Friday, October 31, 2008

Many Republican Voters May Be Sitting Out The Election

Some interesting voter trends are developing across the nation so far among the early voting. And one trend that is emerging is a lower than usual Republican turnout where it appears that many Republicans may be sitting out this election and that John McCain has failed to really excite the more traditional Republican base of support or prove his absurd claims against Barack Obama.

In Oregon, Republican Party officials are alarmed that in traditionally strongly Republican Eastern Oregon, the voter turnout among the registered Republicans is lagging sharping in mail-in voting. The hopes of Republican Senator Gordon Smith who is locked in a very tight race with Democratic challenger, Jeff Merkley depend heavily on bringing out his Eastern Oregon Republican home regional vote base. Yesterday, more bad news for the Republicans came in a mock poll among school students who have narrowly chosen George Bush twice before in 2000 and 2004, but Barack Obama crushed McCain by 39 points yesterday, while Merkley won by a narrower 11 point lead over Smith. Traditionally families with children tend to be somewhat more conservative than the single unmarried voters due to past security issues or "family values" issues for some reason. But now economic problems have mostly replaced any security or "family values" concerns of many voters.

Traditionally, while Republicans tend to do quite well among those that mail-in ballots nationally and other absentee voting, the new trend of early voters seems to be tilting sharply towards the Democrats in many parts of the nation. For example, in North Carolina, 60% of the early voters have been Democrats in this state that has tended Republican ever since the Barry Goldwater era. Only 24% of the early voters have been registered Republicans so far in North Carolina.

A further problem for John McCain is that among the 21% or more of voters who have already voted, Barack Obama may hold a 9% or better lead so far. Unless McCain is able to turn out his base of voters, which he is still having problems doing due to much weaker Republican organization compared to the well run Obama and Democratic organization, McCain will still lose, and can lose big in the electoral college, with one former "Red" state after another slipping from McCain's fingers.

Also bad For McCain, Sarah Palin has also failed to prove to be the big conservative base motivating force that he hoped that she would prove to be. She has proven to be yet another right wing intellectual lightweight like Dan Quayle. John McCain really needed a conservative running mate with the intelligence of a George Will, and instead his choice of Palin has only hurt with many voters and really has brought out little of the conservative base for the most part except for a few Evangelical right wingers or others due to the abortion issue or her support for a constitutional ban on Gay marriage. And rumors of internal campaign infighting, finger-pointing, and Palin going off script and acting too independent, where the colorful if not, wacky Palin is often a bigger story than the more colorless John McCain. Likely many will blame Palin for McCain's likely loss this Tuesday, but the problems for the troubled McCain Campaign really run much deeper than just that.

The fact of the matter is that unlike most Republican bloggers, who tend to more ideological and take more unreasonably hard right views on many issues, many actual Republican voters are more mainstream persons with more reasonable views. And many of these voters sort of like Barack Obama, even if they prefer to vote for John McCain, and many think that Mr. Obama has many great traits that they expect in a great and effective president.

This is good, because Mr. Obama will need to pull the nation together if elected and needs broad support to enact policies to rebuild the American economy and make the country a success story once again. Mr. Obama is a special candidate with the potential to be a very great president, and while the election could actually be close if many former George Bush voters move from undecided to McCain rather than Obama, many state polls still suggest serious problems for McCain among the Republican base who are hurting from this bad economy just like anyone else is. Not everyone owns a Wall Street bank for a living, or is a high roller of some type. And during a bad economy, most voters will seriously consider voting their pocketbook values.


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