A new Gallup poll will provide plenty of delusional thinking for complacent Republican leaders convinced they can coast to a win in 2020.
The Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard reports, “The number of states where liberals outnumber conservatives has dropped more than 30 percent, with just six now in that category: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Washington, New York, and New Hampshire.”
Like the dog that didn’t bark, the state that didn’t appear should tell you something is wrong with this poll. Where’s California, the state that single-handedly put Hillary over the top? And what about Illinois, where the state house has been controlled exclusively by the left since 1997 and the state senate since 2003?
Gallup rates Illinois as “less conservative than average.” That’s like saying Elizabeth Warren is less Indian than average.
California, where the left has controlled the state house since 1997 and the senate since 1992, is ludicrously labeled a toss-up with conservatives and leftists at 29 percent each. That’s accurate only if leftists identify as Antifa and those in the middle are merely communists.
And New Mexico - where the left has controlled the state senate and house since 1992, with a brief house interregnum between 2016–17 - is labeled “more conservative than average.” Maybe, if Gallup is comparing New Mexico to North Korea.
Is Gallup cooking the books? No, but the firm is guilty of serving half–baked analysis. Unless poll respondents are offered a range of policy choices and those choices are used to derive individual ideological ranking, the poll is merely measuring misconceptions.
Most Americans confuse being conservative in their personal life with being ideologically conservative. In reality these people more closely resemble cultural Christians. Cultural Christians may have been raised in a Christian household, but now only attend church on Christmas and Easter. They consider themselves Christian when asked, but also think “God helps those who help themselves” is in the Bible.
That’s true for cultural conservatives. They have a tendency to confuse being patriotic with being conservative. If an individual is proud to stand when he hears the National Anthem, is not a member of a wife-swapping club and hasn’t recently been discharged from rehab, he thinks that makes him a tried and true conservative.
Personally, maybe, but not politically. These same ‘conservatives’ are happy to go to the polls and vote for politicians who promise to lower drug prices, protect ‘open spaces’ and make college affordable.
None of which are conservative policy options. Cultural conservatives cheerfully vote for nanny–state politicians until the taxes and regulations become so onerous they move to a lower–tax state and repeat the process.
Like the plague of culturally conservative politicians that infest local state houses, these ‘conservatives’ are really FDR Democrats in opposition to the Leon Trotsky leftists that run today’s Democrat party.
This Pollyanna poll contains a warning for Republicans they will fail to heed.
Bedard notes, “Before conservatives start to cheer, Gallup said the gap used to be 21 points and a handful of the state numbers fall in the margin of error.” This means more than a few of our ‘conservatives’ have decided to open an ideological Ashley Madison profile on the side.
Prospects for remedying the situation aren’t favorable. National Republicans are either too lazy, too incompetent or too cowed by the Opposition Media to make the case for conservatism.
The left controls the education system from daycare for working moms (Universal pre–school) to college. Students aren’t taught civics and exposed to different political philosophies, they’re indoctrinated and become good little leftists.
Even in ostensibly conservative states politicians who control university budgets lack the courage to demand rigor and balance in university faculties and course offerings.
The failure of Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare and convince voters that market forces will lower healthcare costs is instructive. They don’t personally believe enough in conservative principles to even attempt to roll back big government.
The placeholder conservatives who trust this poll and believe they can stretch their term in office for another two years are fooling themselves. Those ‘conservative’ voters don’t believe in real conservatism any more than the politicians do.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.