Last night, I had a wonderful conversation with some friends about what happened in the last election. One person’s position was that the Dems found a new coalition with some new votes (more youth) and some GOP votes (more of the suburbs). And the question that we were left with by the end of the evening was, What is the GOP’s majority coalition?
So I wake up and start reading articles and I find this one from Bloomberg which compares Romney and McCain:
While McCain, 70, has a maverick streak that appeals to independents and the kind of Democrats who used to support President Ronald Reagan, Romney, 59, aims to reconstitute President George W. Bush’s coalition. He wants to attract evangelical Christians with his support for a gay-marriage ban, and will try to lure economic conservatives with plans to overhaul health care and the tax system.
My hunch is that one of the lessons of the 2006 election is that the 1980-2006 and 1994-2006 coalitions don’t work any more and that we need new ones. I’d like to see a discussion inside the party about what that coalition is and what messages it will take to win. It is interesting that an article that is very pro-Romney makes the point that he is, in some cases, the candidate of yesterday. The only new thing that he brings to the table is his healthcare proposal, which may not fly well amongst Republicans who despise Medicare Part D as a new entitlement.