Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Does the GOP Deserve to Lose?

Instapundit has a very thorough "pre-mortem" explanation of why, although the Democrats don’t deserve to win, the Republicans deserve to lose. It’s easy to disagree with many, many of the particular details of Reynolds’ analysis (beginning with his view that the Terri Schiavo case was "the beginning of the end"), but only those in extreme denial can ignore the evidence that lots of voters seem to agree with his general conclusion. Reynolds’ presentation includes a link to the most recent polling data found at RealClearPolitics, which really is a sea of blue. I’m against political pre-mortems on principle, but there’s not much time left to explain effectively why we deserve to win. The most hopeful way to view Reynolds’ message is to take his corny football imagery seriously: Teams that fumble nine times and still are only down a touchtown in the fourth quarter sometimes end up winning.

UPDATE: Fred Barnes’ strong case against hoping for the fourth quarter rally It’s the enthusiasm, stupid!

Discussions - 11 Comments

Now is not the time for defeatism. Why echo the themes of the liberal media?
Why not a post and a link about positive developments in Republican campaigns -- any Republican campaign? Why not something about the GOP’s grassroots efforts, which even the usual big-talking Democratic chest-pounders still seem to fear?

Is there some kind of Republican death wish on NLT? What would John Ashbrook, a real fighter, think of this? I doubt he would be pleased, let alone proud.

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.

He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else.

GOTV. IF Republicans lose it will be for the simple reason and only the simple reason that they did not GOTV.

Oh, and one other thing: Predictions of doom and gloom will only encourage voters to stay home. STOP IT!!!

Very good comments. The height of a blood-and-guts campaign season is no time for cheap academic whining. Moral support is a good thing, and professors shouldn’t think they’re too good to try and provide it now to the Republican party now and then. Especially now.

Although I think these comments are a bit extreme, there’s something to them too. So I’ve started a new series on showing what Republicans should be saying to win the key races: Tennessee is above.

I don’t know...maybe a little panic would be a good thing (the idea of Queen Nancy presiding over the House should panic us!). It’s my sense that average Republicans are much more committed to voting than average Dimocrats. All this doom-and-gloom might actually energize our base. We enthusiasm fails, maybe fear can substitute? I guess we’ll find out in November. If we lived through Jimmah Carter and Slick Willie, I figure we’ll live through whatever happens...might lose a city or two (KABOOM!), but most of us will survive.

Or, for those who want some feel-good legerdemain on the likelihood of a Dimocrat tsunami, RealClearPolitics is running this this morning. Enjoy, and have hope!

We Hobbesians know that fear is a good antidote to enthusiasm.

The right combination of fear and enthusiasm is a delicate balance, but probably the most productive. "True Right" refers to "blood and guts." General Patton said that’s how wars are won. I think Patton also said that the real hero is the man who fights courageously, even though he’s scared.


The generic poll numbers in the past few weeks have major errors.

...the polls have sampled a significantly higher proportion of Democrats than actual turnout has shown over the past 25 years.

...the Democratic voters and the Democratic-leaning districts are "less efficiently allocated" than Republican ones, so that whereas the Dems have a big edge in already-Democratic districts, the race in the battleground GOP-held districts is 50-50 -- and that’s even with the mis-sampling.

Despite the polls, actual turnout in primaries has belied the idea that Dems are more motivated. In 39 contested Demo primaries this year, the turnout was below 30-year averages in 36 of them. But GOP turnout hasn’t been significantly lower than usual.

Dafydd nails it.

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