The state of the Reagan Coalition, as it is today
I've done two other posts, linking to articles that question whether the Reagan Coalition is as influential as it once was, or if it's even still the Republican base.
I think the questions are important. But to be clear, I'm not saying the Reagan Coalition is DEAD. But if we end up with McCain as our candidate, then clearly something has changed or gone terribly wrong. The situation we find ourselves in could possibly be explained thus:
1.) The coalition may be smaller; it's eldest members have certainly passed on, as has President Reagan himself. Have many new members of like mind replaced them? If not, then the coalition would be smaller, and therefor less influential.
2.) A coalition needs a leader to unite them as one political force. The coalition has not rallied around any of the candidates. It has, in fact, been split.
A segment of evangelicals has gone for Huckabee. These folks were once Democrats, and like big government. They are reverting back to their roots, and Huckabee has split them away from the coalition.
Giuliani and McCain may have split away many of the National Security member's of the coalition. The Fiscal conservatives drafted Fred Thompson into the race, but he entered so late that many potential supporters had already committed themselves elsewhere; his campaign staff was too small and couldn't cope quickly enough to build the support he needed.
The coalition has been fractured and scattered; now we find ourselves looking at John McCain as the potential front runner. I say "potential" because the primaries are hardly over yet; the MSM may be pushing him as having already won, but that's typical of them, trying to create the news instead of reporting it.
The coalition, however fractured and reduced it may be, it's members, however scattered about they have been, still have a chance to regroup. I see that they have two choices left:
1.) Rally around and support Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday February 5th. He is really the only alternative to McCain right now. He may not be your ideal candidate, but in politics we often don't get our ideal; we get reality. We vote for the best person AVAILABLE, and we work to make the most of it.
2.) Vote for McCain, and take the consequences. You might get a few things you want... if he can even win. The MSM wants him to be nominated, because they know he's unpopular with the base. Once he gets the nomination, I have no doubt the MSM will turn on him, play up the aspects about him that Republican's hate, play that tape of him ranting like a lunatic about lettuce and lazy Americans... you get the idea?
If Mitt gets the Nomination, he will also be given a very hard time. Either way, it's going to be a tough battle. But I believe that Mitt Romney is the best candidate, not necessarily the perfect one, but the best one available. He has many fine qualities, and should be given serious consideration. The left absolutely despises him, for reasons that conservatives would love. Even conservative Democrats. Yes, remember, conservative Democrats were always a part of the Reagan coalition too.
Now that the many candidates that have distracted and splintered the coalition have been narrowed down, we have an opportunity to unite again. The coalition may have changed; times change, the players change, but certain conservative truths don't change, and that is what unites the coalition. So let's not sweat the details too much, and unite and pick the BEST candidate on Super Tuesday.
I feel that candidate is Mitt. If it turns out to be McCain, I'll deal with it if and when I must. But I live in Oregon; our primary won't be until April. Those of you who get to vote in Super Tuesday have a chance to reunite the coalition, in whatever shape it might be today. I hope you will. It's up to you.
Is Romney appealing to a conservative coalition that no longer controls the GOP?
Is the Reagan Coalition Gone? What's next?
The early primaries are the problem