Skip to comments.The Voters Who Stayed Home (The Key to Understanding the Results of the 2012 Elections)
Posted on 11/10/2012 5:13:59 AM PST by SeekAndFind
The key to understanding the 2012 election is simple: A huge slice of the electorate stayed home.
The punditocracy which is more of the ruling class than an eye on the ruling class has naturally decided that this is because Republicans are not enough like Democrats: They need to play more identity politics (in particular, adopt the Lefts embrace of illegal immigration) in order to be viable. But the story is not about who voted; it is about who didnt vote. In truth, millions of Americans have decided that Republicans are not a viable alternative because they are already too much like Democrats. They are Washington. With no hope that a Romney administration or more Republicans in Congress would change this sad state of affairs, these voters shrugged their shoulders and became non-voters.
This is the most important election of our lifetime. That was the ubiquitous rally cry of Republican leaders. The country yawned. About 11 million fewer Americans voted for the two major-party candidates in 2012 119 million, down from 130 million in 2008. In fact, even though our population has steadily increased in the last eight years (adding 16 million to the 2004 estimate of 293 million Americans), about 2 million fewer Americans pulled the lever for Obama and Romney than for George W. Bush and John Kerry.
That is staggering. And, as if to ensure that conservatives continue making the same mistakes that have given us four more years of ruinous debt, economic stagnation, unsustainable dependency, Islamist empowerment, and a crippling transfer of sovereignty to global tribunals, Tuesdays post-mortems fixate on the unremarkable fact that reliable Democratic constituencies broke overwhelmingly for Democrats. Again, to focus on the vote is to miss the far more consequential non-vote. The millions who stayed home relative to the 2008 vote equal the population of Ohio the decisive state. If just a sliver of them had come out for Romney, do you suppose the media would be fretting about the Democrats growing disconnect with white people?
Obama lost an incredible 9 million voters from his 2008 haul. If told on Monday that fully 13 percent of the presidents support would vanish, the GOP establishment would have stocked up on champagne and confetti.
To be sure, some of the Obama slide is attributable to super-storm Sandy. Its chaotic aftermath reduced turnout in a couple of big blue states: New York, where about 6 million people voted, and New Jersey, where 3.5 million did. That is down from 2008 by 15 and 12 percent, respectively. Yet, given that these solidly Obama states were not in play, and that thanks to Chris Christies exuberance our hyper-partisan president was made to look like a bipartisan healer, Sandy has to be considered a big net plus on Obamas ledger.
There also appears to have been some slippage in the youth vote, down 3 percent from 2008 levels 49 percent participation, down from 52 percent. But even with this dip, the under-30 crowd was a boon for the president. Thanks to the steep drop in overall voter participation, the youth vote actually increased as a percentage of the electorate 19 percent, up from 18 percent. Indeed, if there is any silver lining for conservatives here, its that Obama was hurt more by the decrease in his level of support from this demographic down six points from the 66 percent he claimed in 2008 than by the marginal drop in total youth participation. It seems to be dawning on at least some young adults that Obamaville is a bleak place to build a future.
Put aside the fact that, as the election played out, Sandy was a critical boost for the president. Lets pretend that it was just a vote drain one that explains at least some of the slight drop in young voters. What did it really cost Obama? Maybe a million votes? It doesnt come close to accounting for the cratering of his support. Even if he had lost only 8 million votes, that would still have been 11 percent of his 2008 vote haul gone poof. Romney should have won going away.
Yet, he did not. Somehow, Romney managed to pull nearly 2 million fewer votes than John McCain, one of the weakest Republican nominees ever, and one who ran in a cycle when the party had sunk to historic depths of unpopularity. How to explain that?
The brute fact is: There are many people in the country who believe it makes no difference which party wins these elections. Obama Democrats are the hard Left, but Washingtons Republican establishment is progressive, not conservative. This has solidified statism as the bipartisan mainstream. Republicans may want to run Leviathan many are actually perfectly happy in the minority but they have no real interest in dismantling Leviathan. They are simply not about transferring power out of Washington, not in a material way.
