Editorial: A moribund GOP?
Is the Republican party becoming a minority that represents fewer and fewer Americans?
Some political analysts, looking at recent numbers, are arguing that’s the case. Aside from members of Congress, party stalwarts, birth control opponents and Obama haters, they say, mainstream Republican numbers are dwindling.
Add to that the defections by “tea party” members who actively campaign against the party, and the party is in serious trouble.
Let’s look at the numbers:
◆ According to the Gallup poll, Americans who identify themselves as Republicans has fallen to its lowest level in the last quarter-century: 25 percent.
◆ Republicans lost the last presidential popular election by almost five million votes.
◆ The total number of votes cast for president, House and Senate in 2012 for GOP candidates was 158,605,000, compared with 176,167,000 for Democratic candidates — that’s a 17 million vote gap.
◆ And, even though Republican gerrymandering allowed the party to maintain control of the House by a slim margin, 1.17 million more votes were cast for Democratic House candidates than for Republicans.
Amazingly, Republican strategists appear to be working hard to push more and more Americans away. The recent move by the House to authorize a suit against President Obama for “exceeding his executive authority,” for example, flies in the face of common sense — Obama has issued fewer executive orders than most recent presidents from either party. Polling clearly shows that most voters think — correctly — that the suit is a political stunt that will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars, and is probably a first step by extremists to impeach the president.
In addition, in their zeal to hobble the president, GOP leadership has prevented votes on scores of bills that would benefit ordinary people, including a minimum wage bill that would immediately benefit 28 million ordinary Americans, and an extension of unemployment payments for the long-term unemployed.
And the party’s recent moves against the president and against immigration reform, have outraged many African Americans — who make up 13 percent of ordinary Americans — as well as Hispanic voters, who represent 16 percent of ordinary Americans.
It’s hard to see how these and other moves will help the party regain its former parity with Democrats — and its status as a proud bastion of core American values.