« Florence: Global Justice Thinkers Converge | Main | Freepers Hail Georgia Party Turncoats »

November 09, 2002

GOP Will Regret Pelosi's Rise

Remember when a bomb-thrower from the back bench of the GOP rose to power within the Republican leadership in the late 80s? That guy, Newt Gingrich, showed that clear opposition and solid organizing could deliver for his party what cooperation had not-- control of the House for the first time in decades.

Lest folks see this lesson as only an ideological gain from moving rightward, it's worth remembering that when Reagan was elected in 1980, it was a stereotypical Boston liberal who took on Reagan:

Even moderates and conservatives see little to fear from having a liberal like Pelosi leading the party.

Mr. Coelho rejected the idea that Ms. Pelosi would be a burden on her party because of her ideologies. He noted that Mr. O'Neill was similarly disparaged as a Massachusetts liberal, and proceeded to lead his House into winning back 26 seats in 1982.
It's worth remembering that Tip O'Neill left office more popular nationally than the President he had faced from 1980 to 1986.

In both 1994 and 2002, the GOP won elections because they excited their base to turnout in large numbers, while those the Dems needed for victory stayed home.

The "swing voter" is a unicorn. The issue is not who convinces moderates to vote their way (although it's useful to work on that) but making sure you excite the particular moderates you need to bother to show up. The biggest swing issue for much of the moderate population is whether they care enough each election to even show up. If you can't convince them of that, winning them on issues won't help you.

That's the lesson the Dems need to learn from this election.

Posted by Nathan at November 9, 2002 06:25 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Don't forget about security. Secureroot.org

Posted by: Alexander at July 6, 2004 08:53 AM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)