GOP senate candidate Gabriel Gomez is running way behind Markey and is going to get his clock cleaned. Let’s just get that out of the way. He will lose for the same reason that Scott Brown and Mitt Romney lost: The GOP brand is currently defined by fringe right-wingers who identify them selves as members of the TeaParty. These people are active politically and are a real force – particularly in local and state elections. They have boots on the ground and do a good job winning non-National elections. They have enough clout to force candidates to run on a far right platform that does not play with the general population.
Gomez can be (or pretend to be) as moderate as he wants. MA voters will not send a Republican senator to Washington because the national party has proven to be unreasonable and obstructionist due to the influence of its far right elements. It’s just that simple. It’s why Brown lost and it’s why Mitt lost.
The GOP has been soul searching in the wake of losing to Obama – a loss that was shocking given the economic climate. The GOP’s own report found fundamental problems with the GOP’s image in the eyes of young voters, minority voters, immigrant voters, women voters, gay voters, etc. It probably would have been simpler to say non-old-white-guy voters.
As bad as that report was, a new survey of young people by college-age Republicans shows that the next generation is not buying the company line:
In January, the CNRC asked identified “winnable” young people who had voted for Obama, the words that came to mind when hearing the words “Republican Party.” Four of the most common responses: “closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.” Democrats, by contrast, were “tolerant,” “diverse,” and “open-minded.”
A big part of the perception problem comes from the sort of fringe right candidates that are being propelled into national elections and then start saying moronic things about “legitmate rape” and magic vaginas that can “shut that whole thing down” by repelling rapist sperm. And then you have people like Michelle Bachmann talking about autism being caused by vaccines. There are the vast number of climate deniers who actually believe that there is reasonable scientific doubt about human’s role in global warming. That’s not to mention the general anti-science mojo that pervades the far right. Consider the recent report that showed women breadwinners making up a large portion of household income. The Fox News numbskulls tried to pin the downfall of America on women who are working. This is the sort of thing that drives people away in droves.
A lot of GOP voices are convinced that the party’s problems really are just a matter of perception. They refuse to recognize that in addition to their image, the real problem is that most of their positions are out of step with the mainstream. They continue to focus on wedge issues like abortion, gay rights, and voting down Obamacare 15 times a week instead of focusing on their small government and personal responsibility philosophy.
So move along folks. Gabriel Gomez and a whole bunch of national GOP candidates will continue to lose until the party is not only perceived as more moderate – but actually IS more moderate.