...Anyone tell me another place I can go to to find who donates to political candidates??????
I'm a lifelong democrat who is going to vote for bush. Really. John Kerry is just too liberal for me.
Why won't the press interview me???
Nah, they're most likely Democrats just claiming to be Republicans. They're referred to on talk radio as "seminar callers".
"I've always voted Republican/I voted for Bush in 2000 BUT I won't vote Republican/For Bush because [Insert DNC talking points]".
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