For nearly the last two decades, the Republican Party has attempted to move America backward in time to a mythical reality that never existed in the 1950's. In the process, GOP policy has focused on empowering religious extremist, no nothing elements of the Tea Party and Christofascists, and doing the water carrying for vulture capitalists. Add to that huge doses of racism, rank homophobia and fool's errand foreign wars. Meanwhile, the nation is changing both in terms of demographics and social values and the core of the GOP base - aging, angry, far right whites is thankfully, literally dying off. Thus, it should come as no surprise that Americans are moving away from the GOP. A new Gallup survey seems to confirm this trend. Here are highlights from the Washington Post:
The Gallup organization reported its latest findings on party identification late last week, and the report contained good news for the Democrats and a flashing yellow for Republicans.
The Democrats “have regained an advantage” over the GOP in party affiliation, Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones wrote in an accompanying analysis. Republicans, he added, “have seemingly lost the momentum they had going into last fall’s elections.”
[T]he findings add to a series of data points that underscore the challenges ahead for a party trying to keep pace with a rapidly changing country.
The latest numbers essentially mark a reset that returns party affiliation to its modern historical norm. Democrats long have enjoyed the advantage over Republicans in Gallup’s measures.
In those few periods when the GOP drew even or slightly ahead (after Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 or after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001), the party has been unable to hold that ground for long.
The Supreme Court’s decisions rejecting another legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act and ruling that same-sex marriage is now legal around the country gave the Obama administration two significant victories that were at odds with Republican doctrine.
What they have lost in affiliation over the past few months is not irretrievably gone, but having to make up lost ground is hardly the way Republicans wanted to start the 2016 campaign.
Obama has repeated his attacks on the GOP as a party out of touch with the country, as a party of the past during a time of historic change. Hillary Rodham Clinton is echoing that same message about the Republicans as she campaigns for the Democratic nomination.
The stronger Obama’s approval ratings next year, the more likely it is that the Democrats will retain the White House for a third consecutive term.
Republicans must hope that they nominate a presidential candidate who the public sees as sharing its values and who embodies the future direction of the country. For now, however, the contest for the nomination offers potholes and pitfalls.
Nor have the [GOP presidential] candidates begun to engage one another. When they do, the party will be plunged into a debate about the future — of health care, of the environment, of same-sex marriage, of the economy. On some of these issues, the divisions risk playing into Obama’s and Clinton’s characterization of the Republicans being caught in the past.