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Opposing Common Core: A Losing Issue, Even in GOP Primaries
Townhall.com ^ | May 25, 2014 | Michael Brickman

Posted on 05/25/2014 8:28:38 AM PDT by Kaslin

Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Michael Petrilli.

Ever since election results from May 5th were finalized, a number of voices have loudly touted cherry-picked upsets—namely, the primary defeats of two incumbent Republicans in the Indiana legislature—to build what they want to present as a larger narrative of rising opposition to Common Core. This narrative is misleading. In fact, the GOP primary results from throughout this month showed, if anything, that opposing Common Core is not a ticket to office for a right-flank challenge to an incumbent, and the efficacy of attempts to take out Republicans from the right is vastly overrated. By the same token, there is mounting evidence that sitting Republicans who support Common Core will continue to be supported by their conservative base.

The activists hyping the Indiana routs only tell half the Hoosier primary story. It should be noted that the defeat of state Reps. Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were as much about social issues as education reform, and anti-Common Core activists were pointedly less successful elsewhere in the Hoosier State. Republican state Rep. Robert Behning, an early supporter of Common Core in Indiana, won his primary against challenger Mike Scott, who campaigned vigorously against the standards and other productive elements of education reform. At the same time, GOP state Sen. James Merritt triumphed in his primary contest over Crystal Lamotte, who encouraged her supporters with the provocative message, “We need one last show of support against Common Core!”

In neighboring Ohio, incumbent state Rep. Stephanie Kunze notably defeated anti-Common Core candidate Pat Manley. Meanwhile, Kellie Kohl of Ohioans Against the Common Core lost her state Senate primary to Republican Shannon Jones, whom Kohl emphatically attacked for supporting Common Core, by the whopping margin of 69.5 to 30.5. If the conservative base of the Ohio Republican Party is champing at the bit to throw out Common Core and embrace a hardline Tea Party message, they have an exceptionally confounding way of showing it.

Down in North Carolina, the anti-Common Core agenda proved as woefully out-of-touch with Southern conservative voters as with their Midwestern peers, which was evidenced by the only two incumbents who lost their primary battles. In District 80, challenger Sam Watford made the remarkable claim that “not all the best ideas are conservative ideas” and defeated incumbent Republican Roger Younts, who leans hard right. In District 95, “business conservative” challenger John Fraley abruptly curtailed the political career of incumbent Robert Brawley, who is more aligned with the Tea Party and had been an outspoken critic of statewide (and national) establishment GOP candidate Thom Tillis.

The most recent primary results, from May 20, have further demonstrated that opposing Common Core does not win with conservative GOP voters.

In Georgia, Gov. Nathan Deal – who has preserved the standards in his state – crushed a vocal anti-Common Core challenger by a whopping 55 points. In the U.S. Senate race, David Perdue garnered the most votes in a crowded primary and a spot in the runoff despite having expressed support for the intent of Common Core and being the cousin of Sonny Perdue, the former governor who approved Common Core in the first place. State House Education Chairman Brooks Coleman (R-97th), a staunch supporter of Common Core, sailed comfortably past his anti-Common Core challengers in a race focused on the education standards without even triggering a runoff.

Out in Idaho, Republican Gov. Butch Otter has been a strong and persistent proponent of Common Core, like conservative Republicans in other Red States. He comfortably defeated his primary challenger Russ Fulcher, a zealous opponent of Common Core. Like Gov. Deal, Gov. Otter is widely expected to win reelection in November.

In Arkansas, incumbent State Rep. Randy Alexander was hailed by the group Arkansas Against Common Core as, “Our beloved champion and sponsor of our legislation.” His primary challenger Lance Eads is a vice president of the local Chamber of Commerce, the national version of which is widely known for its support for Common Core. Eads defeated Rep. Alexander in the primary by 58-42 percent.

All of these facts align well with the recent findings from Republican pollster John McLaughlin that most voters—including conservative voters in Republican primaries—are not opposed to this state-led, teacher-supported attempt at education reform. The poll found support for the standards overall and even strong support among Republican primary voters (59-35 percent) who were read a neutral description of the standards. More to the point, the poll indicates that more conservative Republican primary voters would vote for a candidate who supports Common Core over a candidate who fights against it. Given this reality, it’s not surprising that conservative Republicans in states such as Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee have rejected attempts to overturn the Common Core.

Even Indiana, the state that was initially deemed the “first state to pull out of Common Core” has adopted standards that are quite similar to the Common Core though worse in the opinion of both supporters and opponents alike. Thus far states are not exactly rushing to follow Indiana’s lead and, in fact, Kansas—a state very recently thought to be on the verge of making significant changes—closed out its session by choosing to stay the course with the Common Core.

So far, primary results and ongoing developments around the country largely prove what the aforementioned polling presciently predicted: Republican candidates cannot win over conservative voters by bashing Common Core.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; US: Indiana
KEYWORDS: 2014issues; 2014midterms; commoncore; education; indiana; michaelbrickman; michaelpetrilli; townhall

1 posted on 05/25/2014 8:28:38 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

We should just cut to the chase and declare all conservative issues to be losing issues and anoint Hillary Clinton president.


2 posted on 05/25/2014 8:30:45 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Kaslin

Common Core is just one more illustration of the fact that most elected Republicans aren’t really conservatives.

I vote in Republican primaries for now, but write-in when there is no conservative for vote for.

Watch the results from the UK tonight. See how people have given up on the major party that pretends to be conservative and exercised another option.


3 posted on 05/25/2014 8:38:06 AM PDT by Nextrush (AFFORDABLE CARE ACT=HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY BAILOUT ACT)
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To: Nextrush

You have a write-in option on priamry ballots? Wish we had that here.