As the 2012 campaign elucidated, the GOP wants to be seen as the party of preserving the unsustainable welfare state. When it comes to defense spending, they are just as irresponsible as Democrats in eschewing adult choices. Yes, Democrats are reckless in refusing to acknowledge the suicidal costs of their cradle-to-grave nanny state, but the Republican campaign called for enlarging a military our current spending on which dwarfs the combined defense budgets of the next several highest-spending nations. When was the last time you heard a Republican explain what departments and entitlements hed slash to pay for that? In fact, when did the GOP last explain how a country that is in a $16 trillion debt hole could afford to enlarge anything besides its loan payments?
Our bipartisan ruling class is obtuse when it comes to the cliff were falling off and I dont mean Januarys so-called Taxmageddon, which is a day at the beach compared to whats coming.
As ZeroHedge points out, we now pay out $250 billion more on mandatory obligations (i.e., just entitlements and interest on the debt) than we collect in taxes. Understand, thats an annual deficit of a quarter trillion dollars before one thin dime is spent on the exorbitant $1.3 trillion discretionary budget a little over half of which is defense spending, and the rest the limitless array of tasks that Republicans, like Democrats, have decided the states and the people cannot handle without Washington overlords.
What happens, moreover, when we have a truly egregious Washington scandal, like the terrorist murder of Americans in Benghazi? What do Republicans do? The partys nominee decides the issue is not worth engaging on cutting the legs out from under Americans who see Benghazi as a debacle worse than Watergate, as the logical end of the Beltways pro-Islamist delirium. In the void, the party establishment proceeds to delegate its response to John McCain and Lindsey Graham: the self-styled foreign-policy gurus who urged Obama to entangle us with Benghazis jihadists in the first place, and who are now pushing for a repeat performance in Syria a new adventure in Islamist empowerment at a time when most Americans have decided Iraq was a catastrophe and Afghanistan is a death trap where our straitjacketed troops are regularly shot by the ingrates theyve been sent to help.
Republicans talk about limited central government, but they do not believe in it or, if they do, they lack confidence that they can explain its benefits compellingly. Theyve bought the Democrats core conceit that the modern world is just too complicated for ordinary people to make their way without bureaucratic instruction. They look at a money-hemorrhaging disaster like Medicare, whose unsustainability is precisely caused by the intrusion of government, and they say, Lets preserve it in fact, lets make its preservation the centerpiece of our campaign.
The calculation is straightforward: Republicans lack the courage to argue from conviction that health care would work better without federal mandates and control that safety nets are best designed by the states, the people, and local conditions, not Washington diktat. In their paralysis, we are left with a system that will soon implode, a system that will not provide care for the people being coerced to pay in. Most everybody knows this is so, yet Republicans find themselves too cowed or too content to advocate dramatic change when only dramatic change will save us. They look at education, the mortgage crisis, and a thousand other things the same way intimidated by the press, unable to articulate the case that Washington makes things worse.
Truth be told, most of todays GOP does not believe Washington makes things worse. Republicans think the federal government by confiscating, borrowing, and printing money is the answer to every problem, rather than the source of most. That is why those running the party today, when they ran Washington during the Bush years, orchestrated an expansion of government size, scope, and spending that would still boggle the mind had Obama not come along. (See Jonah Goldbergs jaw-dropping tally from early 2004 long before we knew their final debt tab would come to nearly $5 trillion.) No matter what they say in campaigns, todays Republicans are champions of massive, centralized government. They just think it needs to be run smarter as if the problem were not human nature and the nature of government, but just that we havent quite gotten the org-chart right yet.
That is not materially different from what the Democrats believe. Its certainly not an alternative. For Americans who think elections can make a real difference, Tuesday pitted proud progressives against reticent progressives; slightly more preferred the true-believers. For Americans who dont see much daylight between the two parties one led by the president who keeps spending money we dont have and the other by congressional Republicans who keep writing the checks and extending the credit line voting wasnt worth the effort.
Those 9 million Americans need a new choice. We all do.
Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and the executive director of the Philadelphia Freedom Center. He is the author, most recently, of Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, which was published by Encounter Books.
I think the problem is that the majority of Americans are so economically STUPID that it is impossible to win their vote promising fiscal management. People who carry 20K+ in credit card debt aren’t going to vote on cutting the deficit, nor will they ever understand how cutting taxes can result in reduced deficits. They are stupid in their private life, so why should we expect intelligence in their public life?
And they will lose and continue to lose.
We heard that last time - and look at the result of going moderate? A loss.
We need to go conservative not moderate. We need to tell the moderates that they need to either fish or cut bait -> You either support the conservatives AS NOMINATED, or go to the Dems. Some will leave, which is inevitable.
