1. A couple of days ago I wrote about how some younger strongly Obama-approving voters had inclinations that overlap with the center-right. I’d like to add that I don’t think any statistically significant number of these voters are going to come around to a center-right political identity all on their own. Their media stream, their already-chosen identity as Democratic-leaners, and peer pressure are all pushing them in the direction of social democracy and social liberalism. Conservatives need a policy agenda, language, and media strategy that will reach them or else they will not only stay Democratic-leaners, they will become ever more strongly ideological left-Democrats as they get older. The problem of reaching these voters (and their younger siblings) is urgent.
2. I heard Ted Cruz on the replay of Fox News Sunday. He was terrific. I’m not sure I agree with everything he said, but his every word seemed to be chosen to appeal to the undecided voter and to make his policy positions seem like common sense. He reminded be a lot of Reagan – and Obama. In the last Republican nominating contest, too many of the candidates didn’t seem to have any interest in winning over the median voter. They seemed more interested in becoming the breakout character of a reality show (even if their character was a joke in the minds of most of the Americans.) Candidates shouldn’t be judged on their rhetoric alone, but to the extent that rhetoric matters, we would be much better off if the political incentives were to sound more like Ted Cruz and less like Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.
Though come to think of it, the political incentives are to sound more like Cruz than Bachmann if we look at the behavior of Republican presidential primary voters rather than right-leaning media consumers and poll respondents (these are often the same people acting in different capacities.) I just don’t think that it has sunk in that Republican presidential primary voters are much more pragmatic and responsible than the liberal-leaning media, the conservative-leaning media, and the Republican political consultant class seem to think.