CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD - Steve Fair column
Last Tuesday was election day in America. The Democrat incumbent governor in Kentucky was reelected. A pro-abortion ballot initiative passed in Ohio. Democrats gained full control of the Virginia General Assembly. The GOP governor in Mississippi was re-elected and a Republican was elected to the NYC city council from the Bronx. Based on the success of the Ds, mainstream media and political pundits immediately begin to predict 2024 was going to be a disaster for the GOP.
First, forecasting future elections is next to impossible. Trying to tie one race to another is foolhardy. Prognosticating 2024 elections now is like divining when an earthquake, solar flare, or asteroid will occur- no one knows until it happens. It is still too early to predict which political Party or candidate will win next year’s elections.
After every election, talking heads and self-described experts take a small sample size, extrapolate, estimate, conclude and predict future election outcomes for the sole purpose to ‘influence’ those future elections. They try to wag the dog. That is done on both ends of the political spectrum. Take all of them with a grain of salt. The truth is no one knows the future, but God Almighty.
Second, elections are won by those who vote. That sounds too simple, but the fact is turnout is the key in every election. Early analysis of Tuesday’s elections indicates Republican turnout in Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia was less than Democrat turnout. Why did GOP voters decide to stay home? Was it apathy or deliberate sabotage as an act of protest? Was it a distrust of the electoral system? Was it the candidates themselves? Most certainly, it was candidates! Ultimately, candidates win or lose races. A political Party provide the infrastructure and ballot access, but getting voters to the polls is the responsibility of each individual candidate.
Mark Levin says the GOP candidate for governor in Kentucky wasn’t conservative enough. He could be right, because down-ticket Republican statewide candidates swept their races. What Levin doesn’t tell you about the governor’s race is the Democrat governor was an incumbent. Incumbents win 96.4% of the time in all races.
Third, without unity, Republicans will lose in 2024. Some Republicans blame the poor showings in Tuesday’s elections on the leadership of the Republican National Committee (RNC). Some blame illegal immigration. Some blame Party ‘messaging.’ Some blame the RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). RINOs blame the extremists. Extremists blame the establishment. Some blame earthquakes, solar flares, and asteroids. Republicans, at all levels, are engaged in a circular firing squad; a self-destructive internal conflict with mutual recriminations.
There is no unity in the GOP. Reagan’s 11th commandment (Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republicans) is ignored. Cliques, packs, tribes and bands dominate the Republican Party and interaction with those outside the clique/pack/tribe/band is condemned. Jesus said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” No house is more divided than the GOP.
Tuesday’s elections were not a disaster for Republicans. It’s disappointing Ohio GOP voters stayed home and didn’t vote down the pro-abortion bill. But the other races were lost by candidates, not by the Republican Party.
As the economy continues to struggle, prices continue to increase and wages lag behind inflation, 2024 looks to be a year of opportunity for Republican candidates. Most Americans vote with their pocketbook.
Steve Fair is Vice Chairman of the 4th district of the Oklahoma Republican Party. Steve is available to speak to groups and civic clubs. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com.
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