Wednesday, January 30, 2008

When the "Base" Isn't THE Base

Michelle Malkin (via Salon) isn't in a very good mood over John McCain's win in the Florida primary. Here's what she thinks McCain's attitude toward the right is:
Insult the base, trash the base, and pay lip service to the base only when it
suits his needs.

Fair enough. McCain doesn't give a damn about Christian conservatives, actively campaigns against corporate interests, and is no friend to the right-wing commentariat. If McCain didn't have to pay lip service to the right on immigration, taxes, and judges, he wouldn't give them the time of day.

But is the right-wing the "base" of the Republican Party? On the results of the Florida primary and the upcoming California, New York, and New Jersey primaries, the answer is probably a big "no." To date, the success of the McCain campaign is an indication that the right is in fact a minority in the Republican Party. The right might be an active minority, an influential minority, and probably even the dominant minority in the Republican Party.

But they still look like a minority and they look like a smaller minority with every McCain win.

1 comment:

Alex said...

The base of the Republican Party is a nebulous group. The real issues is who would be likely to vote for a candidate. McCain and Obama don't necessarily fit the mold of their party over the past couple of elections. McCain can pull in independents and cross-over voters. Obama has a wider base of the younger voters. Still liberal but Obama can pull in voters that are turned off by Hillary. The base of each party is shifting a bit and may have to conform to the candidates and not the candidates conforming to the base. I think its great that both party bases are not as clear as previous elections. Right now it looks like McCain and Hillary, as been indicated all along. With the weaker candidates falling out we are left with closer races and more interesting times.