4 posted on 05/25/2014 8:43:07 AM PDT by RonPaulLives (I won't be a neo-pawn in the game.)
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To: cripplecreek
We should just cut to the chase and declare all conservative issues to be losing issues and anoint Hillary Clinton president.

Exactly. Immigration? Loser issue. Deficit? Deficit ceiling? Loser. Gayism and abortion? So last century. Out of control regulators? Regulators with their own SWAT and a billion bullets? Constitution? Voter fraud? Hush. Are you crazy?

No, all that is left to us is to enact the DNC's agenda while huffing and puffing about reducing the rate of the increase in the budget.

5 posted on 05/25/2014 8:51:11 AM PDT by marron
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To: marron

Funny thing is that plenty of liberals are grumbling about common core now too.


6 posted on 05/25/2014 8:52:58 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: Kaslin

Here in GA, we have one “GOP”er for it and one against it. I do, however, hope the anti common crap runoff candidate will prevail.


7 posted on 05/25/2014 8:54:47 AM PDT by freeangel ( (free speech is only good until someone else doesn't like it)
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To: RonPaulLives

You touch the screen for ‘write-in’ and key in the name on a keypad on the screen.


8 posted on 05/25/2014 9:23:36 AM PDT by Nextrush (AFFORDABLE CARE ACT=HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY BAILOUT ACT)
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To: Kaslin

“By the same token, there is mounting evidence that sitting Republicans who support Common Core will continue to be supported by their conservative base”

Nathan Deal is an ethically challenged RINO who has embraced every POS idea that has come down the pike in GA for the past 4 years. Sadly his challenger David Pennington who is a good guy and got our vote in the primary did not have the warchest to put on an effective campaign. Now we will likely have to vote for Deal in the general election to keep Jason Carter out.


9 posted on 05/25/2014 9:24:40 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose o f a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: cripplecreek

Not Hilldawg, they’ll make B. Hussein Obama Messiah for Life of the USSA.


10 posted on 05/25/2014 9:24:46 AM PDT by wastedyears (I'm a pessimist, I say plenty of negative things. Consider it a warning of sorts.)
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To: freeangel

But will CC really be eliminated if they are elected or just a name change for it like Mike Pence did in Indiana???


11 posted on 05/25/2014 9:25:05 AM PDT by Nextrush (AFFORDABLE CARE ACT=HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY BAILOUT ACT)
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To: marron
Its very simple. If you don't want Common Core, don't take the federal money.

No different from those states that didn't want Obamacare, they didn't take the federal Medicaid money.

Likewise, if you don't want the federal strings on roads, don't take the federal road money.

12 posted on 05/25/2014 9:26:52 AM PDT by Ben Ficklin
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To: Kaslin

Damn!


13 posted on 05/25/2014 9:47:27 AM PDT by CPT Clay (Follow me on Twitter @Clay N TX)
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To: Kaslin

Boy am I glad that the founders of this great country were not as cowardly as this editorial writer.

The brave American men of the Revolutionary War faced off against the most powerful country on earth for the sake of principles.

Now, the GOP, the party that is supposed to be principled, only looks at battles to be fought based on how popular the issue is and can the battle be won.

Cowards!


14 posted on 05/25/2014 9:54:00 AM PDT by SoConPubbie (Mitt and Obama: They're the same poison, just a different potency)
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To: Kaslin

No need to vote. Judges are unelected, and they undo laws at their whim. And federal agencies make all the rules with no accountability.


15 posted on 05/25/2014 9:59:57 AM PDT by petitfour
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To: Kaslin

I thought the ones defeated in Indiana was because they flipped their support of the Marriage Amendment


16 posted on 05/25/2014 10:27:48 AM PDT by digger48
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To: Kaslin

The opposition to common core should be framed as a states rights issue. Getting out there and saying “we can do a better job than the federal government can in deciding what our children are taught” would be powerful and a positive message.


17 posted on 05/25/2014 10:31:33 AM PDT by grania
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Thanks Kaslin.
18 posted on 05/25/2014 11:39:28 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks Kaslin.


19 posted on 05/25/2014 11:40:31 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: cripplecreek

Here is a common core English question....

correct this sentence,” We should obey our Government leaders”

This is Brainwashing.

screw this article and the writer

just another Rino appologist wanker.


20 posted on 05/25/2014 12:01:11 PM PDT by LtKerst
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To: Nextrush

Yeah, we have paper ballots here. Even with a “write in” option, I trust electronic ballots far less.


21 posted on 05/25/2014 1:30:58 PM PDT by RonPaulLives (I won't be a neo-pawn in the game.)
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To: Kaslin

Yes, all conservatives should just “SHUT UP” about all cultural issues, and just let government grow bigger and bigger and take more and more of our freedom away, until we can’t legally worship God anymore, and have no guns to fight back.


22 posted on 05/25/2014 2:28:52 PM PDT by backwoods-engineer (Blog: www.BackwoodsEngineer.com)
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To: Kaslin
This column was co-authored by Michael Petrilli.

Michael Petrilli is the in-house leftist of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.

23 posted on 05/25/2014 2:38:58 PM PDT by Excellence (Marine mom since April 11, 2014)
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To: cripplecreek

Suburbanites in general hate Common Core. It is not a left/right issue so much as suburbanites versus “experts.”


24 posted on 05/25/2014 4:02:47 PM PDT by Clemenza (Lurking)
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To: Excellence

Never heard of him and never heard of Michael Brickman either


25 posted on 05/25/2014 4:46:21 PM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin

In my state, officials are actually afraid that “parents will take matters into their own hands.”


26 posted on 05/27/2014 10:52:11 AM PDT by goldi
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