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Human Events ^ | 11/12/2012 | Gary Bauer

Posted on 11/13/2012 9:29:14 PM PST by neverdem

Republicans’ post-election loss ritual of scapegoating and finger pointing has begun, and, as is almost always the case, conservatism, and in particular values issues, is getting the bulk of the blame.

Republican elites will soon join liberal commentators in declaring that the party must moderate on social issues or risk consigning itself to permanent minority status. But while the GOP would benefit from a period of reflection and self-examination, and while the party does need to adjust how it communicates with voters on social issues, its core values cannot change.

It would be difficult to argue that November 6th was a good day for those of us who support traditional marriage. The voters of four states voted for same-sex marriage. But that doesn’t mean the GOP should abandon its support of normal marriage.

In a national exit poll of 800 voters conducted on my behalf by the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, 8 percent of respondents said that the definition of marriage was their top issue, while another 20 percent called it one of their three top issues.

Interestingly, 44 percent of voters said they would be less likely to support a candidate who supports same-sex marriage (including 32 percent who said they would be much less likely), while 40 percent said they’d be more likely (including 21 percent who said they would be much more likely).

Other exit polls showed voters essentially tied on the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legal. That corresponds with most opinion polls. And remember, 38 states have voted to ban same-sex marriage, most via constitutional amendment, most recently in North Carolina in 2012. The truth is, America is still divided almost evenly on this question.

Then there’s abortion. That the issue motivates voters continues to baffle professional pundits. In our poll, when asked how important abortion was to their vote, 13 percent of respondents said it was their top issue, while another 24 percent listed it as one of their top three issues.

The media consensus seems to be that the election was a vindication of the left’s attacks on Republicans’ so-called “war on women.” But the election wasn’t a repudiation of the pro-life position, but rather a repudiation of conservatives who talk about abortion ineptly.

The view that all human life is sacred wasn’t what made headlines during the campaign. It was stupid comments about “legitimate rape” and offensive references to a young abortion activist as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

The relevant issues—forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions; Obamacare’s coercion of religious institutions into paying for abortion drugs—could have been political winners for Romney and other Republicans, if they hadn’t allowed the Democrats to frame any attempt to limit abortion as part of a broader “war on women.” But Romney chose to let the attacks go unanswered.

In a bit of good news for pro-lifers, a referendum to legalize assisted suicide lost in Massachusetts, and an abortion parental notification law passed overwhelmingly in Montana.

Even on the broader question of values, the conservative position prevailed. A clear majority, 58 percent, of exit poll voters said that the “decline of American morality and values” was a challenge for future generations. In an ABC exit poll, Romney beat Obama by 13 points among voters who prioritized a candidate who “shares my values.”

The upshot is that values issues still matter, and that they are a net positive for conservative candidates who can talk about them with precision and compassion.

Historically, Republican candidates win when they embrace conservative positions on social issues. And it could help them with the group of voters everyone believes the GOP needs to attract: Hispanics.

Hispanics make up growing share of the electorate (10 percent this year), and they vote overwhelming and increasingly for Democrats. But they are also more religious and more socially conservative than most Democrats. They should be a natural fit for the Republican Party.

An under-examined reason why Romney and other Republican candidates lost had to do with the three million white evangelical voters who cast a ballot in 2008 but didn’t vote this year. In an election decided by fewer than three million votes, they would have been pivotal. And I think it’s safe to assume they didn’t stay home because of Mitt Romney wasn’t liberal enough on social issues.

Looking ahead, the Republican Party’s strengths are its conservative House and its roster of up and coming conservative party leaders. Rep. Paul Ryan, Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Gov. Scott Walker and Gov. Bob McDonnell, to name a few, are all across-the-board conservatives.

America remains a sharply divided nation. Obama received only 50 percent of the vote. Republicans retained control of the House and now control 30 governorships, the most since 2000. The Republican Party doesn’t need candidates who will ignore values issues; they need candidates who can present their positions on those issues to voters in a reasonable, compassionate and straightforward way.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
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To: Steelfish

“But our side sold the “economy only stupid” idea”

Economy only but without the Obamacare part. Even fiscal cons were bummed by Romney.