I know a number of people who say “they are all the same,it doesn’t matter who you vote for,nothing will change” DESPITE the vast changes that have occurred !
And I am unable to reason with these people;their minds are totally closed to argument,it is all about “feelings”.
Some are actually PROUD of not voting!
Don’t say “why associate with them?” I have to work with them every day.
As was said earlier - you want my vote too, nominate a Conservative.
Why don’t you turn to your blessed independents since you don’t want or need us.
You and I reached the same conclusion - that JRandom is no better than an infantile liberal with an entitlement mentality. I referred him to some liberal websites where his kind of low information low IQ type will be more at home.
Attacking the voters you fail to win over is no recipe for success.
Recognize that you failed to win over enough votes. It’s not the voters’s fault, it’s the candidate and the party.
Until this lightbulb goes off, Republicans will continue to try to browbeat their way into office. It doesn’t work.
Sell something people will buy. It’s not rocket science.
The wild rollercoaster of a primary season was the result of a very significant group who just did not want Romney. They just didn’t want him. Two thirds of primary voters.
Does this say something? The voters are wrong is the message that the party got, and they’re sticking to it. Stupid.
I didn’t want Romney, didn’t think he was a great candidate but he was all there was as far as any hope of unseating Obama. So, I voted for him.
Others didn’t and I understand why.
Support a candidate who does not offend such a wide swath of potential voters next time.
Romney will exceed McCain's 60M and end up pretty close to Bush's 62M in 2004.
Romney won the states in the Bible Belt.
Evangelicals voted majority Romney except for the idiots. These idiots consider it superior to have a partial birth abortion president than a president who made some pro-choice comments years ago.
These people ensure that more babies will now die and that the abortion pill becomes mandatory for insurance companies. Are they fools? Why, of course.
Do you support abortion?
To do that, the candidate must have PROVEN record of being anti-abortion, pro-2A, against socialized medicine, and must have reduced government somewhere along the way.
I've been here on FR a decade longer than you, and seen elections and presidents come and go.
You will get over it. Whether you learn to be conservative is another question.
Getting 60% of the white vote might have worked for George H.W. Bush in '88 but it sure as hell didn't work for Mitt Romney. In case you haven't noticed, this country is a lot more brown than it used to be. Appealing to white males over 30 --and nobody else-- just doesn't cut it anymore.
Really a moot point. Republicans have lost the Hispanic vote for a generation. Unless the GOP does a top to bottom rebranding, we won't be winning any national elections for quite some time.
“First, he didnt invent Obama Care - but theres not talking to you about that, so Ill use an anology.”
You start right off with Bull$hit when you say that. He invented it at the state level and Bronco Bamma moved it to the big time.
Primary voters that thought the idiot could sucessfully argue for repeal of Obamacare are simple minded.
I voted for the stupid bastard last Tues, but don’t start spewing your BS that the candidate wasn’t the problem.
You also aided him in allowing the morning after pill to become mandatory for ALL religious organizations. Congrats.
Great points and I’m of the belief as you are that race was a factor too. Many guilt-ridden white voters still supported the president despite the bad economy. The Republicans in congress are not aggressive enough in promoting their agenda and how much of that is their fear of being called racist by the media for opposing the president? Bottom line is that this country is in for a rough four years.
The most elaborate high tech microscope could not locate your IQ under the best lighting conditions. The assumption that those of us who voted against Obama last week are all part of some cabal that “owns” the candidate choice is such an absurd assumption that it can only be made by a spoiled infantile brat who understands nothing about how a Republic is governed.
Thus, I cannot answer your questions because the premise behind them is so flawed as to make conversation with you meaningless. And for the record, look at the title of my upcoming book in the signature tagline box:
Sure seems that way.
All this blather about us on FR having to "earn his vote". LOL.
For some reason he and those like him think they're entitled...just like the inner city losers.
I never said the candidate was not the problem. But the candidate is not on this forum this morning. And the candidate is only part of the problem.
The other part of the problem are idiot voters who sat home. If that’s not you, then quit going out of your way to be offended. That’s what liberals do.
I fought, in an official capacity, to keep Mitt from the nomination. I lost that fight. Thus, I did what adults do. That is to assess the situation, and move on with the best available option. It sounds like you did too. My ire is not directed at you.
Romney supports both of these positions. I supported the only candidate who did not support abortion.
