Monday, July 08, 2013

Why People Are Leaving The Republican Party

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Conservatives and people of faith have traditionally felt their most important social issues were best represented by the Republican Party, consequently, most---not all, but most conservatives and people of faith have identified with the GOP.

However, recently those people have begun to feel disaffiliated with the Party. While the Party has sustained a series of political losses in the presidential races and at home in Washington State, the defection, I believe, is about more than merely loosing an election, or 2 or 3.

Winning elections, for absolute certain, is very important to the political process, however there is another component that I have sensed in talking with fellow Republicans in recent years.

Many had hoped that the RNC would find some instructive conclusions in their "Growth and Opportunity Project" study earlier this year.

It didn't happen. Essentially, many felt the study was 100 pages of nothing.

A new study was released last week by Frontier Labs, an independent market research firm. They researched why people are disassociating with the GOP. Their findings will not be surprising, except perhaps to the GOP leadership.

The RNC study concluded that the GOP needed to appeal to more young people and minorities, particularly Hispanics in order to start winning elections.

There was also a reoccurring notion that the Party must push back from some of the more "divisive" social issues.

Translated: "Divisive"= Abortion and traditional, biblical marriage.

However the study just completed by Frontier Lab, "Switching Behavior: Modeling Disaffiliation From Republican Brand" disagrees with the assumptions made by the RNC and their study panel.

Unlike the RNC study that was created by consultants, political figures and focus groups, Frontier applied scientific methodology from market research.

Anne Sorook, who authored the report says the RNC's self examination was a "perfect example of everything they are doing wrong."

The Frontier Lab study identified 4 specific reasons people are disaffiliating with the GOP.

1 . A rejection of the motive to vote Republican by voting for "the lessor of two evils."

We have seen this repeatedly in Washington State and at the national level.

2. Loss of Hope.

There is a sense that the Party can no longer deliver on its promises because Party leaders have abandoned their principles (and the Party platform).

3. "Affiliation with a new community."

People feel there is no longer a "camaraderie" in the Party. They are finding more meaningful associations and relationships in other communities, i.e. Tea Party, talk radio, smaller political parties, etc.

4 . A perceived betrayal by the GOP establishment.

Karl Rove, who, by most opinions, represents the "mainstream" Republican effort, has said recently that we need to "support the most conservative candidate we deem electable."

Who decides who is electable? The Party leadership. They decided Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney were electable.

The Washington State Republican Party demonstrated this belief in the last election. They wholeheartedly supported the moderate to liberal Republicans who ran for state and Congressional office. Their losses were humiliating. Wasn't even close.

Many, myself included, felt Republican John Koster could have won the First Congressional District last election if the state and national Republican Party would have supported him. Even the Seattle Times said he was highly qualified but would not endorse him because he is pro-life and pro-marriage.

What an indictment.

Why would a secular progressive Democrat vote for a left leaning Republican pro-abortion candidate when the Democratic Party offers them the real thing?

They didn't vote for them. And neither did a large number of evangelicals and conservative, pro-life, pro-marriage Catholics. And they won't in the future.

We were told the Republican candidate was the "lessor of two evils."

Hopefully, the GOP can be exorcised from their obsession with unsuccessfully running moderate to left leaning candidates while telling 70 million evangelicals and millions of pro-life Catholics to vote for the "lessor of two evils" so the Republican Party can win.

Breaking news: Most of us are not involved in the political process for the cause of a Party---any party.

We are involved because we love our country and we have deeply held biblical beliefs---specifically Faith, Freedom, Family and the sanctity of life.

Just a thought. I wonder if we could not find a candidate who personally believes in and adheres to the Republican Party platform, is articulate, a capable leader and a person of character who would not "evolve" once in Washington DC or Olympia?

Call me out of touch, but I think there are those kinds of people in our state and in our country.

What if the GOP actually got behind such a person with sweat and money, and stopped trying to deceive progressive voters into voting for someone who is almost like them, but not entirely like them, because the candidate is a member of the Republican political party, but does not agree with the values stated in the Republican party's platform?

Why is this so complicated?

Better days are ahead.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Blessed.