21 posted on 11/13/2012 10:40:04 PM PST by ari-freedom (It's the bennies, stupid.)
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To: Utmost Certainty

“Assuming this were actually true, I don’t see why the GOP needs to pander to these single-issue infantile voters next cycle. Considering the consequences at stake in this election, staying home was inexcusable.”

OK but don’t be surprised to end up with a Chris Christie or a Colin Powell.

22 posted on 11/13/2012 10:43:45 PM PST by ari-freedom (It's the bennies, stupid.)
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To: ansel12
It is a sneaky way of saying ‘pro-life’ = infantile voters. ‘You know’ those single issue voters the haughty moderate pro-choice GOP-e- despise every election.
23 posted on 11/13/2012 10:44:03 PM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: neverdem
you're right. there's still indiana however and then there's the matter of Barack obama receiving ~7 million fewer votes in 2012 than in 2008 while Romney received only ~800,00 fewer votes than mccain. Missouri voter turnout for Romney was greater than turnout for for McCain too and, likewise, fewer people voted for Obama in 2012 than in 2008. Again, it was democratic turnout that was depressed.

To me that looks like there was actually decreased enthusiasm for Obama and mostly typical enthusiasm for the Republican and it also looks like radical conservatism was rejected in favor of more moderate views considering that Akin and Mourdock were both rejected in states that Romney carried.

I'm sure there were conservatives who didn't vote but to say that the election was lost because of them is pure horsesh*t. We lost because we were unable to tap into key demographic groups in swing states. We were unable to break the democratic coalition and the reason for that is pretty obvious, because a couple of nuts tainted the entire party and platform with their extreme nuttiness and drove independenta and moderates back into the arms of the Democrats.

these guys were so wrong and so destructive to our agenda that I am utterly convinced that they aren't even in favor of actually ending abortion. I think they were sabateurs and you'll never convince me otherwise because they couldn't have been more destructive to our cause if they had tried.

24 posted on 11/13/2012 10:56:16 PM PST by RC one (Akin/Mourdock-2016)
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To: ari-freedom

beats a barack obama with a senate majority.

25 posted on 11/13/2012 10:57:20 PM PST by RC one (Akin/Mourdock-2016)
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To: neverdem

Let me show you a little something about how the Republicans were overrun.

This site was set up in early 2010:

26 posted on 11/13/2012 11:20:23 PM PST by Hardraade ( (I will fear no muslim))
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To: neverdem

Voter Fraud!

27 posted on 11/13/2012 11:21:02 PM PST by DarthVader (Politicians govern out of self interest, Statesmen govern for a Vision greater than themselves)
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To: RC one

Not only did Ryan lose his home state, but Romney lost all of his home states.

28 posted on 11/13/2012 11:22:52 PM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: ansel12

Massive coordinated election fraud.

29 posted on 11/13/2012 11:51:05 PM PST by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: ansel12
I thought maybe we would do better in Wisconsin after we defeated Feingold in 2010. We had momentum coming out of 2010 but it was squandered on things like union busting and preventing women who have been raped from getting abortions. We need to learn to choose our battles more carefully and we need to learn that frontal assaults don't work.

As far as Romney goes, are you really surprised he lost Michigan after his bailout remarks? and then of course there's Massachusetts. We managed to take Ted kennedy's seat from him and then lost it to a woman caught lieing about her Indian heritage. More squandered momentum.

It isn't just that we lost on social issues, we failed to break into any of the Democrat's key demographic groups in places where we needed to. we needed to break into the hispanics in Florida and probably virginia. We didn't. We needed to break into the female vote and the union vote in ohio. We didn't. I still contend that Donna Glisman was a better candidate that Josh Mandel because she would have given females in Ohio something to vote for besides the D. mandel was just one more mistake in a long line of GOP mistakes spanning from 2010 to 2012. we played a great game in the first half but we blew it in the second.

30 posted on 11/13/2012 11:59:15 PM PST by RC one (Akin/Mourdock-2016)
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To: RC one

Radical conservatism? What part of the constitution do you wish to toss out?

31 posted on 11/14/2012 12:08:21 AM PST by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Jim Robinson
Just as I predicted, months ago, Jim:

"In the eyes of his shriller, more spittle-fueled adherents and apologists hereabouts, Mittens is much like a cow wandering placidly through the streets of downtown Cairo: immune to any/all criticism and/or impediment by divine principle, if not an object of abject veneration outright.