I am only responsible for myself, not for whom other people choose to support. You want to support the architect of Romneycare - go ahead.
Actually, you voted for Obama.
A lot of us couldn't pull the lever for Romney, but made damn sure we pulled it against Obama. You couldn't even muster enough courage to do that.
Want my vote? Run a conservative.
It's a free market kind of thing.
I have something you want. I want something.
Yelling at me for being 'stupid' isn't going to get you what you want. In fact, it makes me not want to deal with you at all.
Run a conservative.. and I'm right there with support.
So why are you doing Rove’s work for him by attacking the conservatives who rejected Romney? The lady doth protest too much.
Note, we are already into that period, but lots of people don't register and vote until they begin to be vested in the economy and society ~ the kids lucky to escape their mother's knives in the 1970s are now, themselves nearing 40! That's when registration picks up ~ they are ours for the taking!
The Democrats reported 4 years ago that after their extra heavy duty voter registration drives that they really were running out of people to register to vote ~ and then this year they had anywhere from 5 to 10 million voters just flat out disappear!
Due to a higher abortion rate among the ethnic groups the Democrats prey on, and the Republicans pray over, their ability to win elections may wane to the point of political irrelevancy. The next midterms should show another 30 to 35 million voter fall off among Democrats ~ and that would leave them with something like 25 million voters against our 45 million voters, which will probably give us a 3/4 or more majority in the House.
We've likely seen the last Democrat control in the Senate for at least a century.
Now is no time to alienate the Right to Lifers and the SoCons. They are the wave of the future.
At the same time we can well afford to dump the GOP-e!
Really wished the Republicans had campaigned that way but they didn’t.
Here is an even more basic lesson: Passionate supporters don't sit at home on their thumbs whining while the country goes to hell.
I wonder how many of these whiners didn't bother to participate in the primaries? Probably 100%.
You have to get our agreement. And we are obnoxious little pricks that won't roll over for you.
Frustrating, isn't it.
So... go stress out, have your little stroke, and figure out that yelling at people doesn't get you what you want.
Then... you might possibly want to consider running a conservative as a candidate.
Crazy idea, I know... but it might work. What you have been doing... it ain't working.
“Now is no time to alienate the Right to Lifers and the SoCons. They are the wave of the future.”
Exactly so, but don’t tell the others this. ;) They might actually figure things out for themselves.
We do when we are repeatedly told that our votes and support are no longer wanted or desired.
You got that exactly right. The fascist democrat party knows they can always use religion as one of their more reliable tools to divide the conservative vote.
In a political sense and as an alternative to anyone except a Marxist foreign national and his horde of fascist appointees, Mitt sucked.
Mitt would have stopped the bleeding, though, and the patient may well bleed to death before the midterm elections much less the next Presidential election that will be even more rigged than this one was.
The majority claim to be Christian but have ignored the mass murder of infants for so long that when you're honest and include those who were murdered by contraception there have been half as many infants slain as there are people in the country. Given that fact, why would the Lord grant us an alternative any better than someone 'we the people' would have to ride herd on in order to keep him on track?
Apparently a lot of people think the perfect candidate will appear in a puff of smoke and prove it's all about faith alone with no work beyond saying the magic words in the voting booth.
Rubio will not get the EXACT same treatment as Palin, simply because he is a male. The Dems hate females who step out of line, as much as they hate blacks who step out of line.
They would have to put on their thinking caps to figure out exactly how to deride a conservative Latino. They can’t say he’s shrill or call him an Oreo. Maybe they’ll find some more of Gloria’s bimbos. That would go along with their stereotype of Latinos.
Another statement of childishness from you.
I'm not running anyone.
As you know the majority of people on FR were against Romney. I was one of them.
But once the primaries were over it was time to vote the partial birth abortion supporter out of office. However because of people like you, now the full-on abortionists, anti-religious freedom activists have even more power. The unborn are in a much worse state.
You yourself will have to win others' vote by running winning conservative candidates. You obviously don't like the idea of the hard work so like a child you will pout and allow dictators to gain power.
Having allowed evil to gain ground, you are equal to the Obama-ites.
[Gov. Romney appealed to middle-class Christian families who live in either rural or suburban areas.]
Not mine he didn’t.
The baby butchering, homosexualist pandering, RINO Bishop from Deseret’s state-established religion is what he is.
