The death of conservatism is greatly exaggerated

Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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16 Responses

  1. ED,

    I’m interested in how you think this ties in with opinions that the GOP should move to the middle in order to revitalize itself? If it gets back to square i.e. following truly (mainstream) conservative policies, is that enough? That graph seems to indicate a traditional conservative approach would pull in 40% of voters with another 36% up for grabs but already inclined to lean rightward.Report

  2. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    I’d like to see this poll with “liberal” swapped out for “progressive.”Report

    • What do you think the results would be?Report

      • Lev in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        Usually, the polls that ask the question in this way wind up showing about even numbers for conservative and liberal/progressive. Which makes sense, even considering that the term conservative means different things to different people. Heck, calling the Bill Clinton years conservative strikes me as fundamentally correct. If the GOP were to adopt Clintonomics wholesale (with perhaps some means-testing and such), mostly adopt Clinton’s foreign policy (minus the foreign miscues) and keep much of the social conservatism, they’d be both conservative and highly electorally successful.Report

      • Gold Star for Robot Boy in reply to E.D. Kain says:

        A far higher result for “progressive.”
        In 2006 and 2008, with the nation giving control of Congress back to the Democrats and then electing a Democrat to the White House by a margin not seen in decades, “liberal” tops out at 22 percent? Really? That makes me think the word itself now has such a negative connotation, many people with liberal beliefs don’t want to be labeled as such.Report

  3. Kyle says:

    I thought that was an interesting poll when contrasted with Party ident, however, on the specific issues, I imagine a lot of that is remnant anxiety and anger from the last 14 months of economic meltdown. The numbers on government involvement, traditional involvement, unions and immigration have to be soft shifts in relation to the jobs climate.

    In essence, I think the things that haven’t changed detail a more reliable political map for the GOP and the future of conservatism, also the Democrats and future of their coalition. What does it say that for Republicans that for general attitudes to remain favorable for them, the economy has to create anxiety and shed jobs.Report

  4. Bob Cheeks says:

    ED, do you find this surprising so early in BO’s administration? Also, there appears to be a contest developing between ‘conservatives’ and the GOP where conservatives are running their own candidates if the GOP puts up RINOS or Democrat wanna bees. I noticed even the Neocon Hannity is backing the ‘conservative’ in the NY race against the GOP contender. Does this indicate a conservative split in the GOP?Report

    • North in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

      Well if they are splitting then it’ll be nice for us Libs since they won’t be able to muster a majority again for a generation.Report

      • Kyle in reply to North says:

        Contra the conventional wisdom of the bystander here, doesn’t that just mean that frustrated center-right types will join the Democrats and drag the party to the right/threaten progressive dominance of the Democratic caucus.

        If the GOP becomes a political failed state, that just means more political refugees to the left and really, I can’t imagine (considering the left’s view of Ben Nelson/Joe Lieberman these days) they’d be excited for an influx of Obama Republicans, or – for that matter – the return of the neocons.Report

  5. John Howard Griffin says:

    I think the poll does “speak volumes”: Tribalism. Dogmatic defense of ideology. Politics.

    Hey, look! America is conservative (and Christian, too)! Alert the media!

    The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.

    – Mark Twain, Mark Twain in Eruption