"The cow is holy. The cow is perfect. If the cow, for whatever reason(s) -- by whatever unguessable confluence of events, in the course of its dull, plodding amblings -- doesn't end up wherever the hell it was it wanted to go to in the first place: that's your fault, not the cow's."

The CINOs neither can nor will admit -- now or EVER -- that their rote, repeatedly failed p!ss-on-the-base-and-grovel-for-disaffected-liberals campaign strategy is what's genuinely at fault, Jim.

The cow is holy.

The cow is perfect.

32 posted on 11/14/2012 12:23:24 AM PST by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle ("If you're not fiscally AND socially conservative, you're not conservative!" - Jim Robinson, 9-1-10)
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To: neverdem
Evangelicals were 26% of the electorate this year, same as 2008. 78% voted for Romney vs 74% for McCain.

Evangelicals did not sit out the election.

33 posted on 11/14/2012 12:23:52 AM PST by Ken H
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To: RC one

That union fight was heroic, and Romney didn’t belong in republican politics, and much less as the leader of the party.

34 posted on 11/14/2012 12:41:13 AM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: RC one

Does this lead you to think that we ran a social conservative?

August 9, 2912 “”Mitt Romney, President Obama affirm support for gay Boy Scout leaders””

August 27, 2012 CBS News Scott Pelley Interview, party platform & abortion

PELLEY: Well, the platform as written at this convention for the Republicans does not allow for exceptions on abortion with regard to the health of the mother or rape or incest. Is that where you are?

ROMNEY: No. My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.

December 2011 On allowing gays to serve openly in the military:

““That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage.”

Past Mitt on Abortion;
“My position has been the same throughout my political career, and it goes back to the days of 1970,” he said. “There was a woman who was running for political office, U.S. Senate. She took a very bold and courageous stand in 1970, and that was in a conservative state. That was that a woman should have the right to make her own choice as to whether or not to have an abortion. Her name was Lenore Romney, she was my mom. Even though she lost, she established a record of courage in that regard.”

Past Mitt on homosexual military;
“”For some voters it might be enough for me to simply match my opponent’s record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will.

One issue I want to clarify concerns President Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t pursue” military policy. I believe that the Clinton compromise was a step in the right direction. I am also convinced that it is the first of a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays and lesbians being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military. That goal will only be reached when preventing discrimination against gays and lesbians is a mainstream concern, which is a goal we share.””

35 posted on 11/14/2012 12:56:06 AM PST by ansel12 (Todd Akin was NOT the tea party candidate, Sarah Steelman was, Brunner had tea party support also.)
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To: Utmost Certainty
I’m skeptical of this rumor about 3mil evangelicals who supposedly stayed home. Are there any real numbers to back that claim?

They were 26% of the 131M total in 2008, or 34M. McCain got 74%, or 25M. That means Obama got about 9M.

The final total is not in yet, but it is currently about 123M. Let's say that total ends up at 125M, which is probably on the conservative side. At 78% support, Romney would get about the same number of evangelical votes as McCain.

Using the 125M figure and 22% support, Obama would end up with about 7M.

So there's a couple of million evangelical voters who sat it out, but it cost Obama, not Romney.

36 posted on 11/14/2012 12:58:33 AM PST by Ken H
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To: neverdem

We are now a 50-50 nation.

37 posted on 11/14/2012 2:53:53 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
We can talk about this until the cows come home, but I think it's pretty obvious to me what happened here. Romney lost because he simply didn't do anything to distinguish himself as a candidate. On so many of these issues, his own well-documented track record -- in the only elected office he ever held -- was identical to that of Barack Obama.

Yeah, that's a winning ticket.

38 posted on 11/14/2012 3:15:43 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: ansel12

Don’t call me a boy, mf’er. I am going by what bauer says.

39 posted on 11/14/2012 6:09:49 AM PST by Post5203 (I bought 6 marines a beer at a bar recently and not one said thanks. I won't do that again.)
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To: dadfly

If you don’t fix voter fraud issues, there will never be a fair election in this country in the future.

Obama kept using the word ‘fair’ in his campaigns, but his party is the one that cheated enough to ‘win’.

Is this country so poorly educated in simple mathematics that they cannot see the numbers??

40 posted on 11/14/2012 6:51:33 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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