Because I don’t have your pathetic narrow intellectually stunted view of what conservatism is. Your absurd view is conservatism means the most embarrassing moronic pro life candidate possible at all costs. My view is the Reagan view. The Levin View. The Rush view. It includes the social issues as a part of a Constitutional view of limited government and individual rights. It also recognizes that in different times, different issues rise to the top.
And it also recognizes that talent, ability, and leadership are vital too. What’s the use in believing the right things if you lack the ability to advance those causes? I’ll answer for you. NONE.
I believe in the sanctity of life - based on Biblical precepts, scientific proof that life is formed at conception, and the secular “right” to life in our founding documents.
But I also believe that fiscal issues have a huge moral component - because the theft of a man’s property is a theft of his freedom and a violation of the sanctity of life OUTSIDE the womb. Thus, I resent and reject people, and I believe you to be one, who insist that the only moral issues are the conservative social issues. That is simply a moronic close minded view that is not supported by logic or the human history.
If men are not free, and that includes free to use their own property, then there will be no one available to fight for those who cannot defend themselves.
I really don't think that's their motive. They want to be "Right" rather than "Right to Lifers".
People who care for the unborn vote AGAINST the murdering party.
These people didn't do that.
As the Nazi death camps were liberated, their occupants sat looking at the open gates. You would think that they would have been crowding to get out. They didn’t. Were they too weak to move? No. They could still walk. Then why didn’t they run out the open gates? Because THEY WERE AFRAID. They were afraid that freedom might be worse than what they had grown accustomed to in the death camps. They had become used to the beatings and the standing naked and the gas chambers and the crematoriums. But freedom, ohhhhh....that was scary. Fear is a tremendous motivator. It can make people stay in a death camp. Fear can also be used to motivate people to vote Democrat. The inmates were eventually convinced to leave the death camps. We must convince the fearful Democrat voters to leave the Democrat party.
“Know yourself and know your opponent, and in one hundred battles, you will always be victorious.”
I would never let anyone make me vote for Obama by suggesting that I stay home.
You are every bit as much an Obama voter as the freeloaders that are celebrating today.
I gave my honest opinion on why voter turnout was down and why he lost.
Nobody is going out of their way to be offended, you doing your best to offend them.
My guess you were the kid in school everyone wiped boogers on.
It may be a factor, but coupled with this, and we are no longer in Kansas Toto : /
deo might explain a lot of what goes on with both the Republicrat and Demican big box establishment parties:
After you watch this you might wonder what this lady is doing still alive.
But even if we can prove that our country and states have been stolen from us, what are we going to DO about it?
What CAN we do about it?
If you want my vote, run a conservative.
I'm pushing hard on the ground to get Dewhurst out of any elective office.
Do you have a pinglist for something like that? Do you go door-to-door working an issue like that?
I'm not responsible for a murder I don't commit. Babies are going to die under Obama or Romney. I don't like it. I don't want it.
That particular hook doesn't work to get me to vote for your liberal.
Let me be clear...
I will not vote for anyone that doesn't have a PROVEN record of being anti-abortion, pro-2a, against socialized medicine, and hasn't reduced government.
Does that make it easier for you to understand? I don't expect it did.
It is interesting how the GOPe responded: the hold-your-nose-and-vote candidates got progressively worse. Dole > McCain > Romney. What's next? Talk Olympia Snowe out of retirement? Talk Michael Bloomberg back into the party? Fortunately, as far as RINOs go, they don't get much worse than Romney.
“Thus, I resent and reject people, and I believe you to be one, who insist that the only moral issues are the conservative social issues. That is simply a moronic close minded view that is not supported by logic or the human history.”
You have a heirarchy of values, with fiscal concerns taking precedence over social concerns. Thus a fiscal conservative who supports abortion and gay marriage is a-ok to you, while a ‘conservative’ who supports socialism is not.
I see it as all one thing. Social conservativism is superior fiscally - a nation that adopts social conservative values will be a stronger nation overall and thus, will have a stronger balance sheet.
I don’t believe there are any actual fiscal conservatives. I believe that they are classical liberals. Anyone who is a conservative believes that fiscal and social issues are intertwined.
NO, my biggest problem is that I have no patience with morons.
My biggest problems is that morons like you think every single person who did not have man crush fantasies over the sweater vest is somehow a secret operative of the Karl Rove machine who sneaks out on weekends to perform coat hanger abortions while attending establishment cocktail parties.
Wake up and put on your big boy panties. There are not just “two” camps in the conservative arena. Karl Rove is a huge problem. So is Todd Akin. They are not the same problem, but they are both problems.
From where I sit, though, Obama is a bigger problem than any of them. I worked for two candidates not named Romney in the primary season. My focus was one removing Obama. I did what I could, and then I did what I had to do.
Now, do I “trust” Romney on all social issues? No, not really. But I’ll tell you what. I totally trust Obama. I totally trust Obama to do the immoral thing at every turn and to advance that agenda aggressively. So, do you trust Obama on social issues?
I voted for Cruz. I supported a winner this election and helped put in a tea party conservative.
How did you fare?
Dead wrong. If it was in your power to mitigate abortion, homosexuality, socialism and you instead sat on your hands and said "waaaaaah...somebody earn my vote" you are most certainly responsible.
Many Germans allowed the rise of Hitler by sitting on their hands. Similarly you sat out the election and did not vote against the highest evil. Yet somehow you see yourself as a victim from whom we on FR need to "earn" something?
Under the circumstance we are now in it is unlikely that those who did not participate or who voted 3rd party will have any influence with the Republican party and likely no Conservatives or Tea Partiers, the fact that Republicans lost this election already have them leaning more left. My post is directed at those on this site who did not participate and who attempted to “browbeat” others into non-participation and want to denigrate those who did participate.
I was not at all “happy” about Romney but was very enthusiastic about beating obama. I believe that anyone who thought there could be any advantage to not supporting Romney in this election were not thinking clearly. I don’t know that they are part of the reason or not, there is also the voter and election fraud which I believe will only get worse and we only have sham elections in our future.
I’m letting go of my anger. It is doing me no good and calling people names will not help anything.
This country was founded in the Great Awakening. Now it is time for all of us to repent of our wicked ways and turn to God so He will hear from Heaven and heal our land.
For all my angry posts...I am sorry. We need Jesus and not blame.
You are a phariseeical jerk. Ayn Rand, an atheist, in some ways, understands more about morality than you do. You claim that fiscal issues are NOT moral issues, which is absurd. But you base everything in your dark legalistic phariseeical heart off of that phony premise.
What I want to know is, when Obamas government strip you of your freedoms and your property, just how much good will you be to the unborn? When you no longer own your time, because you have stood by in a self righteous fog, and lost your liberty because you didn’t think “fiscal” issues were important, just what will you be able to do for the unborn?
When you don’t have a job, and can’t afford 15 dollar gas, and inflation has made feeding you and your family a real challenge, just how will you get to the pro life rally? Just what will you put into the offering plate? How will you be salt to a dying world when you no longer own your self, your time - and are merely a ward of the state.
And when you are old and ill, and an Obama Care bureaucrat holds the decisions of whether or not you will receive medical care in their hands, what will your view of the sanctity of life be then? Will you then realize that there is no such thing as a merely “fiscal” issue? Will you then understand that “fiscal” issues are merely the incarnation of life outside the womb?
When? In your case, never. Get your will ready. Your friendly Obama Care IRS agent and death panel bureaucrat has you in their cross hairs.
That battle is over, sweetheart.
He's what we've got.
You cannot make me vote for a liberal, even with an (R) behind his name.
That grates on you. badly.
You are angry. You want to lash out, and do, and turn off conservatives that mainly support your ideals.
Is that what you really, really want to do?
I'll still be here 10 years from now, and we'll have to deal with each other. Regard your words well, or regret them later.
Honestly, Ed, I don't know why you're still around here because you think that you're smarter than everybody else.
For example, the biggest issue is that the Candidate be a lifelong, true-blue Republican. We are long past the days where we could pick up a stray Democrat to run for us, and there are not currently any of those broad brush faction movements ~ e.g. Southern whites from Democrat to Republican, or practicing Catholics from Democrat to Republican.
So it's time to focus on the Republican street cred of any particular candidate for President.
Out of the 16 known registered serious candidates for President this year only 3 were lifelong Republican Conservatives!
Two of them were technically residents of Virginia, so they couldn't both run as President and Vice President ~ the third one may also have resided in Virginia for a while in a previous job.
So, where did those other 13 come from and why should we have entertained their running in OUR primaries?
We failed to protect the value of our brand. That's not good for downstream sales.